“Providing a really attractive solution, particularly as our capital investment cost will be around half what would be charged by competitors.”
Focus Label Machinery Ltd, which employs 40 people near Nottingham in the UK, has over 30 years experience in manufacturing equipment for the narrow web label and packaging print industry. It specialises in all aspects from design to manufacture and assembly, right through to sales, training and providing back up technical and service support, as well as research and development. With over 70% of sales exported, the sectors it covers include food packing and labelling, chemical, textiles, garments and branding identification.
“Integrating digital systems into existing flexo presses is the future because of the way the label industry is going.”
Industrial Inkjet solution
In recent years, Focus Label Machinery clients have increasingly required systems that can do variable data and shorter run lengths – all at a cost effective price. So the label specialist began investigating the options of using digital UV digital inkjet that would be compatible with its machines, with the D-Flex becoming a first match.
What appealed to Focus Label Machinery about the IIJ offering was being able to provide an all-encompassing hybrid system, fantastic quality industrial print heads (IIJ is the sales and technical support centre for Konica Minolta industrial inkjet heads outside of Asia), and not being tied to one individual ink distributor. IIJ ticked all the boxes, providing a ColourPrint 124iS machine and software that is fitted on to the D-Flex system to provide personalisation and short-run production at the flick of a switch at speeds of up to 50 metres a minute, comparable to faster print methods such as flexo.
Some of the colour labels that are produced on the UV inkjet solution.
“Some of our competitors might be able to offer an efficient digital machine costing around £300,000 to £350,000 for labels, but then they will probably need a finishing line that might mean another “£100,000 investment.” said Antony Cotton, Technical Sales Manager for Focus Label Machinery Ltd. “And that’s a big extra cost to justify. But with this IIJ system, we have by far the best hybrid… providing inkjet, die-cutting all fitting inline. We can now provide a solution that can print flexo or digital with virtually no set up time and that is really attractive, particularly as our capital investment cost will be around half what would be charged by competitors. The return on investment will be a lot quicker, certainly within three years.”
He added: “Integrating digital systems into existing flexo presses is the future because of the way the label industry is going. Combining our expertise in labels with IIJ’s in UV digital inkjet, as well as having the best print heads on the market for industrial applications, we know this is a partnership that will work well and provide hug opportunities for customers to grow their business.”
One of the first customers to invest in the Focus Label Machinery / IIJ offering is London-based Euro label Printers, which will reduce its customer’s turnaround times from three days to as little as five hours with the all-in-one label solution. “I thoroughly researched the market and, at one point, was going to be spending £750,000 but this is a better solution at a fraction of the price.” said director John Bayley. “Until now I have been spending £150,000 on waste stock and set-up as well as £50,000 on plates annually.”