Digital Printers and Presses: OEMs continue to achieve technological advancements that result in more and more label printing equipment options.

Author:Katz, Steve

When it comes to the evolution of digital press and printer technology, the rate of change has never been faster. OEMs are launching machines of all types in order to appeal to the first-time digital adopter, as well as those looking to add something new to an already thriving digital printing department. What follows is an account of what's new and popular in the digital printer and press market. Suppliers appear in alphabetical order.

AFINIA LABEL

Afinia Label has developed a wide range of compact digital solutions, which can be used in an office setting. Most of the company's digital printers are powered by Memjet technology and utilize two different types of dye ink. Some of the company's smaller printers use HP technology with options for dye- and pigment-based ink.

The L901 combines industrial design, enhanced image quality, and high production speeds, with the ability to service and maintain the printhead "on-the-fly." The printer is suitable for long roll-to-roll print jobs or inline integration with label finishers, applicators, dispensers and more, while producing vibrant, full-color prints in high resolution. For finishing, Afinia Label offers a semi-rotary die and various digital knife cutting solutions that all include lamination as standard.

"Our product range has evolved dramatically over the past few years," says Kevin McHale, marketing manager at Afinia Label. "More recently, we are innovating with the L901's ability to work inline with other machines such as label dispensers, applicators, and finishing equipment like the DLP-2100. The L901 also has the ability to print on flexible packaging films, which we believe will be a huge area of growth."

According to McHale, Afinia Label will soon unveil the new LT5C, a CYMK + white printer using LED toner technology. There are other new products on the horizon, scheduled for release in January 2020.

Afinia Label also offers the L501 color label printer for durable applications. The L501's DuraPrime Duo Ink Technology enables an easy transition from dye-based to pigment-based ink, offering a high level of versatility. This ability to use both pigment and dye inks provides companies the flexibility to produce high-quality, low-cost labels for almost any application.

With a sleek, compact design, the L501 color label printer fits into virtually all production spaces. The value of the L501 is most notable for small- to mid-sized label applications, with low per label ink costs due to separate CMYK cartridges. An optional rewinder is available for companies experiencing higher usage and longer runs, or for those who need rewound labels for use with a label applicator or dispenser.

"The biggest differentiation for Afinia Label is our broad product offering," adds McHale. "We have the widest range of printers and finishers in the digital desktop labeling space. We realize no one solution fits every company, and our goal is to continue to provide the best tailored solution to help companies print their own labels."

ARROW SYSTEMS

Arrow Systems, Inc., has launched the compact Memjet-powered Anyjet into the North American market. Anyjet allows users to digitally print, laminate, cut and remove matrix all in one pass. The Anyjet uses a Memjet engine that has been integrated with the Anycut, a tabletop laser finishing system that has been on the market for over six years. The Anyjet is a turnkey digital press that can be combined with any flexographic or digital operation. It prints in 1600 x 1600 dpi using aqueous inks, and the laser diecutter uses an SOW system that allows users to cut even the most complex shapes in seconds.

Last year, Abeilles Busy Bees, a packaging company in Montreal, Canada, decided to bring its label printing in-house with the installation of the Anycut III laser finishing system and Any-002 roll-to-roll, color printer. Both machines are available from Arrow Systems.

Rather than buy only a label printer and pre-cut labels, Abeilles Busy Bees decided to take advantage of the cost savings associated with printing and diecutting their own labels, in-house. The Anycut III laser finisher paired with the Any-002 from Arrow Systems was the ideal solution to meet their requirements.

Thse two systems, combined, allow Busy Bees to produce hundreds of thousands of labels per month and drastically reduce their label costs, while increasing productivity and versatility.

ASTRONOVA

AstroNova, Inc. has announced the global launch of the TrojanLabel T5, a larger version of the company's popular TrojanLabel T4 professional label press and finishing system with the addition of UV flexo varnish capabilities. The T5 all-in-one digital printing and inline finishing label solution was demonstrated for the first time in September at Labelexpo Europe 2019 in Brussels, Belgium. The T5 is already up and running at customer sites in Europe and the United States. The TrojanLabel T5 is built on AstroNova's TrojanLabel T3 digital Inkjet label press platform integrated with a smart, compact converter unit featuring UV flexo varnish, lamination, rotary diecutting, slitting and waste removal. Following the introduction of the T4 two years ago, the T5 is the company's latest high-production label printing and converting product for the professional printing market. The T5 adds several additional enhancements such as spot and SUPER gloss varnish, lamination, slit and rewind, and cold foil application for silver, gold, and metallic decorative accents, all in a single compact platform. "The T5 is a great step up in our offerings, providing professional printers and large brand owners with a high-performance system that delivers great results from start to finish," says Greg Woods, AstroNova president and CEO. "We are excited about the addition of this unique, versatile solution to our TrojanLabel family of professional digital color label presses and specialty printers. "With the addition of theT5 to its ever-expanding product lineup, AstroNova continues to offer a broad range of products to suit a variety of labeling and production needs. From QuickLabel tabletop, on-demand printers to TrojanLabel full-print finishing systems, and a wide range of complementary solutions, including software, label materials, accessories and global technical support, AstroNova strives to provide peace of mind to customers and channel partners alike.

BOBST

Bobst has launched a hybrid machine that combines digital and DigiFlexo printing in a single press. The Master DM5--which has "Mouvent Inkjet Digital Technology Inside"--is associated with total flexibility for high added value labels, with extremely short job setup and fast return on investment.

"The Master DM5 is our first ever fully digitally integrated hybrid press and represents a new era in the production of self-adhesive labels, with totally new standards of productivity and profitability," says Jean-Pascal Bobst, CEO of Bobst. "Bobst can now offer the full range of digital, hybrid and DigiFlexo solutions, which are perfectly integrated, interchangeable and scalable to all present and future needs."

The Master DM5 provides convenient digital integration to go along with a small footprint. It offers easy and user-friendly access to digital printheads and the automated setup of multi-process operations. The digital print engine inside the Master DM5 is made up of Mouvent's proprietary Cluster Technology--integrating Fujifilm Dimatix Samba printheads--which is the basis of the entire range of digital printing machines developed by Mouvent, Bobst's digital printing competence center. The Mouvent Cluster heads are compact and simple to change for easy and accessible maintenance, and they have all-in-one fully integrated inking, conditioning and electronic circuits for high printhead reliability.

"Two of the greatest benefits of the Master DM5 are its productivity and reliability," notes Federico D'Annunzio, Bobst program manager, hybrid printing."It represents a total flexo-digital-converting integration, with non-stop productivity, and the highest press uptime in the industry. It prints at speeds of up to 100 m/m at the highest quality, 1200 x 1200 dpi. Full digital automation means that only one press operator is needed to print high added value label jobs, in short and medium runs. Job changes on-the-fly, without stopping the press, are possible for flexo, digital, diecutting and stripping processes. All analog tools (print cylinders, flexible dies) are changed automatically. Waste stripping is also fully automated. Eliminating traditional analog bottlenecks, the Master DM5 is the very first digitized 'non-stop' label press."

Importantly, in an era when color fidelity and consistency are more important than ever, the Master DM5 boasts a wide digital color gamut, as well as an accurate and easy way to achieve digital color matching. It has an exclusive screening and digital front end (DFE) solution.

Ink-on-Demand (IoD) is an optional extra for DigiFlexo print units, a revolutionary solution that replaces conventional inking reservoirs with a single rubber pipe that dispenses 30 grams of ink to the print unit. The system eliminates ink trays and chambered doctor blades and performs fully automated washing of the print unit in less than one minute.

It also has a full range of added value capabilities, including coatings, varnishes, tactile effects, 3D effects, hot stamping, cold foil, embossing, diecutting, punching, silk screen, flexo and digital variable data printing (VDP)."

COLORDYNE TECHNOLOGIES

Colordyne s portfolio of fully scalable products for digital label printing range from digital Inkjet benchtop printers to production-level inkjet presses. At the...

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