News and Events


Digital Folding Carton Production Presents New Opportunities

By Cassandra Balentine, Editor-in-Chief of DPS Magazine

Packaging Professionals
Folding carton production is advancing with the latest digital printing technologies. Many market drivers make the ability to cost-effectively produce short runs of folding carton applications attractive to print providers, packaging converters, and brand managers.

One company well versed in these benefits is K-1 Packaging Group, a family owned and operated business in CA. The company started as K-1 Printing & Graphics in 1993. It employs a full-time staff of 130. Its two manufacturing facilities in Southern CA have a combined area of 180,000 square feet. The City of Industry, CA facility serves as the company’s administrative headquarters as well as the manufacturing site for folding cartons and litho mounted corrugated boxes. Its Pomona, CA facility is where pressure-sensitive labels, shrink sleeves, flexible packaging, and stand-up pouches are produced.

In addition to its U.S. manufacturing locations, K-1 Packaging Group operates a supply chain procurement center in Shenzhen, China. This was established in 2006 as an ancillary service to facilitate the procurement of materials and components for customers.

Packaging Evolution
At its beginning, the company produced envelopes, letterheads, and business cards with a small format offset duplicator. At this time, the company would take on bigger commercial printing projects, but outsourced them.

Recognizing the threat of digital technology in the late 1990s, the company made a strategic pivot into the packaging space by offering folding cartons. “The initial steps were tough because we were lacking in both financial means as well as technical knowledge,” admits Mike Tsai, president, K-1 Packaging Group. “It took a lot of grit and years of persistence to slowly get established in the packaging space.”

K-1 Packaging Group’s perseverance paid off. Over time, the company added more capabilities and products to its portfolio. Today its product offerings include folding cartons, litho-mounted corrugated boxes, pressure-sensitive labels, shrink sleeves, flexible packaging, as well as stand-up pouches.

These are produced using sheetfed offset printing, sheetfed digital printing, narrow web flexographic printing, narrow web digital printing, and a host of post-press and finishing capabilities.

Specifically, the company operates offset presses from Koenig & Bauer, flexographic presses from Mark Andy and Nilpeter, and digital narrow web presses from HP Indigo. It recently invested in a Landa S-10 printing platform. “Regardless of its make and the technology behind it, each piece of equipment serves a purpose and can produce certain work, which perhaps cannot be done as well or efficiently when produced on other equipment,” shares Tsai.

Nano Technology
The company started evaluating cutting-edge digital printing technology from Landa in 2017. The purchase commitment was made in 2019. The Landa S10 press was chosen to address the ever-increasing number of short-run folding carton jobs. “Landa’s speed and efficiency at producing back-to-back, short- to medium-run jobs from small sheet sizes up to the B1 format is its biggest advantage. The short makeready time, in conjunction with its rated speed of 6,500 sheets per hour, greatly enhances our daily throughput of short- to medium-run jobs.”

Tsai says the press has consistently demonstrated the ability to reproduce colors accurately on repeat works, something that is occasionally a struggle in offset printing.

The company continues to benefit from improvement in overall productivity brought about by the Landa. Shorter runs can now be produced more efficiently, freeing up offset presses to produce larger volume jobs. Another unexpected benefit is the press’ ability to match Pantone colors well. “We have eliminated the need for spot color inks which would otherwise be required if the job were printed on the offset press,” he shares.

The Landa prints on all common substrates it uses for folding carton production, including SBS, CCNB, and other specialty substrates. The inks used are proprietary, water-based Landa NanoInk.

The package printer recently completed a 185,000-piece run of folding cartons for an essential oil product. The production quantity was spread across 25 versions. While all the versions shared the same folding carton structure, each had a different graphic design and required different quantities. As a result, there were 25 separate eight-up press forms.

“We printed each press form successively one after another, with minimal pause in between. It is truly remarkable that we printed the entire job in just ten hours,” shares Tsai.

Improved Confidence
K-1 Packaging Group’s technical competencies along with the breadth of service, products, and capabilities rival that of much larger multi-plant companies. However, its responsiveness and agility are that of a smaller and more nimble organization.

Unlike many industry sectors and businesses that have been hard hit by restrictions brought on by the pandemic, K-1 Packaging Group actually experienced record sales in 2020. Frenzy buying after the national emergency announcement, along with sustained surge in demand for packaged food, personal care, and health products, all contributed to growth experienced in 2020.

“Having experienced the benefit of digital printing, first with the HP Indigo for production of pressure-sensitive label and flexible packaging, followed by the Landa for production of folding cartons, we are fully convinced that in years to come, digital technology will continue to gain relevancy and make an impact in the packaging industry, but at an even faster pace. As we expect K-1 Packaging Group to remain on its trajectory of fast growth over the next five years, we will be keenly evaluating additional digital technology in areas of printing as well as finishing to help us support this growth,” concludes Tsai.

HP Indigo

Challenge Accepted
The press did come with a learning curve. “The volume of technical knowledge our staff has had to acquire to gain proficiency on the press has been the greatest challenge we faced during implementation. Aside from the mechanical aspects of sheet feeding, transport, and delivery that shares commonality with sheetfed offsetting printing, all other functions are different and need to be learned from the ground up.”

Luckily, training for press and prepress personnel starts well before the installation with self-paced, web-based lessons across a multitude of topics. After installation, service engineers and instructors work intimately with the company to train staff on operation, maintenance, and troubleshooting.

“This on-site close support continues even after commencement of production. During this time, Landa’s service engineer in effect work as part of the press crew, contributing to the production of live jobs. Needless to say, the amount of support and resources that Landa has poured into this installation has been confidence inspiring,” offers Tsai.

High-Value Applications
The role of digital print in the folding carton production market is promising. As brands look for just-in-time manufacturing, heightened customization, and more SKUs, digital printing presses are poised to serve. However, it is essential to understand the limitations of your press and profit potential for this type of work.

For more about Digital Publishing Solutions Magazine, please visit their website at

Employees’ Health Prioritized Amid COVID-19 Spikes at K1 Packaging Group

With two stations being utilized at a time, testing is safe and efficient.

  Last March California made a huge shift to having people predominantly working from home due to the initial rise of COVID-19. Since then, work from home has become the new normal for most, but what about for those whose jobs cannot be done at home. What kind of adjustments could possibly be made to allow people to work onsite while prioritizing their health?

K1 Packaging Group made finding the answer to this question a priority in November and found part of their answer through the idea of consistent weekly COVID-19 rapid testing. As the holidays approached, K1 owners felt it would be the best move to test employees weekly and, after seeing how effective this was, extended the testing through February.

The times employees are given to line up for testing are intentionally staggered to help minimize the amount of contact employees have with each other. Once they reach the front of the line, they hand over the weekly paperwork they are given and go up to one of two tables to get swabbed for their rapid test. These swabs are then sealed and taken inside to be tested by the Rapid COVID Labs technicians. If it is discovered that an employee has tested positive, they are notified in private by Human Resources and asked to go home to quarantine so that the virus can be contained. Then, in the result of a positive test, K1 sends mass alert messages via text to all employees in order to disclose a COVID case has been identified at the workplace. 

Rapid testing allows Rapid COVID Labs technicians to give a location’s results within minutes.

 While testing is a great way to monitor the health of our employees, it cannot be successful as a sole means of prevention. K1 understands this and values the health of our employees which is why other active steps are taken daily such as requiring employees to wear masks, supplying sanitation products at every workstation, making sure all employees are spread out, and even implementing plexiglass dividers between stations in breakrooms. 

As COVID spikes continue to happen it is important for companies to stop and ask what their responsibility is, not just to their customers, but to their employees as well. K1 is proud to say they have considered their role and have taken the time to map out and implement their thoughtful response. 

Why Packaging Traceability is Critical for the Protection of Your Brand?

Protect Your Products and Customers Using Packaging Traceability

In a time where online shopping has become even more of the norm, companies must work thoroughly to provide an experience for customers that begins with an aesthetically pleasing package and ends with a reliable product. This means that products and the package they come in should take advantage of the benefits the digital world offers whether a person is shopping in retail or online. 

With the help of incredible team members like Landa Press Operator Adam Aguirre (left) and Landa Technician Nitsan Heffes (right), K1 is able to optimize the Landa S10 to provide creative and personalized packaging solutions.

Landa’s S10 Nanographic Printing Press is an innovative digital printing press that has allowed for advancements such as minimized waste and increased efficiency. K1’s Landa S10, which is the third installation in the U.S. and the first installation on the West Coast, has already made a significant difference in expanding how they help brands ensure their products are being sold through appropriate distribution channels.  

Recently there was a high-end skincare line that relied on K1’s Landa S10 and its unique features. A while back this quality cosmetics company noticed one of their products was being sold in an area they had not approved. They realized they needed their products to be traceable so that if this happened in the future they would know exactly where to look to address the issue.  

QR codes make verification easy and accessible.

This brought about the idea to assign each box a unique QR code, something only possible thanks to the Landa S10’s ability to quickly process digital data and print on the fly. With this serialization, if a box is being sold somewhere that it is not supposed to be, then brand owners can scan the product and see where it was last registered. This gives companies a starting point to go from so that they can find out where the error occurred and fix it quickly to eliminate the factors allowing for this misplacement.

This use of individual codes on a product is not only useful in ensuring products are sold appropriately for a brand to maintain their projected image, but it can also be applied to other areas of concern. If a product has been recalled it can be difficult to manage the situation quickly and precisely. However, with individual codes manufacturers can track down recalled items with less fumbling and guesswork. 

Another area that packaging traceability assists in is package authentication and preventing counterfeit. Counterfeiting can be detrimental to a company’s brand image and revenue, but beyond that a poorly replicated product can destroy the trust customers place in a brand. With QR codes a customer can simply scan the package their product comes in and when they are taken to the company’s website, any worries of counterfeit can be put at ease. These brands can also use the codes to their benefit by seeing the various locations along the distribution channel a product has been on its journey to the brand’s consumer. Serialization can help brands assure their customers that what they have bought is the real deal. 

In addition to providing reassurance, a code taking customers directly to any webpage a brand owner wants gives companies an amazing opportunity to engage consumers. The possibilities and freedom this gives a brand are practically limitless, whether it is advertising similar products or getting customers excited about upcoming events, companies get to control the consumer’s first impression after verifying their product. 

Regardless of how a customer decides to shop in these uncertain times, serialization and package traceability allow brand owners and consumers to rest easy with the knowledge that they can trust and enjoy what they have invested in.

K-1 Packaging Group newly Installed KBA Rapida 105

We are excited to run our first job on your newly installed KBA Rapida 105. This top of the line 8 color + coater UV press brings additional capacity and propels K-1 Packaging Group into an industry leader and printer of choice for innovative brands and Fortune 500 companies. Congratulations!


The K-1 Packaging Group


  We are the K-1 Packaging Group, our main objective is to add value to you’re product whatever it may be, by making it more presentable then it already was before you came to us.

  With years of experience we know by now exactly what a product may need, and what it does not. We know exactly what colors would stand out and would go perfect with the design and what colors just dont cut it. Our team of designers work hard to come up with designs that will catch the eye of just about any body walking by!

By choosing us as your packaging solution you are

– Assuring that your product will be presented in the best way possible

– Leaving your consumer product in the hands of the professionals

– Raising the chances your product will be sold faster

In the past we have dealt with many high profile clients that needed the best from us. With clients like these where much more is at stake, our full concentration is needed. Without a doubt we dont fail to be the number one packaging solution you can find, due to the fact that our team stops at nothing to provide our clients with innovative designs that capture the attention of an average consumer!


You can either give us a call or inquire online! Visit our about us page for more info!

Top Packaging Solution


For those products that deserve more then just you’re average presentation, you need the best of the best! As you’re top packaging solution we make you’re product look 10 times better then it looked before you came with us!

     Using the latest of technology, and the highest quality materials, our packaging group puts its full time and effort into making the best that we can make, because if it’s not going to be done right, why do it at all? The reason why such passion is put into our work is because we know that with things like this it’s those little details that count! Believe us when we tell you it counts! What if we told you that what stood in between the consumer purchasing you’re product, and the consumer just walking away from it was a simple thing such as presentation? As crazy as it may sound, it is true. When one is browsing through a shopping area looking for whatever they may need, they may not have the time to sit and read the description to see which is best, this is why many modern consumers go by looks. As awful as it sounds, the first thing they do is judge the book by its cover. If a product is poorly represented and shows no effort at all put into the presentation then the consumer will most likely believe that the product is also poorly made. Now you can avoid this by coming to the professionals and letting them take care of you’re product. Luckily we have a team full of innovative designers, and hard workers running our factories, so taking care of you’re product would be little to no problem for us!

    We have helped many big celebrities, and organizations get their products at that state where it no longer has to be sold, but it sells itself! Using the right colors that not only match you’re product, but compliments it! Made of the most durable of materials, you’re final product will not only catch the eye of the average consumer, but its designs will transcend through out time!


If you are interested in our professional services be sure to contact us either by calling 626.964.9384 or by inquiring online!

High End Packaging Group


We are a high end packaging group that has worked with many big celebrities, and organizations. We have a team of talented designers that can truly bring out the best of you’re product, using only the most durable material, we work hard to deliver high end results!

    Our products and capabilities vary, from structural design, to value added finishing. We take the extra time to actually perfect our craft, doing everything at our very own facilities, using the latest of technology, and best of materials, that way the quality of our work will be shown immediately. We also have manufacturing facilities that were precisely put in one of China’s busiest province! Even though our U.S  operation is similar, the China operation is at a much larger scale.

Our comprehensive manufacturing capabilities feature

  • Clear PET Boxes
  • Custom Rigid Boxes
  • Custom Folding Cartons
  • Custom Gift Bags or Boxes
  • Pressure Sensitive Labels

Keep in mind that with the amount of experience that we have acquired it is hard not to know already what one needs in order to make ones product stand out amongst others. We analyze you’re product, and create designs that go perfect with you’re product, and use only the colors compliment it! Going the extra mile to bring you something more then regular, not only because we love what we do, but because we believe that when it comes to things like this, those little details matter allot! Its those little things that make something go a long way, and transcend through out generations! So if you are looking for a high end packaging solution, look no further and come to the professionals!


You can either reach us through social media, through our website, or give us a call at 929-964-9384

K-1 Featured on

Robert Ruddell is a packaging solutions account executive at K1 Packaging Group, which serves clients in the food, cosmetic/personal care, and dietary supplements/nutraceuticals industries, including NeoCell. As the natural product market increases, Ruddell is seeing more food and natural beauty companies asking for high-end specialty packaging features like foil stamping, embossing and the application of specialty coatings. – See more at:
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