The new press has been pressed into immediate service to meet “unprecedented demand” for labels driven by the pandemic’s effect on its customer base. One of these is the brewing sector where the absence of pubs has meant a switch from legged beer to drink at home bottles and cans.
Another is demand for labels on bottles of hand sanitisers. With a production speed up to 60m/min, the new press represents a big leap in digital print capacity as the tier press runs at only half this rate. Both sectors have triggered a growth in orders, albeit in smaller volumes.
Managing director James Lindsay says: “In the main this was driven by the brewery industry, who had to move to cans and bottles for consumers to enjoy at home. Additionally, we saw a surge in requirements for cleaning product and hand sanitiser labels too, and we were keen to prioritise these essential supplies to play our part during the crisis. Our customers have always needed a fast turnaround, coupled with reliable service and a quality label product. In order to meet this, we knew we needed to make a significant investment in additional digital capacity.”
The UV inkjet press provides the ability to print an opaque white to enable printing on silver substrates and to print colours with a greater vibrancy than is possible with toner printing. Labels printed on the Screen will be finished on one of four existing Digicon finishing lines.
Sales and marketing manager Victoria Waine says that brewers in particular are demanding high impact colours to achieve shelf impact without adding to their costs. She adds that the business selected the Screen press after consultation with users of the technology. “And that pushed in Screen’s direction, giving us the reassurance we were making the right decision,” she says.
The company will be able to print using the two production process on the same range of materials, though there are already thoughts about adding inkjet specific papers as these are tested in the future. There will also be testing to understand whether is is possible to print food safe labels in the range of materials it has.
Should the company want to follow up on this interest, PeterLynn has the option to upgrade to low migration inks and finishing. “At the moment the Xeikon is the machine for food safe packaging using its proven toners,” she says.
“Ahead of delivery, we had some work that was earmarked for the Screen. For example, it has the benefit of printing some vibrant colours. There are changing trends in labels for cans and bottle. At the moment it’s about vibrant bright colours. This allows us to add an extra element to the labels rather than with increased costs. It’s been a real boost.”
There is a different approach to prepress with the new machine. where the Xeikon has a powerful DFE with onboard functionality, the Truepress requires more preparation in the prepress department. A scanning system will deliver a strong match to previously printed colours for the consistency that customers require.
The new machine will increase the work that can be printed digitally into longer runs, so has created additional capacity on its eight-colour Mark Andy flexo press as a result.