The supply chain to the consumer is continuously transforming. In the past we bought all at the local bakery – than there was a trend to supermarkets – today we shop at local farmers, local bakeries, in the supermarket but as well online. In the last case the interface with the consumer is more distant but you want to ensure a good customer experience. This example illustrates that with such variety of products being sold, shipped to 1000 destination you can still create and maintain that customer experience.
Self-adhesive labels as such (aka ‘pressure sensitive labels’ or PSL) are made by printing onto a laminated construction of 3 layers: a release liner (otherwise known as the backing paper, carrier or glassine), a layer or adhesive and the facestock material. The laminate is printed and then converted in a roll containing the requested number of labels per roll. A web-fed process brings a high label application speed on the packaging line and allows for more embellishing processes. In addition, its flexibility of application is enormous, either during or after the filling process and on any type of surface/container just by taking another glue.
Here you can see a self-adhesive logistical label sample printed on a Xeikon 3300 digital press.
- Print dimensions: 100 x 69 mm
- Substrate: Paper based facestock
- Toner: High quality QA-I toner
- Finishing: Xeikon DCoat Series, inline varnish and die cut
The Xeikon 3300 has been the press of choice due to its ability to print on standard label material. It also reduces production complexity by integrating the printing press with the converting equipment for such long run labels. Last but not least the X800 workflow architecture allows to create the million variable labels in a limited amount of time.
What is the value of digital printing?
Digital offers a range of specific benefits for this type of work. It dramatically increases efficiency by consolidating a number of different labels into one. Printing this in full color and high quality also strongly improves the customer experience, and digitizing this kind of complex workflow means less human errors are possible. In addition, these type of labels are produced just-in-time which avoids any stock of printed labels in advance and avoids labels becoming obsolete. All the data in this example, gather from an ERP sales system is translated in million full color labels which are all variable but radiate top quality.
Furthermore digital printing with Xeikon offers:
- the ability to design a custom solution designed for your challenge. This can be software and hardware integration or specific developments.
- a variety of digital presses in terms of print technology and production capacity
Which is the preferred digital press for self-adhesive logistical labels?
The Xeikon 3300 digital printing press. The narrow web flagship excels in productivity and high quality printing at true 1200 dpi, built around commonly used 330 mm (13" web width):
- dry toner technology: ability to print on the broadest range of conventional materials (clear-on-clear substrate and natural papers) with the highest quality, while offering color strength
- full rotary printing: ensures a consistent image positioning on the web required for finishing
- variable repeat length: allows for the printing of any type of label length minimizing waste
- high quality printing: 1200 dpi with wide color gamut and spot colors
Which is the preferred digital production solution?
Below you can see an example of a full production set-up for self-adhesive logistical labels: a Self-adhesive Label Suite with inline printing and converting. The converting on the DCoat330 encompasses UV varnish for protection, die cutting at the full speed of the printing press, slitting, matrix rewind and rewinding. Between the printing and converting process a buffer is positioned to allow for operator action on the DCoat without having to stop the printing press. This comes with all the necessary components for seamless digital label printing.