As the label printing market ‘democratises’ with more businesses able to offer short-run full colour labels, not everyone needs high speeds and roll-to-roll converting. The emergence of microbreweries of craft ales, craft conserves, honeys, health drinks and so on, has spread the demand for printed labels away from the mass manufacturers and into the suburbs and country towns of Australia.
The increasingly competitive digital press market for narrow web label production offers a variety of solutions regarding investment level, speed, width, white ink, curing method and labelstock compatibility.
Inkjet appears to be making the most inroads and even the electrostatic (toner) manufacturers have hedged their bets and are offering inkjet as well as dry and liquid toner models.
AB Graphics International, or ABG for short, is a rare example of surviving and thriving British engineering manufacturing. As so much ‘heavy metal’ manufacturing has moved offshore or just disappeared from the UK industrial base, ABG is a shining example of how to adapt a sixty-year-old company into one that has the right products for today’s short-run narrow web label finishing and that means the obvious ‘D’ word – digital.
Our review this month moves on to a hybrid press – the Gallus Labelfire 340. Why hybrid? Put simply, a hybrid label press combines the benefits of digital with the versatility, flexibility and reliability of conventional Flexographic converting.
This month’s product review is an interesting one in the Konica Minolta AccurioLabel 190. The print engine was essentially born from Konica Minolta’s hugely successful Bizhub (now AccurioPress) range of cut-sheet production print devices, so is well tried and proven.
Screen GP, formerly Dainippon Screen Australia, entered the digital label press sector in 2013 when the Japanese parent company release the Truepress Jet L350UV model at Labelexpo Europe. Since that time, over one hundred machines have been installed worldwide, with the Australia-New Zealand area punching well above its weight with four installs and more in the pipeline.