Up until recently there were three technologies in the world of label printing; letterpress, flexo and offset. A fourth technology has now reached the point where the quality of print has risen and the price of the machinery has decreased. It is now a viable option to invest in digital technology.
It's not possible, certainly not in a small country such as New Zealand, to produce all customer label requirements on a digital press. Medium to large runs are still best run flexo, and the robustness of conventional printing is superior to digital. However, it is certainly compulsory to now have a digital machine as a complementary member of a wider portfolio of kit. The ability to print multiple types without large set-up costs is a key driver of the need to install digital kit.
There are two ways of printing digital, using inkjet or toner. Both have pros and cons and again, in a small country such as New Zealand, where we must cater to a broad cross section of clients, we are increasingly finding that one machine does not fit all needs.
At Rapid, we've covered all bets. We have both a digital inkjet press (installed in March 2013) and we're currently installing a toner press (March 2015).
The type of work digital presses specialise in include: