Industry Challenge

Traditional analog narrow format label presses have been configured to be modular, allowing the flexibility to print or convert labels based upon each individual job’s unique needs. This provides the printer the ability to print up to six print processes as well as convert in-line using job-specific criteria: embossing, varnishing, lamination, foil application, imprinting, special chemistry application, and other job-specific requirements.

The increasing demand for shorter and medium run lengths to incorporate variable data and customized designs has added new digital press solutions to the mix. However, these have traditionally been “standalone” press stations, reducing the flexibility printers want. The evolution to new digital hybrid inkjet press technology that seamlessly connect with flexo and finishing stations, without any compromise in productivity or image quality, offers new versatility and business building opportunities for narrow web printers.


Conventional Flexo Press Setup

In the typical conventional converting set-up, many functions are used with the lowest cost to fluid use. Extended lead time and setup time, however, prevent profitability for short label runs.shutterstock_92491621

Standard Digital Press Setup

Facilities incorporating separate digital presses in their shops are able to incorporate benefits digital press provide, but the non-linear approach dramatically impact productivity due to multiple hand-offs.shutterstock_92491621

Digital Hybrid Press Setup

Digital Hybrid printing combines the best of digital and flexo with the finishing applications you expect, all in line. This reduces touch-points with virtually no affect on the speed of printing production.shutterstock_92491621

How Hybrid Digital Dominates the Short to Medium Run

Hybrid printing marries the benefits of digital printing with all the same finishing applications that flexo offers such as die cutting, slitting, inspection, foiling, lamination and more all in line. Print inline flexo or digital using the same substrates you use today: paper, PE, PET, PP, Vinyl and metalized material.
Innovations in inkjet technology have driven the inter-compatibility between UV inkjet and UV flexo to achieve color matching results that rival traditional flexo plus new over and under white capabilities able to stand up to the high speeds of label production.
Hybrid presses enable printers to produce “fit for purpose” labels regardless of application. New technological breakthroughs in UV and flexo inks combine to provide superior resistance to label-specific challenges like chemicals, water and weather while enhancing opportunities to maximize profitability on every job by expanding color gamuts to match difficult brand colors, applying heavier white and colors, and more.
Incorporating UV digital ink as part of your flexo inline solution enables label printers to produce short, medium and specialty work with virtually no set-up time. Digital hybrid presses are ideally suited for the increase in demand for shorter run lengths and incorporation of variable data requests without any sacrifice in finishing capabilities.

What The Experts Say

“…the whole overriding benefit of the modular architecture is that you can have complex multiple print and conversion stages allowing you to produce a finessed sector/customer-specific label, but with all the economic advantages of a single in-line process.”
Marco Boer, Vice President, I.T. Strategies