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ePac invests further $100M to Buy 24 HP Indigo 20000 Presses

Spotting trends early on can make fortunes and cause disuption to entrenched markets. Established only in 2016 by Jack Knott, ePac spotted the trend towards shorter run, fast-delivery flexible packs, particularly pouches. The business is growing at break-neck speed, primarily based on theHP Indigo 20000 760mm flexible packaging web press with attendant converting.

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ePac is less than three years old but is growing at triple-digit speed In North America and Europe

When digital printing is at 760mm wide on a roll - is it wide format printing? We think yes, but for a different application; flexible packaging pouches. ePac, the all-HP Indigo digital flexible packaging converter, will roll out a new wave of HP Indigo 20000 digital presses in 2020 to continue disruption of the global flexible packaging market.

A new incremental order of 24 HP Indigo 20000 presses is the largest packaging deal to date for HP. This nearly doubles production capacity for ePac, to expand within the next year from 28 presses in 12 locations to over 52 operating at 20 sites – including new locations opened in Canada and the UK. The investment is valued at over $100 million USD, including hardware, supplies and services over several years.

‘In every market we enter, we experience a similar reception. SMBs partner with us to help them grow into bigger brands, and as they grow, they see opportunities to rapidly bring new products to market and run more targeted promotions. Based on our success, we’ve decided to accelerate our business plan with an additional investment,’ said Jack Knott, CEO, ePac Flexible Packaging. ‘We have

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Jack Knott, CEO ePac

figured out how to drive the digital transformation within the flexible packaging market for short, medium and even longer strategic runs with this game-changing technology provided by HP Indigo.’

ePac taps into growing market for digital flexible packaging  
Founded in May 2016 as a greenfield business with one HP Indigo 20000 press, ePac has grown exponentially. A year ago, ePac signed for 20 additional presses that are now all deployed in the field. Since the beginning of 2019, ePac has more than doubled its customer base, with 75 percent placing repeat orders. Today, ePac serves over 5,000 customers.

‘The meteoric rise of ePac and its business model based on HP Indigo digital printing technology in just a few years is truly amazing,’ said Santi Morera, general manager and global head of Graphics Solutions Business, HP. ‘Thanks to the continued collaboration between HP and ePac, brands of all sizes can obtain high-quality, digitally printed flexible packaging in quick turnaround times, with low minimum orders, high variation and personalization options.’

ePac’s key markets include coffee, pet food, nutritional supplements, snacks, health and beauty, organic foods, cheese and dairy, and bakery products.

‘Our customers love the advantages of working with an eco-conscious, community-based packaging partner and the financial impact of fast time to market with the ability to order to demand,’ added Carl Joachim, ePac CMO.

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It's all about pouches for packs

Additional advantages of the 30in wide (76 cm) HP Indigo 20000 digital press are the 42-inch repeat and white ink options. At ePac, HP PrintOS is also an integral part of job flow, performing press performance uptime monitoring across their entire fleet of printers.

Jack Knott, ePac Flexible Packaging CEO, said: ‘ePac’s collaboration with HP Indigo is a huge success and we believe this can easily turn into a billion dollar business. Thanks to HP Indigo digital printing and our unique business model, our customers are benefitting from an improved experience, including completing orders within 10 business days – compared with six to 12 weeks for conventional printing – as well as reduced environmental impact and on-demand customization.’

It will be interesting to see if the ePac business model arrives in Australia/New Zealand.

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HP Indigo's 20000, 760mm digital web press is the enabling technology for ePac and others