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By Konica Minolta 07 May 2020
The benefits of digital label printing illustration

The benefits of digital label printing

Customisation is the number one key differentiator for many industries these days. Manufacturers are taking advantage of new technologies to deliver short-run products to customers and, even in mass-produced items, the right label can tell an entire story about a product.

Labels are the physical representation of a brand; they tell consumers everything they need to know about the product, and they differentiate the product even in a crowded market. Some of the world’s most successful brands are recognisable by their labels alone. This highlights the crucial importance of getting labels right.

Some labels need to quickly send a brand message or differentiate a product. Others need to convey a large amount of information in a relatively small space. All labels need to be high quality and reliable. Most importantly, they need to make the product stand out on the shelf and create a connection with the consumer. This can be achieved with decorative effects like spot UV and foiling which can now like labels, be done digitally

As well as having a standout design, label printing needs to be high quality. Barcodes need to be crisp and clear, text needs to remain legible, and images and colours need to be reproduced accurately.

Whether you’re printing labels for a local cottage industry or a global chemical manufacturer, these requirements remain the same.

Digital label printing is growing

Like almost everything else in the world, label printing has gone digital. The huge and growing demand for labels has meant that traditional label printing methods simply can’t keep up with demand.

Digital label presses account for close to 30 per cent of all narrow-web press installations worldwide and are forecast to make up close to 40 per cent or more of installations. And, digitally printed labels make up close to one-fifth of all print jobs by value.[1]

Digital label printing offers clear benefits

Digital label presses offer nine key benefits over analogue printing methods:

  1. Seamless workflow that minimises errors and speeds up processing times.
  2. Lower costs by eliminating the need for plates, chemicals, and related processes.
  3. Improved supply chain efficiencies and reduced need to store labels due to just-in-time production.
  4. Flexibility to produce customised labels, variations, and promotional labels.
  5. Improved environmental sustainability due to less waste and no chemicals.
  6. Ability to incorporate security features such as microtext, anti-copy features, and more.
  7. Track and trace capabilities by producing sequentially numbered or coded labels.
  8. Ability to offer shorter run lengths and flexible delivery times.

Ability to attract new customers and enter new markets.

What to look for in a digital label printer

It’s important to choose a digital label printer that lives up to your business’s quality credentials. If your digitally printed labels look low-quality or can’t match the vibrancy of analogue-printed labels, then your customers will soon go elsewhere.

The equipment you use will make all the difference. To offer digital label printing, you’ll need to have both the hardware and the software in place. Here are eight things to look for when choosing the right solution for your business:

  1. Variable speeds to match the media used.
  2. Fast, accurate colour adjustments.
  3. High performance for all media types.
  4. Intuitive operation using on-screen instructions.
  5. Versatility such as ability to overprint on pre-printed media and food grade toner for indirect packaging.
  6. Fast operation for quicker job completion.
  7. Continuous, high-quality print runs without the need for recalibration.
  8. Accurate print registration.

How digital solutions can help you leverage existing investments

Investing in digital label printing requires careful consideration so you can achieve a strong return on investment. However, it’s not necessarily just about replacing analogue printing presses with digital ones. Adding a digital solution to your fleet can help you reinvigorate your analogue presses, keeping them busy with long-run jobs while your digital presses take care of customised jobs and short-run projects.

Digital label printing provides commercial printers with opportunities to enter new markets and attract new customers. The flexibility and quality of digital printing, as well as the new technology that can be incorporated into digitally printed labels, opens a whole new revenue stream for label printers.

Konica Minolta’s digital label printing solution incorporates market-leading hardware and software, as well as exceptional service by experienced specialist staff. To find out how you can add digital label printing to your offering and boost your business, contact us today.


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