Tech guide: Digital label presses

EFI JETRION 4950LX LED

EFI has expanded its Jetrion range of digital label presses with the introduction of the Jetrion 4950LX LED. The company claims this new press can produce more primary applications with improved image quality, finer text and higher speeds.

However, its most important feature, says EFI, is the introduction of the company’s first-in-class LED curing technology. By incorporating LED curing into the Jetrion 4950LX customers can now use heat-sensitive and specialty substrates, increasing the versatility of this machine for the production of flexible packing and shrink sleeves.

Depending on its application the Jetrion 4950LX can achieve output speeds of 48mpm and features maximum web widths of 350mm and imaging width up to 330mm.

The 4950LX is one of the few fully digital end-to-end label production solutions on the market. Inline laser die-cutting, slitting and back-scoring takes jobs from print file directly to a finished roll without any additional equipment, ensuring the lowest cost per label.

EFI says its LED curing technology is also a green solution, saving printers money by reducing consumable waste and energy consumption, and provides higher uptime with greater reliability because it does not use heat in the process.

The printer’s modular design makes it possible to add modules such as sheeting and lamination. The 4950LX is driven by EFI’s Fiery digital front end, which EFI says provides high performance and colour management.

Unlike other digital presses EFI’s Jetrion digital label press range operates on a low-cost model versus a conventional click-charge model, meaning users only pay for the ink they use.

EFI offers service, training and technical support, which can be online or onsite. The support plans include phone and online help as well as onsite technicians.

 

SPECS AT A GLANCE:

Max print speed: 34mpm full resolution, 48mpm in 720 x 360 mode

Print resolution: 720 x 720

Max web width: 350mm

Imaging width: up to 330mm

Ink type: Jetrion 4950 LED inks

Number of colours: 4 (CMYK), optional white channel

Upgrade options: laser die cutting, varnish and lamination, full featured finishing

Substrate options: paper, films, foil, tag, specialty, shrink and heat sensitive films

 

 

 

 EPSON SUREPRESS L-40033A

Epson’s SurePress L-40033A inkjet digital label press is designed to produce high-quality, short-run label jobs more efficiently.

The SurePress L-40033A is capable of accurate colour reproduction for meeting testing colour matching challenges, and is capable of printing on a wide range of standard labels stocks using Epson’s aqueous six-colour ink set. The company says it is an ideal platform for label converters.

The SurePress L-40033A uses Epson’s Micro Piezo head technology to offer 720 x 1,440dpi print resolution alongside its variable droplet capability to apply ink in a uniform manner for smooth gradations and high image quality.

As with all of its printers Epson places particular emphasis on saving the environment. The SurePress L-40033A uses water-based, resin-coated pigments developed by Epson, so SurePress users no longer need to press coat or pre-treat stocks before going to press. As a bonus, both the SurePress L-4033A and the SurePress AQ inks are compliant with EU Directive RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substance).

As a market leader in digital label presses for many years, Epson and its sales partners can provide SurePress L-40033A users with tailored technical support and customer service contracts to meet their specific requirements.

With a digital label solution starting at less than $200,000 the Epson SurePress L-40033A offers an opportunity for label converters to work profitably in high quality label printing.

 

SPECS AT A GLANCE:

Print head: Epson MicroPiezo inkjet

Max resolution: 720 x 720dpi (paper), 1,440 x 720dpi (film)

Ink system: Epson SurePress AQ resin coated, pigment based aqueous

Colours: CMYK + Mk + Gr + Or

Max print speed: up to 5m per minute (on paper)

Max web width: 330.2mm

Media support: Standard self-adhesive label stock and film (no pre-coating required), semi-gloss, gloss and matte paper stock, BOPP, PET and Yupo

 

 

HP INDIGO WS6600

At drupa, HP Indigo showcased its narrow web technology solutions, including the HP Indigo ws6600 digital press, capable of printing more than 40 linear metres per minute in full colour using HP’s new Enhanced Productivity Mode (EPM), now standard on all label and packaging HP Indigo presses.

Features on the HP Indigo ws6600 include an updated digital front-end from EskoArtwork, an improved white ink with increased opacity, increased automation and uptime.

There are also new converting solutions from AB Graphics International, such as an in-mould label cutting module and more automated functionality such as automatic knife positioning and flexible die loading/throw-off for faster set up and ease of use.

Mark Daws, HP industrial labels and packaging sales manager for Currie Group, says, “The HP Indigo ws6600 automates press processes and integrates inline optional components for both priming and finishing. Higher crossovers between digital and conventional runs mean HP Indigo presses offer our users a cost effective solution for label and packaging applications.”

HP Indigo presses can achieve Pantone licensed seven-colour process, as well as licensed spot-colour printing.

The ws6600 prints at between 30 and 60 metres per minute, and is compatible with a broad range of substrates from 12 micron filmic substrates, shrink sleeve and self-adhesive label media to 450 micron material for the folding carton market.

Daws says, “It also offers a total cost of ownership advantage, with production capabilities of more than 300,000 linear metres per month. At drupa, HP showed the press with a flexible packaging rewinder option and configured to run inline with an ABG Digicon converting line customised to suit labels, flexible and folding carton applications.” 

 

SPECS AT A GLANCE:

Web width: 200-340mm

Print speed: up to 30m/min in 4C

Image resolution: 812 x 1,219dpi at 8-bit, 2,438 x 2,438dpi in HDI

Line screens: 144 (sequin); 175, 180lpi

Image format: 317 x 980mm max

Substrate thickness: 12-450 microns

Substrate type: pressure sensitive labels, paperboard, unsupported films

 

 

PRIMERA CX1200

DIGITAL LABEL FACTORY

The Primera CX1200 digital press offers printers high quality digital print with low set up times on most label and tag stocks. The toners used in the CX1200 are capable of high UV resistance, light fastness and durability.

Quality wine label stocks such as Avery Estate 8 and Raflatac Bagesse can be printed on the Primera CX1200, and are excellent for short run, high quality wine labels. No pre-treating or coating of the materials is required so cost effective matte and gloss paper stocks can be used to produce economical labels.

By standardising on 216mm wide media the Primera CX1200 can maximise productivity by printing many rows of labels across the substrate. For precise colour control Pantone approved colour support is included. Additional profiles for various substrates are available.

The environmental advantage of digital print production is that no printing plates are required and there is much less set up waste than with conventional printing.

The CX1200 works best in conjunction with the Primera FX1200 digital laminating and cutting machine.

Label Power will install and train on the operation of this machinery anywhere in Australia. Maintenance is simple, as there is no purging or flushing of inks required.

Finance is available, and the price of a full installation of CX1200 and FX1200, depending on options, is between $60,000 and $70,000 + GST.

 

SPECS AT A GLANCE:

Print method: Colour laser

Resolution: 1200 x 1200dpi, 4,800 colour quality (1200 x 600dpi)

Inks: CMYK

Max print speed: 5m/min

Media width: 216mm

Print width: 203mm

Print length: up to 610mm

Substrates: self-adhesive label stock and approved films

 

 

RAPID XL220

Australian manufacturer Rapid X Digital expanded its range earlier this year with the Rapid XL220 all-in-one model. The engine is based on the same Memjet 1600 x 1600dpi unit used in the Rapid X1 and X2, but the XL220 offers the integration of unwind, print, die-cut, laminate, matrix strip and rewind of a maximum 220mm web of self-adhesive and other label stocks.

Building on Rapid’s long history of making well engineered converting equipment, the XL220 can also include modules that add flexo coating (flood or spot) and hot-foiling for embellishment.

“We believe we have filled a niche in the label press market between low end, low productivity digital presses and the higher end of digital, where prices start from around $250,000 and go up to more than $1m,” says Rapid’s general manager, Nick Mansell.

“The basic XL220 with die-cutting and lamination costs less than $100,000, yet

runs at up to 18 linear metres per minute. The cost-per-label is low thanks to the low usage of inks, courtesy of Memjet’s ultra-fine 1.2 picolitre droplet size.”

Australian customers for the XL220 and other Rapid equipment know that phone support, parts manufacture and onsite service is all local, and further R&D will add versatility to the XL220’s capabilities.

“We have recently added 3D manufacturing to our workshop,” says Mansell, “and this is already proving a huge time saver for prototyping, parts manufacturing and experimentation. Although a substantial portion of what we make is exported, we take special care of Australian customers.

“The XL220 is perfect for high volume label producers being asked for short runs and for short run producers moving into longer runs. It is also a great machine for offset and digital printers entering the label market, or moving labels printed on wide format machines to a more efficient platform that finishes them properly.”

 

SPECS AT A GLANCE:

Max web width: 220mm

Max print speed: up to 18m/min

Droplet size: 1.2 picolitres

Options: unwind, print, die-cut, laminate, matrix strip and rewind, flexo coating, hot foiling

 

 

SCREEN TRUEPRESS JET L350UV

Of the many digital label presses available globally, Screen’s Truepress Jet L350UV won Best Label Printing Solution in May’s European Digital Press Association Awards, announced during Fespa in Munich.

“It is great to be acknowledged in this way by the EDP,” says Peter Scott, managing director of Screen Australia. “So much hard work and market research went into the L350UV, with Screen always aiming to come up with the best solution for label printers, with features that they really wanted.”

The L350UV is a 350mm web inkjet press with wide-gamut CMYK inks plus the option for white. As the name implies, it is UV-curing so can print on a wide variety of substrates. A web speed of 50m per minute delivers 16.1sqm of printed labels every minute. Its printheads, delivering a four-level greyscale variable droplet size down to three picolitres, allow smooth gradations and fine detail.

Connectivity to inline finishing systems is under way, and the Truepress Jet L350UV can print reel-to-reel for offline finishing. A corona treater is in development and automated cleaning keeps the L350UV operating with minimal downtime. Operation is easy for a single operator using the touchscreen panel. Screen’s EQUIOS intelligent workflow is bundled with every press, with connectivity to popular label design programmes.

Scott says, “The L350UV fits the bill for the burgeoning short-run digital label market, but it has also been engineered to cope with longer runs too, even eating into the lower end of flexo press run length territory. Analysis shows that we have one of the lowest costs-per-label of all digital presses, which bodes well regarding profitability for label printers using our system. The special inks are Screen’s own, so we are competitively priced on ink usage.”

The Screen Truepress Jet L350UV is sold through Jet Technologies in Australia and is available through both Fujifilm and Jet Technologies in New Zealand.

 

SPECS AT A GLANCE:

Printing system: Piezo single pass, 4 tones per drop

Print heads: 4 step greyscale

Inks: Truepress ink for L350

Number of colours: 4 (CMYK) + white option

Resolution: 600 x 600dpi

Print speed: 16.1sqm/min at 50m/min

Max roll size: 750mm

 

 

XEIKON 3030

Digital printing in industrial applications, particularly within the label industry, has never been more robust as niche applications such as mould labels, heat transfer labels, folding carton and other packaging applications can be serviced in a cost effective manner.

This increased demand is driven by the proliferation of SKUs driven by retailers offering their own brands and the need to supply regional markets with different labelling requirements.

Xeikon offers printers a full rotary press, eliminating plates and wash-up time between jobs for increased productivity. The 3030 offers a high monthly duty cycle at 1,200dpi quality, with an extended CMYK colour gamut using spot toners. The open architecture of the X-800 front end makes integration with printers’ workflow seamless, without the need to modify existing workflows.

The B2-plus size of the 516mm wide presses makes them ideal for packaging applications, as the presses can incorporate a sheeter to provide cut sheets if required.

The Xeikon 3030 digital press allows converters to enter the market with an entry level press able to print on a 330mm web at 9.6m per minute. This can be upgraded in the field to increase either the width to 516mm or the speed to 19.2m per minute, without any change in quality. Most substrates used on the Xeikon do not require any pre-coating, allowing the converter to use the same stocks as used on their conventional presses.

Xeikon takes its environmental credentials seriously, so the press does not use any solvents or harsh chemicals for production. Toner for the Xeikon 3030, produced in a factory entirely powered by green energy, has a high light fastness, making it suitable for outdoor applications. Xeikon toner is also FDA and Nestlé compliant for direct contact with dry, non-fatty foods and indirect contact with fatty foods.

Xeikon presses are distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Absolute Electronics, with factory trained engineers located in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland. Comprehensive service and support packages can be tailored to meet printers’ requirements.

 

SPECS AT A GLANCE:

Process: LED array based, dry toner electrophotography, full rotary, variable repeat length

Colour configuration: 5/0 simplex, fifth colour station for spot colour, security toner or opaque white

Inline density control: standard, automatic density control while printing

Inline register control: standard

Toner: Xeikon QA-I toner

Web speed: 9.6m/min up to 350gsm

Print speed: 190sqm/hr

Addressability: 1200 x 3600dpi with variable dot density 

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