Digital Sticker Printing and Custom Labels
In the last few years, digital sticker printing has undoubtedly become a process of printing, with excellent examples of high-quality applications for food, beverages, health and beauty, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods and other sectors that require labels.
The benefits from using the self-adhesive printed stickers, or vinyl stickers, with fully digital methods are now widely accepted by many brand owners and retail sales groups. Among these advantages is the speed they provide, lower inventory, faster delivery, new possibilities for promoting products, mass customization and the ability to print short runs.
The same benefits are now spreading to other types of labels like sticker sleeve, heat transfer, etc. While getting new opportunities within sectors of printed packaging, to the point that digital printing used today for the production of high-quality, flexible packaging, tubes, boxes, foils for sealing bottles, sleeves, containers, and even games and quizzes that integrate variable information.
New Business Opportunities
Owners of brands such as Heineken have already taken advantage of printed sticker shrink for promotional marketing campaigns, while many other brands are evaluating the use of the digital technology to new labeling solutions and packaging.
For companies with a vision to recognize the potential offered by digital inkjet printing, these new trends in labels and flexible packaging also represent the perfect opportunity to position themselves as ‘partners’ able to add value to promoting brands for their customers, rather than being mere suppliers of labels.
Accurate Color Output Prints
It has not been just printing presses that have shown remarkable progress in recent years. There are also significant developments in the front end, automation and integration of digital solutions through the production chain, in new digital software solutions, in the organization of workflow management, online color, and in print with “guaranteed color.”
To become a successful label printer for packaging it is not enough to buy a digital press and install it in the workshop; the process has much to do with the operation of pre-press ready digital printing.
Color control is a crucial success factor in digital printing, but also in unique color matching. Pre-press must be the center of the purpose of achieving rapid turnaround times of work that promises digital distribution. The press will do what it can; there is good technology on the market, but if the converter has not prepared the pre-press, it won’t give any good results. Pre-press must support the rapid production of the work because the short enlistments in this field can put production and performance at risk.
Today, the latest devices offer the availability of cold stamping and hot foil, embossing, personalization with inkjet, the application of two-dimensional barcodes, inserting flyers, registration of holograms, flatbed screen printing, sheet cutting, over-lamination, a complete inspection of the coil, tower rewinding or slitting, when necessary.
Laser Cut Prints
All the main providers of digital finishing equipment also offer laser cutting solutions. Undoubtedly, the labels and packaging converters today have a broad range of affordable laser cutting equipment to choose from. Laser cutter speeds depend on individual variables, including the thickness of the material, the number of cuts required, some small radius curves and the amount of differences between the characteristics of the product to be cut.
Laser cutters can now work with any vector-based digital image generating system and bring it to its operating software to produce job settings in minutes. The use of laser cutting allows a converter to pass the original to the finished printing and die in a very short period.
As always, the first companies to adopt this model can maximize opportunities and provide real value-added services to their business, and this ultimately will give them a competitive advantage and increased profitability. Companies’ conversion and printing labels already have printers and knowledge; with a full understanding of the benefits of these new applications and the potential of digital inkjet printing to meet these demands, they can take the initiative and open a world of new value-added services for customers. It is these companies with a more progressive vision that will have a competitive advantage and maximize the magnificent growth opportunities for future business.