By Cassandra Balentine
Labels are a versatile application. Many smaller format devices offer low costs of entry, can open up new revenue streams for print providers, and offer a digital entryway for traditional label converters. Further, brand owners, retailers, and manufacturing plants may consider bringing the task in house for on demand and custom printing.
Depending on a label’s durability, color, and quality requirements, there are wide of entry-level label printers available on the market.
Label Round Up
Here we highlight entry-level digital label presses featuring speeds of up to 60 feet per minute (fpm).
Afinia Label’s full line of digital color label printers and finishers allow businesses total control over their label production for an accessible price. Among its products is the L901/L901 Plus Industrial Color Label Printer, which is built for inline integration and high-volume roll-to-roll production. It is designed to handle volumes between 10,000 to 100,000-plus labels a month, utilizes dye inks, features a maximum print width of 8.5 inches and roll diameter of ten inches. The printer is available for an MSRP of $11,995.
Allen Datagraph Systems manufactures digital label inkjet and LED toner printing systems as well as die-less label finishing systems. The company’s iTech CENTRA HS Digital Label Printer is a wide web, affordable printer that enables users to print custom, eye-catching labels quickly and easily. The CENTRA HS offers speeds of up to 30 fpm, print quality of 1,200×600 dpi, and widths of 8.5 to 12.5 inches.
Anytron’s Any-002 offers an on demand label printing for small/medium business owners. It is a solution for small business owners who want to print and die-cut labels in their office. It consists of a label printer equipped with rewinders and unwinder, software that supports various label printing functions, and a knife die-cutter that can die-cut labels.
Arrow Systems, Inc.’s Arrowjet Aqua 330R is a high-speed pigment inkjet label printer. It utilizes Memjet’s DuraFlex technology and water-based pigment ink to print 1,600×1,600 dpi and flexible packaging at speeds of up to 150 fpm. The ArrowJet 330r is offered with both offline and inline finishing options. Custom configurations are available for offline printers, as well as fully integrated analog or digital finishing.
AstroNova, Inc. designs, manufactures, distributes, and services a range of products that acquire, store, analyze, and present data in multiple formats. Its Product Identification segment offers a complete line-up of labeling hardware and supplies, allowing customers to mark, track, and enhance their products’ appearance. The segment is comprised of three business units, QuickLabel, which includes tabletop digital color label printers; TrojanLabel professional label presses; and GetLabels, a supplier of label materials, inks, toners, ribbons, and adhesives. Within its QuickLabel series, the new QL-120D label printer uses next-generation, high-performance pigment inks capable of producing durable BS5609 certified labels and labels that withstand a range of demanding environmental conditions from sterilization to cryogenic freezing. In the TrojanLabel segment, the T2-C is a high-capacity, color tabletop label press capable of delivering precision over long runs. The modular design and advanced control features of the T2-C enable interfacing with a range of automatic label applicators.
Brady’s BradyJet J5000 printer is an on demand inkjet solution for creating high-quality labels while reducing label supplies inventory and material waste. The printer is ideal for for labels with photos, graphics, illustrations, text, and linear and two-dimensional bar codes. At 4,800 dpi, it prints full-color labels in a single pass at speeds of up to six inches per second. A variety of label options include two- to eight-inch wide continuous and die-cut materials. The BradyJet J5000 is available at an MSRP of $3,995.
Colordyne offers a range of label printing solutions, including the entry-level benchtop label printer, the Colordyne 1800 Series. These label printers are ideal for first-time digital print users with in-house label and tag production. The 1800 series present affordable, full-color label printers using Memjet’s VersaPass printhead technology. Capable of print speeds of up to 60 fpm in normal mode and 30 fpm in premium mode, it offers a print quality of up to 1,600×1,600 dpi and a maximum print width of 8.5 inches.
Epson presents several label printers, including its ColorWorks C6000 Desktop Color Label Printers. Specifically designed as a color upgrade to B&W thermal transfer printers, the ColorWorks Series of inkjet printers deliver on demand, four- and eight-inch color labels. Engineered for mission-critical applications, the printers produce labels at up to five inches per second and feature up to 1,200 dpi resolution. The devices are built to accommodate remote printer management and offer seamless integration with existing workflows.
Formax offers the ColorMaxLP2 Digital Color Label Printer, designed to produce full-color labels at speeds of up to 60 fpm in a compact unit. Features include a large color touchscreen, enhanced print engine, and unwinder/rewinder system. The ColorMaxLP2 prints on variety of label sizes and stocks, including paper, polyester, polypropylene, and vinyl, with full-bleed capability up to 8.5 inches wide.
Gerber Technology’s GERBER EDGE production system includes the GERBER EDGE FX thermal transfer printer, Gerber OMEGA software, Gerber 15-inch sprocket plotters, materials and substrates, GerberColor foils, and Gerber service and support. The machine offers resolutions of 300, 600, or 1,200 dpi on material axis and 300 dpi on head axis. The production capacity offers base speeds of up to 60 inches per minute at 300 dpi.
Impression Technology Europe’s flagship label printer is the Compress LP4. With top speeds of up to of 9.14 meters per minute in a desktop printing package, the Compress LP4 LED dry toner label press offers optimized 600×1,200 dpi resolutions. It has the ability to print off-the-shelf uncoated and compatible media stocks in either pre-cut or continuous rolls. With LED Dry Toner print engine technology, the LP4 is a roll-to-roll printer with a 12-inch OD unwind and rewind capacity, 210 millimeter wide, four-color straight path, and an optical sensor for pre-cut and stripped labels.
iSys Label Printers are designed to deliver full-color labels with its APEX, EDGE, Prism, and Summit products. The Summit is a toner-based label press for short- to mid-run label production. It prints at speeds of up to 55 fpm, features full-color CMYK toners, and includes an output rewinder.
The MTEX NS ATOM⁺ is a high-speed desktop label printer built to industrial standards. It is well suited for small businesses, brands, print shops, and retails outlets looking for print on demand or just-in-time productions.
Muratec, a Konica Minolta company, offers both inkjet- and toner-based label printers. For example, the PLS-875i is a high-speed, high-volume solution well suited for production environments. The inkjet device features CMYK pigment-based inks in two-liter tanks, a web width of 3.18 to 9.5 inches, resolution of 1,600×1,600 dpi, and print speeds of 29.5 or 59 fpm.
The NeuraLabel Sirius is a full-color label printer with the added capability of printing white. The device handles any width media from one to five inches with lengths of up to 52 inches. It prints labels resistant to abrasion, saltwater immersion, and UV exposure. The toner-based systems offer print resolution of 1,200×1200 dpi and speeds of up to six inches per second.
Primera offers its LX-Series Color Label Printers. Print high-quality graphics, photos, and barcodes on matte, semi-gloss, high-gloss paper, polyester, and polypropylene label materials. Within the series is the LX2000 Color Label Printer, which handles volumes of up to 7,500 labels a day. It offers speeds of up to six inches per second and a width of up to 8.25 inches. The four-color printer features pigment ink cartridges and a pizza-wheel style cutter. The printer is available for an MSRP of $3,595.
Uninet recently introduced the IColor 700 LED toner-based digital label press for continuous roll-to-roll printing production. The device features full-color and optional white under print capabilities in one single pass. The IColor 700 is designed for in-house label printing; its unique low fuser temperature technology supports production printing on a broader range of standard and specialty label substrates including PET and vinyl. The UNINET IColor 700 is a print system that allows for production onto a variety of pre die-cut, kiss-cut, or uncut substrates. Users can efficiently print 20 or 2,000 labels in minutes, with a finished roll ready for immediate application, eliminating lengthy lead times.
Valloy Incorporation offers its BIZPRESS 13R. The CMYK press utilizes single pass, LED dry toner technology. It features a print speed of up to 7.26 meters per minute and 1,200×1,200 dpi resolution. The BIZPRESS 13R can print on substrates from 60 to 250 micron thick papers, PET, PP, PE, and PVC films, including Tyvek. An embedded high-voltage ionizer prevents static issues.
Small and Mighty
Many desktop and tabletop entry-level digital label printers are available. Capabilities range from basic output at slower speeds to production levels topping 60 fpm. Depending on your preference and specific needs, inkjet and toner solutions are on the market for this segment. Further, speciality features like white ink and integrated finishing are appealing. dps
Mar2021, DPS Magazine