Blue Capuch: Italian style packaging with Valiani Optima 160

Blue Capuch, a design and consulting agency on the outskirts of Manila, is today a real ambassador of Made In Italy in the Philippines. The skilful use of Valiani Optima 160 digital cutting technology and Fedrigoni cards has made it not only the benchmark for the country’s premium customers, but also an example and a stimulus for other Filipinos companies. Discover the story of Blue Capuch by reading the full article written by Italia Publishers, which you can find in issue 05_2022/46 of the magazine and which we report in its entirety below.

Published in Italia Publishers n. 05_2022/46

Blue Capuch is a real ambassador of “Italian style” packaging with the cut of Optima 160

Thanks to Valiani digital cutting technology, Fedrigoni cards, consultancy and training, the Philippine communications agency gains a premium clientele.

Like many countries in Southeast Asia, the Republic of the Philippines is not counted among the trendsetters in high-end packaging. However, the great commercial ferment of the country, and the growing affirmation of small and medium-sized independent producers, opens up new scenarios for customers, designers and converters of labels, boxes and materials for the shops.

It is in this dynamic scenario that we can frame the story of Blue Capuch, a design and consultancy agency on the outskirts of Manila which, in less than four years, becomes a point of reference, and an unusual ambassador of made-in-Italy.

The architects of the experiment are Jay Viray and Fei Ruanto, spouses in life and business partners, who in 2018 left their jobs at the Department of Science and Technology, the government agency responsible for creating policies and regulations in the main economic sectors of the Country.

After years in the packaging section of the department, the co-founders decide to make their skills available to small and medium-sized businesses. «We saw exporting companies fail in their packaging projects because they did not comply with national and international regulations,» explains Fei Ruanto, Co-founder of Blue Capuch. «So we decided to help them». In just a few years, Blue Capuch has hired nine collaborators, and has invested in digital printing and finishing technology for the creation of prototypes and small series.
In March 2022, the agency introduced a compact digital cutting and creasing system: Optima 160 by the Italian company Valiani.

The Optima 160 digital cutting system
A detail of the multitool head

From design to printing, from folding cardboard to corrugated

From the very first day of business, Blue Capuch counts among its customers small and medium-sized producers who share a lack of conformity in their primary, secondary and transport packaging, and the need to create safer food boxes and labels. To them, the Blue Capuch team offers consulting services, graphics, research and testing of new materials, structural design, prototyping and study of new solutions.

“Ours is a holistic approach, which goes beyond printing and die-cutting,” says Ruanto. «We like the idea of creating value for the customer, and disseminating information that makes the entire industry grow».

Soon, good advice, design and small manual processes are no longer enough. More and more customers are asking Blue Capuch for complex samples, pre-runs, and small batches for market tests. An extraordinary opportunity, but also a production challenge for a small agency unprepared to acquire and use industrial machinery, with limited space and economic resources. 

From an apparent criticality, comes the idea of building a micro factory capable of creating turnkey packaging projects, from design to printed and die-cut material.

The Blue Capuch team identifies machinery compatible with its budget, and presents a project to the Philippine government, which decides to finance it, on the condition that it adopts more widespread and affordable Asian technology. But this is not the dream of its founders.

«The behavior of buyers in these parts is not very oriented to quality,» explains Ruanto. “We knew we didn’t want to make poor products, and that our market was not that of Chinese machines and materials. So we fought to unmark ourselves ».

Blue Capuch asks and obtains to be able to purchase a Fuji Xerox sheetfed printer in SRA3 format, and an HP Latex 570 inkjet for large format. It also outsources volumes of books and catalogs to a print shop equipped with HP Indigo and Komori Enthrone presses.

On the finishing front, the couple are familiar with the European-made industrial cutting systems used by large paper converting companies, but struggle to find a compact and economical system of equal quality.

The turning point is the meeting with the local Valiani dealer, who shows them the characteristics and potential of Optima 160, and creates samples for them that prove to be decisive.

At the same time as Valiani’s choice, the agency’s designers research and test new papers and materials. In this context, Blue Capuch identifies the Italian paper mill Fedrigoni as the ideal partner to define unprecedented quality levels for many Filipino brand owners.

Beyond prototyping

In addition to the build quality, Blue Capuch chooses Optima 160, for its qualities of multifunctionality, precision and ease of use. Added to this are the reduced energy consumption, crucial for a company unable to connect an industrial electrical user.

Also in terms of overall dimensions, while boasting a 1,230×1,630 mm suction surface, the Valiani cutting system adapts to the small spaces of the agency. To complete the picture, a speed of 600 mm/s and an acceleration of 1 m / s2.

“We had chosen Optima for its precision in very fine cuts and creasing, but we were surprised by its productivity,” explains Ruanto. «It’s a real powerhouse, and all of our graphic designers learned how to use it right away


Optima 160, con le sue doti di multifunzionalità, precisione e facilità d’uso

Fei Ruanto
Co-founder of Blue Capuch

“With Valiani digital cutting and printing, and Fedrigoni papers, we educate new generations of designers to create qualitative and sustainable products”

Paper converting materials, cosmetic packaging die cut with Optima 160

Although Blue Capuch focuses primarily on the quality of its products, more and more customers ask the agency for small and medium quantities, which become more and more consistent as its reputation grows. In such a context, Valiani cutting technology is called upon to outdo itself.

“For months we have been printing and die-cutting internally all the runs up to 2,000 SRA3 sheets of flat cardboard, but we often reach 4 or even 5,000 sheets,” explains Ruanto. «Even without an automation for loading and unloading the sheets, with Optima 160 we can complete the processes in a few hours, without producing dies and without involving external suppliers».

Thanks to its flexibility and quick tool change, the system also allows the agency to process corrugated and honeycomb cardboard, expanded PVC, leather and imitation leather, fabric, and a thousand other materials to create packaging projects, promotional materials and exclusive multi-material displays.

Ready to grow, innovate and disseminate digital skills

Blue Capuch serves regular exporters of fresh foods and sauces, but also retailers and restaurant chains, for which it produces all kinds of take-away packaging, menus, signage, materials for events, sets. In addition to an attractive design, the agency offers all its customers advice and compliance with current hygiene and safety regulations. Furthermore, faithful to its mission of disseminating knowledge, the company has established collaborations with numerous schools and universities of design and multimedia communication. 

In this context, Blue Capuch makes its skills and technology available to students, helping them to make their work similar to commercial products in every way.

«With Valiani digital cutting and printing, and Fedrigoni papers, we educate new generations of designers to create qualitative and sustainable products», Ruanto explains. «We are not yet at the European level, but we want to be the frontliner of luxury packaging in the Philippines».

At the same time as its education and research projects, the company works closely with the Philippine government to make the products of domestic SMEs more competitive in foreign markets, and pursues plans for the growth of its production capacity.

«Since we have Optima 160 we are no longer designers, but real converters of labels and boxes», Ruanto concludes. “The visits from larger companies and from us, which come to see the Optima 160 in action, and sometimes buy it, show us that we are on the right track. But we are not jealous. We like the idea of raising awareness of others! «

Accustomed to innovating, Blue Capuch is exploring new fields of use of digital cutting technology, which include the creation of completely unique and personalized works of art on paper.

Paper converting materials, cosmetic packaging and corrugated cardboard containers die cut with Optima 160.

Discover Valiani Optima 160

Would you like to learn more about Valiani Optima, the cutting machine that helped Blue Capuch achieve these important results?