UK trade printer Baker Labels has formally launched BakPac, its move into digitally printed flexible packaging.

BakPac has been a proposition in the making for a while, and led to the investment in a 76cm-wide HP Indigo digital press and, more recently, Enprom and Karlville converting equipment. The £2.5m investment also included a factory expansion and renovation.

Specifically, Bakers installed an HP Indigo 20000 digital press last summer. This has now been complemented by an Enprom thermal laminating machine and Karville KS-DSUP-400-GSW pouch making line.

Baker Labels already produced labels on three HP Indigo 6900 presses and has a long established relationship with HP since first producing digitally printed labels on an HP 4050 in 2006, so it was described as a ‘natural progression’ with the move to flexible packaging to continue the investment with HP.

Enprom is a company of AB Graphic and Kocher+Beck. Baker Labels has another long established relationship with AB Graphic, with a fleet of Digicon finishing equipment for label embellishment and finishing. The machine installed at Baker Labels is Enprom’s first ever thermal laminating machine. It was delivered in December 2019.

The Karville KS-DSUP-400-GSW is another world first, in that it is the first ever dual web Karville pouch making line. This allows the production of pouches with different materials on the front and reverse, as well as another for the gusset.

Using this equipment, BakPac will manufacture digitally printed flexible packaging in the form of stand-up pouches, pillow pouches, shrink wrap and printed film. In addition, BakPac offers recyclable, compostable and biodegradable material options to customers.

With a much reduced time to market and the option to order only what is required rather than large minimum order quantities, traditional packaging manufacturers can, through BakPac, benefit from offering seasonal or event-driven promotions, market testing packaging and product lifecycle options.

Steve Baker, Baker Labels managing director, said, ‘It’s a big step to move into the manufacture of flexible packaging so we’ve been planning this for a couple of years. Making the equipment investments, designing the factory refurbishment, and the training and educating of our staff all took meticulous planning and a lot of time but it’s been a brilliant journey and we’ve had great support from HP, AB Graphic and Karlville along the way. I’m more than confident that it’s the right decision for Bakers and I’m excited about the future.’

BakPac general manager Phil Smith, who joined Baker Labels in June 2019, added, ‘The prospect of joining the Bakers business and running such an exciting project was too good to resist, having seen the evolution of digital in the labels industry and understanding what benefits it would bring to the flexible packaging market I wanted to be a part of that journey.

‘From joining the business and hitting the ground running eight months ago, we have converted an empty warehouse into a state-of-the-art digital flexible packaging factory, which involved a new mezzanine floor, room build, high voltage substation install, internal power circuit revamp, three machine installs, staff training, testing equipment and BRC standard programme.’

BakPac was officially opened on 12 February with a ceremonial ribbon cutting by Marian Baker, who founded Baker Labels with her husband Roy in 1973. The event was attended by the deputy Mayor of Brentwood Cllr Olivia Sanders, former Mayor Sheila Murphy, deputy leader of Brentwood Council Noelle Hones, representatives from Bakers’ supported charities, SNAP and Kids Inspire, along with Kelly Giles, head of business studies at Brentwood School. Retired Baker Labels employees and other invited guests were also in attendance.

Baker Labels is an active member of the Digital Labels & Packaging Industry Group; you could be too by contacting Chloe Ward on