How can smarter repro support cost control for printers?

16 Jan 2023

As all packaging printers and converters in today’s more volatile commercial market know, rising material costs are becoming a significant roadblock to growth. This becomes more apparent as the cost of living crisis expands across sectors and impacts every stage of the supply chain.

The message is clear; while the market continues to shift and respond to changing consumer demands in areas such as sustainability and volume, printers must protect their bottom line – which is where a repro partner such as Creation comes in.

Overall, the print market is becoming more cost sensitive as brand customers aim to restrict their own costs, which means printers can often end up having to absorb these rising costs. Inks, materials and consumables are all seeing price swells, but with an origination specialist in place to support printers and smarter repro choices available, new opportunities for cost control are unlocked – but what does this look like in practice?


Streamlining ink supplies

Ink inventory is one of the biggest cost sinks for printers. Often purchased in high volumes and stored until needed, this is exacerbated as businesses aim to stockpile inks before further price increases. However, inks have a shelf life of use, which means that even with the foresight to purchase at a lower cost, inventory can still burn through profit.

Creation, as a dedicated expert in prepress, can help printers to optimise and streamline their ink stores. This includes, crucially, reworking the typical purchase and storage process. With an unparalleled knowledge of ink behaviours and characteristics on press, Creation can help businesses to reduce overall ink stock. This of course can reduce costs directly, as well as further downstream by lessening the pressure on handling and storage.


Fixed Colour Palette printing

While spot colours have been a staple of packaging and label printing for years, they are no longer the most cost-effective approach to achieving brand colour standards. Brand customers are protective of their colours, which are tied to brand equity and reputation. However, with the technology available to today’s printing supply chain, they are not as essential as they have previously been.

Creation advocates for Fixed Colour Palette printing, which replaces the need for spot colours by using a fixed seven-colour gamut of CMYK/OGV inks, standard cyan, magenta, yellow and black (key), with the extension of orange, green and violet.

Alongside directly reducing costs in ink purchasing, the FCP approach to printing creates a more effective use of resources by giving printers more flexibility and versatility from their existing ink inventories. In addition, FCP printing reduces pressure in handling and storage as the same ink supplies are used consistently, in place of spot inks.


Water-washable plate technology

Can sustainability come with the added advantage of cost control? With Flenex FW water-washable flexo plates, supplied by Creation, it can!

Developed by global technology powerhouse Fujifilm, Flenex FW eliminates the need for harmful solvent washout in prepress, while boosting quality and precision. With significant benefits of traditional polymer plates, Flenex FW represents the future of sustainable flexographic print.

However, alongside its benefits in reducing the environmental impact of print, there are additional cost control benefits from removing solvents from prepress. This includes the initial costs of solvents, as well as enhanced efficiency from speed of makeready and boosted capacity.

Plus, Creation operates as a Flenex FW Centre of Excellence – printers from across the UK are invited to come and see the plate in action and witness the advantages in real-time.

As the need for tighter print cost control in print escalates, Creation is proud to lead the charge in helping budgets go further.

To find out more about Creation and its packaging and label prepress expertise, click here to contact our team today.

Contact us on +44 (0) 1327 312444  or
and we’ll be happy to help