15 October 2017 Digital Printing Technologies

Konica Minolta ups its commitment to packaging

Japanese digital press supplier introduces a new label press and a promise of further developments to come.

Konica Minolta plans to be present across the packaging spectrum having been successful with its first label press. The C71F has notched 100 installations across the world since its first preview appearance at Ipex three years ago and launch at the start of 2016.

It is now being replaced by the AccurioLabel 190 utilising a new print engine, the experience from those initial users and an inline connection to a GM finishing line. This is a DC330 mini converting unit. The AccurioLabel will equally run into a rewinder or for a mores sophisticated approach into an MGI web embellishment line to open up flood varnish, spot varnish, digital foiling and laser die cutting. In Q1 next year the line will be able to support production of RFID tags as part of a self adhesive label.

The AccurioLabel 190 was unveiled at Labelexpo, where Toshi Uemura explained that Konica Minolta had spotted an opportunity for its toner technology.

Nine out of ten large label converters have invested in digital printing capacity and most small converters have also gone digital. However, just 15% of mid-sized businesses have made a digital investment. This is the sweet spot for the AccurioLabel 190.

“The biggest opportunity for digital conversion is the corrugated sector followed by folding cartons for digital printing,” he says. The KM-C machine shown as a concept press at Drupa 2016 could form the basis for an inkjet press to address these opportunities. “Digital printing in label printing is far more advanced than other packaging markets and 50% of converters have some digital devices. However, penetration in mid-sized companies is relatively small because they need a high quality and affordable investment. The AccurioLabel has been designed as the right product for this segment. With this solution, we can increase the percentage of labels that are printed digitally beyond the 10% level.

“We are also finding that some of the big converters are buying this press to handle the smaller runs that are disruptive for their larger digital presses.”

The AccurioLabel 190 has greater integration possibilities than the reel to reel only C71F. It has a 1200dpi resolution using electrophotographic technology and thus needs no printing coat, though this also limits some of the substrates that can be printed.

The partnership with GM is a new arrangement and applies in Europe only. Previously the company supplied Miyakoshi rewind units, but the Japanese company is not as well supported in Europe as the Danish manufacturer. Interest at Labelexpo is already stretching production facilities in Denmark ahead of first shipments of the new press in December.

Customers wanting a more sophisticated inline production unit can opt for an MGI JetVarnish Web system. This was first previewed at Labelexpo in 2015, followed by an appearance at Drupa. Konica Minolta is a major shareholder in the French business. It also owns Ceradrop a producer of technology for printed electronics. These are combining next year in the ability to deliver a printed RFID tag from the MGI line. This will be a hybrid line to create the printed electronics components. The tags can be loaded to add interactivity and tracking to packaging.

At Drupa the company showed a concept for a B1 format inkjet press which would be capable of printing cartons or corrugated. Its KM-1 B2 inkjet press is already capable of printing cartons.


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KM prints labels

KM prints labels

After notching more than 100 installations of its first digital label press, Konica Minolta has developed a new machine based on its latest print engine and offered with inline finishing, including the embellishment possible through MGI's JetVarnish. Further strides into packaging are promised.

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