Whether sold online or in brick-and-mortar stores, most non-virtual products are packaged in some form or another; and all packages, in turn, are hard-copy labeled. The global packaging industry is early in its adoption of color digital printing technology, according to industry research firm...
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Whether sold online or in brick-and-mortar stores, most non-virtual products are packaged in some form or another; and all packages, in turn, are hard-copy labeled. The global packaging industry is early in its adoption of color digital printing technology, according to industry research firm InfoTrends. The label segment leads all other packaging categories in its use of color digital presses, generating some $2 billion in gross sales of labels to print customers in 2011—and still leaving many times that revenue to conventional and flexographic presses.
The upcoming, biennial Labelexpo Americas show (September 11-13, see sidebar) offers a glimpse into the future of this young and dynamic market for color digital printing. MyPrintResource presents a sampling of what will be shown in Rosemont/Chicago, IL, in two month’s time:
WTO WerbeTechnik Rothstein GmbH, headquartered in Wiehl, Germany, is Europe's first company to install an EFI (Booth 6423) Jetrion 4900 for digital label production. The UV inkjet press brings print-and-cut capabilities to label convertors in a fully integrated narrow-web device that caters to shorter runs and greater levels of flexibility. This digital label production machine features CMYK and a highly opaque white ink, plus powerful laser cutting, resulting in a complete production line ideal for the lean manufacturing of high-quality durable labels on a wide variety of substrates.
WTO, a medium-sized printer, chose the Jetrion 4900 system because it is a completely integrated digital label solution that offers a high level of efficiency across the entire label production process. The firm also runs EFI VUTEk printers. Günther Hinzel, procurement manager, explained how the 4900 is opening up entirely new market opportunities for the company. “We can now handle complex, low-volume orders in different versions with no additional work,” he said. “This is also opening up whole new markets for us.” Hinzel referred to markets where identification tags are required with many different types of information. With the Jetrion 4900, the organization can fulfill customer requirements quickly and flexibly, on the fly, he noted.
For Sascha Rothstein, managing director at WTO, the benefits also are clear: “Doing away with the need for prepress stages and the option to intervene flexibly into production enables us to shorten our delivery times significantly,” he added.
WTO considers 3M another important partner. Its wide range of label materials, ideally suited for permanent identification applications, are resistant to all environmental influences.
Fujifilm North America (Booth 5621) has hybrid label producers covered with various products and services, including CTP engines, digital plates, high-tech mounting tapes, proofing, and color management to help digital printer match flexo output.
Label Traxx (Booth 6017) Tailored Solution is automated job management software for the label and converting industry. The suite includes modules for estimating, order processing, invoicing/accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger, job costing/data collection, stock products, quality control, and E-Traxx for e-business. Label Traxx runs on Macintosh or Windows computers, and provides label printers with a complete software package for managing business, streamlining communications and maximizing productivity.
OKI Data (Booth 1350) will display what it says is the future of commercial-grade printing: the proColor. This new generation of printers that will change the game in digital color output—delivering all the speed, accuracy and productivity of commercial-grade digital presses—without the commercial-grade price tag. From full-color labels, cut sheets, transfer media and embellished envelopes, they’re not just printers. They’re producers.