Hine Labels, of Rotherham, UK, has installed its first digital printing system – a Xeikon 330 label press to run alongside its four flexo machines. The system runs reel to reel with finishing carried out in an off-line configuration with a Digicon postpress line.
Managing director Bill Hine comments: “We have seen the take-up of digital label presses growing in recent years, and customers are now asking us if we have digital production facilities. Run lengths are certainly coming down, and the trend is growing for more variations of one label design, but with shorter print runs for each variant – exactly the sort of work that is suitable for digital machines. I would consider digital ideal for print runs of up to 600m.
“The advantages that we will be able to offer customers now that we are equipped with the Xeikon machine include fast turnaround of short run work, competitive pricing on small quantities, and, of course, the ability to handle variable data production.”
The web-fed Xeikon 330 is able to print on labelstock, paper and synthetic media in widths up to 330mm and weights to 250g/m2, in up to five colours, including opaque white – at up to 14.7m/min.
The Digicon off-line postpress equipment provides for spot varnish, flood varnish, super gloss, laminating, foiling, die cutting, slitting, matrix stripping and re-reeling of the finished printed product.
“We looked at both on-line and off-line finishing options,” reveals Bill Hine. “With on-line we were governed by the speed of the press, and, of course, if one element of the line broke down, everything stopped. By moving the finishing station to an off-line configuration we could, potentially, handle the finishing requirements of at least two digital presses.”
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