Online Exclusives

CL&D Digital takes a total packaging focus

June 18, 2010

Assisting customers with package engineering "makes everyone a winner."

Bob Scherer, vice president and partner of CL&D Digital, is a high energy guy – what Chinese astrologers would call one of the "tiger people." Tiger people, says Scherer, "arehardworking and dynamic – and always in a hurry to get things done right." He sees the company, based in Hartland, WI, USA, through the same lens. It's a digital label manufacturing business at the core, but since its launch in 1995 it has always been more. Today CL&D Digital has enhanced the functionality of its website, and has introduced a blog to provide knowledge and information to its customers and followers in a style a bit more social than might be found in a formal business meeting.

CL&D Digital's blog, Tiger Talk, highlights news in new product packaging and labeling for product launches and market tests, shares thoughts on internal systems and processes, provides insights on innovation and HP happenings (the company prints using HP Indigo 4500 digital label presses), and divulges other "tiger tidbits" of information to help educate viewers and subscribers on the benefits of digital package printing.

The blog can also be accessed from CL&D's improved website, with user-friendly changes that include a simpler main navigational menu and consolidated pages. Internal linking and keyword-rich content has been added to enhance existing solutions pages. New service offering content like rigid material rapid prototyping, which leverages several of the latest manufacturing technologies for modeling and prototyping of bottles and containers, is also now available.

"Tiger Talk is part of a dialog, one of many ways to talk with customers," Scherer says. "It's more on the friendly side, a social media outlet. It gives us a more intimate way of sharing with our customers."

In a recent blog post, Scherer explains the company's focus on ideation. "Just a few years ago, CL&D Digital was known as a digital printer. Now we're getting more and more involved with the packaging process – upfront – and customers are turning to us for a wider array of solutions, including fulfillment, sales kits, and now ideation.

"Ideation is packaging concepting – starting from a sketch, moving to die line, to a white sample (no printing on packaging). It's more of the engineering aspect of packaging. And even customers with internal design and engineering resources like having outsourced options to essentially expedite projects, when confronted with the all-too-often challenge of internal time and money constraints.

Taking a project from early ideation all the way through handing off the die line to a customer's production printer – and in between doing sales samples – makes everyone a winner."

Citing an example, Scherer says that CL&D Digital can be "more effective if we showed customers what we can do so, we took golf balls and said, 'How can we repackage these – and in how many different ways?' "

In addition to digital printing and packaging dry goods – including food, candy, coffee, sundries, and personal care items – CL&D Digital has the capability of overseeing the packaging of refrigerated foods in a constant 38° F temperature warehouse, or frozen foods in 0° F temperature warehouse, both within over 600,000 cubic feet of space certified by the American Sanitation Institute for food contact packaging and non-food contact packaging.