‘Project Blue’ launch at this year’s drupa

Roberts Mart gold EFIA Award for Mars’ Milky Way designA new flexographic, pre-press innovation is set to be revealed to the global print market during the upcoming drupa exhibition after successfully leading a printer to win significant work with a leading global brand, as well as take top accolades at the recent EFIA Awards.

Named ‘Project Blue’, it is the creation of UK pre-press firm, Reproflex 3, in partnership with anilox specialist, Sandon Global. Comprising a combination of processes creating unprecedented print results, Project Blue recently supported leading UK flexo printer, Roberts Mart, in taking double gold during the EFIA Awards in March for its reproduction of Mars’ Milky Way Hot Chocolate design.

Roberts Mart took gold in the categories ‘Use of Flexo for Brands’ and ‘Technical Innovation – Printer’, with the judges hailing the print result as “…a flawless, fixed palette four colour job with amazing colour vibrancy”.

Drupa partnership

The awards come as an exciting backdrop to the formal launch of Project Blue during drupa, and in a significant move, Reproflex 3 and Sandon Global now have an agreement with Windmöller and Hölsher (W&H) to be the official drupa print partner throughout the event.

The global press manufacturer will run Project Blue exclusively from its Lengerich facility, offering visitors the opportunity to see its launch. Both Sandon Global and W&H are also set to be present at drupa, revealing more about Project Blue to visitors.

Project Blue will also continue the ‘Packaging 4.0’ concept, originally defined by W&H, which last year demonstrated the kinds of possibilities Industry 4.0 (or the ‘fourth industrial revolution’) brings by connecting production lines and data streams in the manufacturing of packaging. For Project Blue, this means the digitising of packaging graphics that will have a vast range of implications across the packaging lifecycle, including production lines, retailers, recycling and consumer experiences.

To prove the Packaging 4.0 concept, Project Blue will demonstrate its capabilities during the event, as Reproflex 3 gets set to unveil a partnership with the world’s largest entertainment app, giving visitors the opportunity to engage live with the print straight from the press.

So significant are the results that Project Blue is producing, it is currently in the process of being fully patented, having been formally granted ‘Patent Pending’ status.

John Millington, managing director, Sandon Global, said: “The bespoke Anilox engraving we produce is critical to the performance of Project Blue, offering enhanced volume consistency.

“The extent of the quality of our product and its capability resulted in the company winning gold for the third consecutive year at the EFIA Awards in the category of ‘Supplier of the year.’ Working together in partnership with R3 has enabled us to combine our extensive and collective knowledge of the flexographic industry, culminating in this very exciting and challenging development.”