“Always be a pioneer and look ahead”: that is how Jonathan Mihy, founder and CEO of MR Cartonnage Numérique, sums up his philosophy of action. On January 2, 2019, in Saint-Ouen L’Aumône, north-west of Paris, the company opened a second production site across 2,800 m2 fitted with an HP Indigo 30000 digital printer combined with a UV and acrylic varnishing line (Tresu iCoat 30000). This 2-million-euro investment was made possible when the company joined the DIAM International group in late 2017.
As market needs are changing and the flexibility of digital printing is seducing more and more brands, MR Cartonnage aims to remain the key specialist in this field. “No one can deny we are one technological and technical step ahead, but mass production involves new challenges: for example, we need to be able to manage colours on a large scale,” emphasizes Jonathan Mihy.
By capitalizing on their experience in digital colour reproduction, combining shaping and digital printing operations, MR Cartonnage intends to offer the folding case market more agility and speed. Thanks to industrial investments and a reorganized production on two sites, one dedicated to prototypes, the other to printing in series – they are now printing 7 million cases – the company defined an objective of 8 to 9 million for 2019, and no less than 12 to 15 million for 2020.
Agility, speed and sustainability
Jonathan Mihy deeply believes that “digital technologies will revolutionize the printing market in the luxury sector. They make it possible to meet the market’s demand in terms of agility, speed, and sustainability.”
The first target is the market of multi-reference case printing, i.e. cases that need specific printing variations, for example to mention a perfume or shade change. “We have many requests in makeup. And since all shades are not sold in the same volumes, it is extremely convenient for brands to print series of different scales,” explains the CEO.
But digital printing also complies with ever-stricter time-to-market constraints. With their new industrial organization, MR Cartonnage Numérique not only intends to increase production volumes, but also accelerate their answer to customers. The opening of the second site actually goes with the launch of the One Week project aimed to reduce delivery times to one week, starting from the reception of the printing dossier. To get such a result and even gain more time upstream, MR Cartonnage also offers the services of MR Artworks, their internal executive agency.
Lastly, digital printing offers many advantages as regards sustainability. “Today, there is a real change in terms of mindset: brands take action for sustainable development,” claims Jonathan Mihy.
Digital technologies help minimize waste (no more than 20 sheets, compared to 200 to 500 with offset printing) and use compostable liquid inks (the HP inks used by MR Cartonnage Numérique are OK Compost EN 13432-certified). In addition, the company chose to work with Iggesund, whose Invercote cardboard offers a positive carbon footprint – its production absorbs more carbon than it emits.
This sustainable commitment goes hand in hand with economic concerns. “We are moving towards a big volume model with vast plants which help reduce unit costs, and towards digital, even connected plants which only produce what we need. Within a context of environmental protection and a possible ban on stock destruction, companies are starting to assess the cost of wastage, of obsolescence, and of what is produced.”
Heading towards the rest of the world
The doors of the North-American market opened when MR Cartonnage Numérique joined the DIAM International group. The company is about to open an industrial prototyping workshop similar to what made it successful in Europe on the premises of the DIAM subsidiary, in Long Island, in NYC suburbs. Again, cutting-edge digital printing machines will be combined with small-scale processing machines to produce models and small series. An adventure to be followed!