by DPS Magazine staff
From entry-level solutions through high-end production, digital label systems are available. These presses are distinguishable by the type of technology utilized—inkjet versus toner and the run lengths they support.
Here we highlight several digital label system options as well as features of interest to the market today. For an in-depth article and discussion on digital label systems, check out our feature article and webinar on the topic.
As part of the oneLABEL portfolio, Bobst offers the LB701-UV and LB702-UV inkjet presses and MASTER DM5 All-in-One. Dean Haertel, business director, oneLABEL portfolio, Bobst, points out that its All-Inline press offers industrial productivity due to its high-speed, high scuff resistance, and durability with UV ink, high opacity white, vibrant colors, ease-of-use, and low maintenance.
The MASTER DM5 All-in-One, all-inline label press combines the strengths of BOBST’s flexographic and inkjet technologies into one flexible workflow where priming, printing, embellishment, and cutting are done in a single pass with only one operator. The seamless integration between digital and flexographic, coupled with the highest level of automation, print quality of 1,200×1,200 dpi, and the digital printing speed of 100 meters per minute (mpm), guarantees a high level of productivity and profitability.
The Mouvent LB702-UV inkjet label press prints at speeds of up to 100 mpm, producing up to 200,000 square meters (sqm) every month in one daily shift of eight hours, with one operator. Its six colors deliver a wide color gamut using BOBST oneECG—Extended Color Gamut—technology, without slowing down. White can be added as an option to print 70 percent opacity at 45 mpm.
“As the best entry-level option into inkjet, the LB701-UV label press can reach up to 75,000 sqm of labels per month at 70 mpm. Printing in four to six colors in a resolution of 1,200 dpi, the press is designed for fast and frequent changeovers, while the short web path reduces set-up times and waste for better sustainability in the process,” says Haertel.
Haertel adds that BOBST UV inkjet label presses are leading the industry with speeds of up to 100 mpm, enabling converters to optimize their production floor by comfortably addressing short to medium and medium to long run lengths. In particular, they help close the gap between digital and flexographic by absorbing run lengths between 1,000 to 8,000 linear meters.
Dantex Group provides Digital LED UV Inkjet Label Presses with modular inline finishing options.
“The advantages of UV inkjet are that UV inks are inherently scuff, scratch, water, and chemical resistant and have a high level of lightfastness,” says Joseph Sanchez, digital business development manager, Dantex Group – USA.
Further, he says UV Inks are more compatible with standard substrates with no need for special coatings or primers. “Contactless printing simplifies maintenance and reduces costs while allowing a variety of media widths to pass through the printheads,” he adds.
Dantex Pico Digital presses range from 25, 50, and 75 mpm.
The Epson SurePress L-6534VW digital press uses proprietary Epson PrecisionCore inkjet printheads in a line array, with Epson-manufactured UV-curable inks. PrecisionCore are Thin-Film Piezo (TFP) printheads manufactured by Epson using Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS) technology.
According to Victor Gomez, director, industrial label products, Epson America, Inc., Epson is one of the few vertically integrated digital label press manufacturers, which has clear advantages to SurePress owners. Since Epson is responsible for the end-to-end production of its printers and their critical components—including printheads and ink formulations—it exercises more control over the supply chain. Customers can quickly, easily, and cost-effectively access consumables or replacement parts. Quality control in a vertically integrated process is also stronger and simpler to implement, translating to increased customer trust in a dependable product.
The SurePress L-6534VW UV inkjet press prints at 50 mpm. Gomez says it’s typically placed in label converters who add the capabilities of digital to their existing conventional lines. “We also see them deployed at specialty printers for stickers, product decoration, and other applications.”
Valloy Inc. targets the middle-end market and its BIZPRESS13R laser printer runs at 7.3 mpm and its TOPAZET UV13R inkjet printer runs at three to five mpm. “These printers are replacing letter press stamping machines, not high-speed rotary machines,” explains Juan Kim, CEO, Valloy Incorporation.
Features in Focus
Today’s digital label systems offer integrated options like embellishment and vision/inspection.
The Epson SurePress L-6534VW UV digital inkjet label press offers options for inline inspection systems at different price points. “They help minimize waste in label print production by detecting any deviation from the norm—from spots, substrate damage, and color changes to missing nozzles. They can also be configured to verify variable data like barcodes and sequential numbers. This can be critical for compliance reasons for applications in highly regulated segments like pharmaceutical or cannabis packaging,” says Gomez.
Embellishment continues to gain interest.
Haertel notes that by adding embellishments, such as foiling and tactile effects, the label greatly increases the shelf appeal and perceived value of the product itself. “We are seeing high demand for all types of embellishment technologies, particularly in the high-end drinks sector and luxury cosmetics, as brand owners strive to catch the consumers’ attention.”
The Dantex Pico system has a variety of embellishments available as both part of the press or with its inline finishing units.
The Epson SurePress L-6534VW UV digital inkjet label press offers digital varnish with the standard press configuration. “Varnish is well known to label and packaging designers because it immediately draws the eye to the most important part of a label. It enhances consumer experience through strengthening the label’s focal point, providing contrast for visual interest, and heightening the sensory experience. Varnish makes a brand owner’s product jump off the shelf. But while varnish embellishment has been available for decades on conventional presses, only digital can offer cost-effective short-run labels with varnish effects,” says Gomez.
The BOBST MASTER DM5 All-in-One, All-Inline label press can be equipped with all available embellishment solutions available on its M5 flexographic lines, including foiling, embossing, tactile effects, spot varnishing and lamination, and die cutting to produce fully finished labels in one pass. “The benefit of the highly modular design is that it can be tailored precisely to customer requirements and upgraded on site later if requirements change over time,” offers Haertel.
The Valloy TOPAZET UV 13R allows metallic color printing and layered printing. “That means you can get gold or silver colors and spot varnishing or textured effect,” shares Kim.
Digital label systems offer flexibility and versatility. A wide range of systems support everything from small shops and businesses to commercial and production settings.
Mar2022, DPS Magazine