May 1, 2015
As the label industry continues on a steady path of change, many label printers see a future defined more by opportunities than by challenges. For longtime flexographic shop Triangle Label, production digital label presses represent the route best taken to successful growth and profitability. The West Chester, Ohio, company invested in a Screen Truepress Jet L350UV inkjet label press to avail itself of the technology’s numerous benefits.
“We operate four flexo presses but recognize that high-speed digital printing is the future of the label industry,” said Allen Backscheider, co-president of BGR Inc., parent company of Triangle Label. “We wanted the ability to print higher quantities of labels, at higher speeds, with less cost per copy. With the Truepress Jet L350UV, we can offer our customers lower production costs, faster setups and additional substrate choices.”
BGR, a total resource for corporate packaging needs, started in 1972 in founder Al Backscheider’s garage. It matured from a home-based operation into a multimillion-dollar enterprise with 125 employees and a 310,000-square-foot production and warehouse complex.
Triangle Label, already an established printing business when it was incorporated into BGR in 2005, currently employs 11 people (up from two employees in 2008), including an in-house graphics team. It specializes in top-quality custom labels from one color to eight colors, with the ability to print up to 13 inches wide.
In the past two years, Triangle Label recognized the need for a high-speed digital press and began evaluating five manufacturers of digital label presses. After much research and deliberation, the company chose the Truepress Jet L350UV.
“All seven team members unanimously chose the Screen press,” said Tom Hagedorn, plant manager. “The Truepress Jet L350UV provided the proper menu of price, value and quality. Screen has a long history and an excellent reputation in the commercial printing equipment business, including offset digital presses. Now with the Truepress Jet L350UV, Screen has opened up this avenue to the digital roll-to-roll pressure-sensitive label market.”
“We felt that we could work easily with the Screen organization,” echoed Scott Kneer, sales manager. “Screen personnel were straightforward and trustworthy. A true partnership developed with them during this process. They also devised a detailed marketing plan and assigned a specialist to assist us in creating a unique market offering in our area.”
Another unique Screen offering convinced the team that this was the right path to follow.
“Screen trains its customers to service the Truepress Jet L350UV,” Hagedorn explained. “It significantly reduces the cost of maintaining the press and makes us more competitive for our customer base.”
The Truepress Jet L350UV delivers pin-sharp text and photorealistic images using four process colors plus opaque white. The white ink enables perfect backup white for printing on colored and transparent materials.
“The Truepress offers us the ability to print high-quality four-color process labels on a variety of substrates, some of which would have been difficult to run in a traditional flexographic label press,” Backscheider said.
Accommodating a maximum printing width of 12.6 inches, the Truepress Jet L350UV prints at a top speed of 164 feet per minute for productivity of 173.2 square feet of labels per minute.
“Other digital presses we investigated featured speeds of less than 100 feet a minute,” Kneer said. “The Truepress gives us the efficiency to run more than 100,000 labels, depending on the size of the labels, compared with 15,000 to 25,000 labels for competitive presses. At the same time, it can handle short runs in the range of 1,000 to 5,000 labels.”
Custom label designs and content can change frequently. The cost to replace printing plates and tooling can become very cumbersome, especially as run lengths decline. The Truepress Jet L350UV decreases the cost of short-run labels for multiple SKUs and eliminates the need to remake printing plates when label designs change.
“In flexo printing, you’re looking at two and a half hours to set up a four-color job and one and a half to two hours for cleanup,” Hagedorn observed. “That translates to $350 to $550 just in labor. Along with the cost of plates and tooling, traditional flexo printing can be very costly.”
That all goes away with the inkjet press.
“Great savings can be achieved because there is very little setup and no plates,” Hagedorn continued. “The customer simply submits new artwork. File preparation is the most time-consuming aspect of the makeready. Once the Truepress receives the digital file, the job is set up and we start printing new custom labels within 10 minutes.”
Screen engineered the press for either near-line finishing or automated inline finishing. Triangle Label purchased a 13-inch finishing platform from AzTech Converting Systems with die-cutting, printing stations, ultraviolet coating and laminating stations. Plans to buy magnetic cylinders for the inline finisher will eliminate a lot of the cost of tooling.