14 Sept 2005
New Dimensions(HKTDC Packaging, Vol 02,2005)
e-Best Digiprint Ltd
That's why e-Best Digiprint Ltd began applying advanced technology to provide innovative printing and packaging solutions for its customers.
The company, which had specialised in offset printing of brochures, cards, stickers and adhesive labels, diversified into 3-D lenticular printing that it believed offered more innovative options for consumer product manufacturers.
"With competition in the market becoming intense, manufacturers are actively looking for new gimmicks to attract consumers," marketing director John Ho maintains.
"Advanced 3-D lenticular technology has opened new horizons for consumer product manufacturers by enabling them to develop new and attractive packaging to lure even the most discerning buyers."
The 3-D printing technique developed last century has become very sophisticated after undergoing continual development over the years.
However, the entrepreneurial Ho, who has 15 years' experience in the printing industry, found that the quality of existing 3-D printing and packaging for many consumer products wasn't good enough.
His dedication to achieving 3-D printing excellence resulted in the establishment of e-Best's US$3.85m 3-D lenticular imaging production facilities in Hong Kong in 2000.
The plant was an integral element in a carefully conceived market development strategy that also saw e-Best cooperate with US partner National Graphics to produce high-quality materials for 3-D image printing.
Ho notes that National Graphics owns the Extreme Vision lenticular printing process - the most advanced in the US - that enables e-Best to provide a full-service turnkey lenticular solution.
"Three-dimensional lenticular packaging is able to present an attractive and outstanding identity that is the first thing people see when they catch sight of a product," Ho explains.
"Impressive packaging that immediately grabs consumers' attention ensures a product stands out among the large number of rival products in the market."
The company's 3-D lenticular printing technique, which is patent-protected in terms of material design, software programming and curved lenticular imaging technology for making cups and mugs, also supports thin lens design for labelling.
As a result, e-Best can provide one-stop shop services from raw materials and artwork design to printing for major clients such as gift suppliers worldwide, who are particularly keen buyers of the firm's 3-D puzzle.
Ho says the innovative printing technology is widely used in the packaging, labelling and promotional arenas. "Apart from its attractive look, which creates an illusion of depth, motion or other effects like changing faces or images, 3-D lenticular packaging provides added security," he says. "The advanced technology means the packaging cannot be copied easily, while the entry barrier for printing companies is very high, which also minimises the risk of copying."
The company is exploring the packaging market on the mainland, where e-Best is inviting leading consumer product manufacturers to cooperate in the development of gifts, new packaging and even tags for clothing or cartoon character products.
Ho says e-Best is also cooperating with famous brand names during brand development to widen its market presence.
"This is creating a win-win situation for us," he claims, noting that e-Best's technical know-how and manufacturing skills enable the same artwork to be used in a wide variety of product lines to maximise the cost-effectiveness of 3-D printing production.
Ho adds that e-Best is keen to integrate the sophisticated printing technology into everyday consumer products. "We are also exploring business opportunities arising from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, such as the production of stamps and promotional items."
Business is growing fast, and the company plans to open a 100,000-square-foot mainland factory in Dongguan in early 2006 that will employ some 500 workers.
The new factory will further expand capacity and lower the production costs of 3-D printing for consumer merchandise like packaging, puzzles, stationery and albums, while the Hong Kong factory will continue to provide technical support, says Ho.
As technology's relentless development revolutionises consumer product packaging, it is opening up exciting growth opportunities for visionary players like e-Best Digiprint.
WRITTEN BY VANAPA ONGVISES
e-Best Digiprint Ltd