EFI has announced that Graphic Label Solutions (GLS), a WBENC Certified Diversity Supplier headquartered in Columbia, TN, has become the first company in the United States to install EFI's Jetrion 4950LX LED inkjet narrow web press.
The newly installed technology has completely transformed GLS, as the label converting company has sold off its previous production equipment - including a narrow web flexographic press, a screen printing press and a roll-to-roll, solvent inkjet printer - replacing it all with the new, 13.5-inch wide press from EFI.
The purchase reflects the continual, strategic steps GLS takes to refine both its market position and the strategic advantage it offers to clients. Last year, GLS's progressive approach earned the U.S. Small Business Administration's HUBZone Company of the Year award for the State of Tennessee. Now, GLS is fully engaged on its next significant initiative, ramping up sustainability efforts to meet corporations' growing need for greener, environmentally friendly supply chains. The Jetrion 4950LX press, which uses much less energy than other analog or digital narrow web printing methods, is key to GLS's environmental offering.
Sustainability makes good business sense with LED
"The brands we work with are all setting goals for sustainability, and they want suppliers who share that commitment," according to GLS's founder and president, Deb Warner. "When I first saw EFI Jetrion UV-inkjet technology a few years ago, I knew it would help us offer high quality while reducing waste. LED was the missing piece I needed to really address what our clients are looking for from a sustainability perspective."
GLS's new Jetrion 4950LX LED press extends the versatile capabilities of EFI's digital label printing systems, and gives users the ability to produce more primary applications with higher image quality. The press can also reproduce smaller type all the way down to 2-point text, which allows for creativity in the security market.
"The Jetrion 4950LX not only offers a small environmental footprint, it has an excellent white ink and, at 720x720 dpi, it produces very crisp text and images, and allows us to run an unlimited number of colors," said Warner.
EFI's industry-leading "cool cure" LED UV-inkjet curing technology gives GLS the ability to run thin and challenging stocks ranging from 0.5 mil to 30+ mil thick. The press also reduces costs with lower energy usage and LED's significantly longer lamp life compared to traditional UV-curing lamps.
The Jetrion 4950LX LED press prints on the same substrates GLS used on conventional equipment, providing a level of flexibility that Warner can use to expand offerings in multiple new markets, with a major focus on sustainably managed, "cradle to cradle" applications.
GLS is currently developing attractive, innovative and sustainable products with its Jetrion press, including a point-of-purchase "shelf talker" tag printed on a completely biodegradable, paper-like substrate made of stone. GLS is also using the press to develop new UL- and cUL-approved OEM labels and decals. The Jetrion 4950LX press is the first Jetrion product compatible with a full range of flexible packaging and shrink sleeves substrates, which opens the door to still more new applications at GLS.
GLS's digital converting operation now offers lower manufacturing costs and exceptional quality, using EFI's proven inkjet imaging technology and the modular equipment installed on the press, including in-line flexo varnish and lamination, slitting and laser die-cutting systems. GLS's press also has on-board video inspection technology from another supplier that checks for variances in color or registration.
The press's laser die-cutting system eliminates the costs for traditional dies, which will offer substantial savings for customers. Removing the waste associated with die-cutting make-ready processes also is compatible with GLS's sustainability efforts.
"The benefits and features of our newest press model are a game changer in narrow web printing, creating a unique opportunity for lean manufacturing of short- and medium-run labels," said Stephen Emery, vice president of EFI's Jetrion and ink business operations. "As the very first EFI Jetrion 4950LX user in the country, GLS is establishing a competitive advantage for itself with LED while showing how the label and packaging industry can continue evolving along a sustainable path."