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Special Feature 29 September 2014
Locked in & ready to roll
Since the introduction of high-volume colour digital printing technology 20 years ago, most of the industry's attention has gone to broad commercial print applications, such as direct mail, catalogues, and brochures. Nevertheless, dedicated digital colour label presses have almost as long a history, and their use has accelerated over the past decade. Not only do colour digital label and packaging presses now make up an important segment of the overall digital printer category, digital label presses are widely accepted among both label converters and their customers. Indeed, digital technology is one of the most exciting areas in label printing and converting today.


The driving factors behind the favourable reception and growth of digital presses will be familiar to anyone who has considered a digital press for commercial applications—shorter run lengths and quick turnaround. Demand for digital production is increasing as run lengths decrease; currently about one-third of runs are less than 25,000 labels. Even more importantly, the lengthy, costly and cumbersome flexo plate making process is being replaced. Although variable imaging applications and personalization are still unusual, the print quality of digital label presses can be superior to conventional processes for many applications. Yet digital printing accounts for less than 1% of total label volume.

Read the rest of Locked in & ready to roll in our October 2013 issue.
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