As we look back on 2022 and reflect on our hopes for the new year ahead, one thing is clear – the changes bought about in 2022 will continue to shape the paperboard packaging and display industries and their supply chains into 2023.
Highcon ended 2022 very positively, recently announcing the strategic collaboration with Sealed Air Corp. The Global Packaging giant invested $8 million in Highcon, and purchased a Highcon Beam 2C system. As part of this agreement, Sealed Air will be entitled to receive warrants for Highcon’s shares for $20 million of purchasing of purchasing of Highcon products and services during the first three years. This strategic move extending digital finishing technology to new applications, will enable us to move further and faster. Strategic collaborations with major industry players remains part of Highcon’s go-to market strategy in 2023 and beyond.
Over the last 12 months, we also announced a host of new customer installations and success stories from around the world. Customers, both large and small, are adopting digital manufacturing to serve a diverse job basket in the most effective way. Highcon’s digital cutting and creasing systems enable converters to efficiently produce and supply packaging and display for leading consumer brands, as well as the agility to provide custom boxes ordered through dedicated e-commerce and web-to-pack sites in small to medium batch quantities.
One of the most significant points to note in 2022 is the repeat business we have seen from existing customers. By now we have customers that purchased their second, third, and fourth system, all in a relatively short period of time.
Last year, we partnered with various innovative companies including Tilia Labs, which introduced AI-software to our systems enabling dynamic ganging of jobs on the fly, moving from the speed of a single customer job to optimizing the throughput of the manufacturing line over a shift. We also launched HighConnect, our cloud-based performance reporting system for remote diagnostics and preventive maintenance. Both solutions support a digital manufacturing strategy, allowing our customers to drive production efficiencies, remove bottlenecks, and optimize production. With Highcon’s digital manufacturing process, you don’t need to worry about dies or minimum order quantities. Moreover, production is optimized for an entire shift rather than for individual jobs. The result is fewer setups/makereadies are needed while handling more diverse orders simultaneously.
We are incredibly proud of our customers’ work, too! This is despite the challenges of the global supply chain, human resource shortages, and the energy crisis that have slowed things down. There are too many customers to mention here, but we are seeing adaptable businesses, implementing Highcon digital finishing to meet new and changing demands for super-fast delivery times, small quantities, short-runs, and versioning.
Our customers are doing this so well, they are winning awards for sustainable and recyclable products, free from plastic. Sustainability will undoubtedly remain at the forefront of business decisions. Manufacturing on demand, internet of packs, right-sizing, agility, coupled with improved unpacking customer experience and eye-catching packaging and display design, are all integral parts of Highcon’s unique offerings. As companies continue to build sustainability roadmaps, announce carbon-neutral goals, and raise the importance of sustainability measures, we are well-positioned to support them.
Converters and brands are alert to the true value of a fully digital process, realizing that bottlenecks lie after the printing process. Highcon technology eliminates these bottlenecks, reduces lead times, and improves the overall supply chain by increasing productivity, and efficiency.
I’m sure 2023 will bring its challenges too, the most significant of these for Highcon being the possibility of postponed investment decisions due to the difficult business climate, the energy crisis and general economic weakness. To those who are hesitant, I would advise, it is time to do something different to enable you to better cope with the ever-changing market conditions and increased uncertainty. There is no better time to make such decisions and Highcon can certainly provide you with an edge in such market conditions. While there are challenges ahead, I am confident that we, as a team, will continue to deliver unparalleled service and support to our customers and to the industry.
Wishing you and your loved ones a successful and healthy 2023.