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||The benefits of digital label printing
Customisation is the number one key differentiator for many industries these days. Manufacturers are taking advantage of new technologies to deliver short-run products to customers and, even in mass-produced items, the right label can tell an entire story about a product.
Labels are the physical representation of a brand; they tell consumers everything they need to know about the product, and they differentiate the product even in a crowded market. Some of the world’s most successful brands are recognisable by their labels alone. This highlights the crucial importance of getting labels right.
Some labels need to quickly send a brand message or differentiate a product. Others need to convey a large amount of information in a relatively small space. All labels need to be high quality and reliable. Most importantly, they need to make the product stand out on the shelf and create a connection with the consumer. This can be achieved with decorative effects like spot UV and foiling which can now like labels, be done digitally
As well as having a standout design, label printing needs to be high quality. Barcodes need to be crisp and clear, text needs to remain legible, and images and colours need to be reproduced accurately.
Whether you’re printing labels for a local cottage industry or a global chemical manufacturer, these requirements remain the same.
Digital Label Printer is growing
Like almost everything else in the world, label printing has gone digital. The huge and growing demand for labels has meant that traditional label printing methods simply can’t keep up with demand.
Digital label presses account for close to 30 per cent of all narrow-web press installations worldwide and are forecast to make up close to 40 per cent or more of installations. And, digitally printed labels make up close to one-fifth of all print jobs by value.
Digital label printing offers clear benefits
Digital label presses offer nine key benefits over analogue printing methods:
Seamless workflow that minimises errors and speeds up processing times.
Lower costs by eliminating the need for plates, chemicals, and related processes.
Improved supply chain efficiencies and reduced need to store labels due to just-in-time production.
Flexibility to produce customised labels, variations, and promotional labels.
Improved environmental sustainability due to less waste and no chemicals.
Ability to incorporate security features such as microtext, anti-copy features, and more.
Track and trace capabilities by producing sequentially numbered or coded labels.
Ability to offer shorter run lengths and flexible delivery times.
Ability to attract new customers and enter new markets.
What to look for in a digital label printer
It’s important to choose a digital label printer that lives up to your business’s quality credentials. If your digitally printed labels look low-quality or can’t match the vibrancy of analogue-printed labels, then your customers will soon go elsewhere.
The equipment you use will make all the difference. To offer UV Digital Label Printer, you’ll need to have both the hardware and the software in place. Here are eight things to look for when choosing the right solution for your business:
Variable speeds to match the media used.
Fast, accurate colour adjustments.
High performance for all media types.
Intuitive operation using on-screen instructions.
Versatility such as ability to overprint on pre-printed media and food grade toner for indirect packaging.
Fast operation for quicker job completion.
Continuous, high-quality print runs without the need for recalibration.
Accurate print registration.
How digital solutions can help you leverage existing investments
Investing in water based digital label printer requires careful consideration so you can achieve a strong return on investment. However, it’s not necessarily just about replacing analogue printing presses with digital ones. Adding a digital solution to your fleet can help you reinvigorate your analogue presses, keeping them busy with long-run jobs while your digital presses take care of customised jobs and short-run projects.
Digital label printing provides commercial printers with opportunities to enter new markets and attract new customers. The flexibility and quality of digital printing, as well as the new technology that can be incorporated into digitally printed labels, opens a whole new revenue stream for label printers.
Konica Minolta’s digital book printer solution incorporates market-leading hardware and software, as well as exceptional service by experienced specialist staff. To find out how you can add digital label printing to your offering and boost your business, contact us today.
Digital printing has transformed label production over the last decade, but at BOBST, we believe that we are at the tipping point of another new chapter.
The labels sector has been a pioneer for digital printing, and digital technology is now widely utilized and accepted. According to analysts, more than 30% of labels were produced digitally in 2020. Converters value the lack of plates and minimal set-up. At the same time, they face the question that has always followed digital print production – does it really measure up to the quality of conventional flexo? Is digital only really suitable for short runs?
The conventional viewpoint is that flexo is best for high volume and/or high complexity and digital presses are suitable for short runs with 4 colors. Up until now, this has been generally true, but this is changing as digital technology continues to progress.
To help assess just how far digital printing has progressed, we performed a practical real live test using the Mouvent LB702-UV equipped with 6 colors and white.
In a single 8-hour shift with just 1 operator, it fulfilled a total of 21 separated jobs using 4 to 6 colors (some with white ink) on 4 different substrates (PP, PPE, transparent and metallized). You can see full details of the jobs in a summary at the end of the article.
In total, 13 2,000-meter rolls were used, totaling 26 kilometers of substrates and delivering nearly 1.3 million labels.
See for yourself in the short video below.
Like most small and medium-sized enterprises, Singapore-based printing company iSuccess is always looking for new ways to streamline business operations, improve customer service and expand into new market segments.
However, the firm which was established in 2000 and counts corporate organisations, advertising agencies, restaurants and schools as clients, had been held back by its focus on printing digital labels in sheets, rather than rolls as preferred by a growing number of customers.
“It was a challenge to switch to continuous inkjet printing in roll form,” says Ng Swee Leong, director of iSuccess. “We couldn’t do it due to our inexperience with producing labels in rolls.”
Additionally, iSuccess had to grapple with laborious tasks, such as die-cutting labels that had been printed with other press machines. “It was not only time- consuming especially when there was a large number of sheets to be die-cut, but also labour intensive as we needed to peel off excess stickers to reveal only the die-cut labels.”
These challenges had impeded iSuccess’s ability to compete in a marketplace where customers increasingly demand high quality labels to be printed within shorter time frames. Outsourcing production was not a feasible option either, as that would mean losing control over production timelines, Ng says.
That changed when iSuccess decided to purchase the Epson SurePress L-4033AW Digital Label Press, a short- run digital label printer that is easy to operate and makes short-run printing a breeze, enabling iSuccess to achieve higher productivity and profitability.
“During the pre-sale process, Epson gave us a good impression of the machine, including its print quality and support we would get,” Ng says. “And during installation and post-sale support, the Epson team had demonstrated the printer’s efficiency.”
Much of the SurePress L-4033AW’s production efficiency is attributed to the ease with which laser printer in roll form can be undertaken without the need for skilled operators. That was a boon for iSuccess’s production staff who could get up and running quickly after some guidance.
The Epson SurePress L-4033AW Digital Label Press is easy to operate and makes short-run printing a breeze (above). The printer has a six-colour, industrial-quality, water-based ink set that produces a remarkable range of colours for professional and consistent results (right).
Because the SurePress L-4033AW supports a wide range of label media that can be used for printing stickers, banners and posters, among other product and marketing materials, iSuccess now uses it to print labels that are not supported by its existing digital press.
“Also, when there is a job where the quantity or die-cut requirements are not suited for sheet printing, we will use the SurePress L-4033AW to fulfil the order,” Ng says.
More importantly, iSuccess has slashed the time required for printing and die-cutting. In a recent project, the company was able to print 50,000 labels within a day for Asus. “We also printed 5,500 labels for the Tunglok restaurant group within three hours upon receiving the order. Without the Epson printer, we wouldn’t be able to fulfil such orders.”
Like most Epson printers, the SurePress L-4033AW features the acclaimed MicroPiezo inkjet technology to create output with smooth gradations and incredible colour quality.
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