Shire Labels manufactures high-quality self-adhesive labels and tags. It offers full artwork, prepress printing and converting facilities and only uses the best inks, coatings and label materials. Customers can choose from digital or flexographic printing for crisp text and graphics. Shire Labels offers a fast and flexible service with no minimum order size, and can satisfy unique job requirements.
Shire Labels was looking to move into digital label printing. The business needed to increase its capacity in the digital format, as well as improve its quality. Shire Labels didn’t require high-volume printing capabilities necessarily, instead, the business needed to be able to offer fast turnarounds on shorter runs.
Shire Labels was experiencing growth from food and wine labelling, along with labels for dietary supplements. The takeaway food market was also taking off, with clients uncertain about what labels they would need to order from one week to the next. Flexibility was, therefore, important to Shire Labels.
Furthermore, Shire Labels was looking to innovate by offering augmented reality (AR) technology with its labels. This technology combines the user’s actual view with computer-generated images to create an experience that is informative, educational, or entertaining.
Peter Petran, managing director, Shire Labels, said, “On an AR label, there will be a series of sophisticated markers. Users download an app from their preferred app store, then scan the label to access the AR content. This content can be anything from a video of a chef preparing a recipe using the ingredient to tasting notes for a bottle of wine. The content can include videos and animations, and it can be updated at any time to ensure the most current information is available.”
To print labels with the high quality and accuracy required for these AR markers, Shire Labels needed a reliable printer with exceptionally clear, crisp outputs. It also needed a label printer that could print on a wide range of substrates and be price-competitive while offering a high-quality finish.
Peter Petran searched for a solution for Shire Labels for two years, including travelling to Europe to investigate options. These included inkjet printers but the running cost of the equipment was too high. After searching the market comprehensively, Shire Labels chose the Konica Minolta AccurioLabel 190.
Peter Petran said, “The Konica Minolta AccurioLabel 190 was able to produce colours that are very close to PMS colours and very good CMYK renditions, which was a driving factor in our decision. As well as being affordable to run, the Konica Minolta machine reduced the cost per label, which was also important.
“However, one of the most crucial benefits from choosing Konica Minolta is the local support. The service is excellent and Shire Labels has worked closely with the Konica Minolta team to push the machine to its limits and keep improving as we go along.
“Having heard stories about printers from other providers going down and waiting ages for service and parts, it was essential to choose a vendor that wouldn’t keep Shire Labels waiting. Konica Minolta doesn’t rely on agents to service its machines; the company employs local technicians with a two-hour turnaround time if something goes wrong. Shire Labels promises fast turnaround times for customers, so we can’t accept downtime with our label printer. Fortunately, Konica Minolta understands this and provides the service that we need.”
The Konica Minolta label print system has also contributed to Shire Labels recent global BS 5609 certification for chemical and drum labelling. It is the only company in Australia with this certification, which attests that Shire Labels can print drum labels able to withstand harsh conditions without the label falling off or fading.
Since implementing the Konica Minolta AccurioLabel 190, Shire Labels has experienced an increase in the number of jobs requiring fast turnaround. The business can now turn jobs quickly, with some jobs complete in around two days or less, with an average turnaround time of three days.
Peter Petran said, “Using the AccurioLabel 190 has allowed Shire Labels to innovate with AR labels. This is a burgeoning business opportunity and the Konica Minolta machine has helped to put Shire Labels in the right position to take advantage of it. The high quality and fidelity of the labels printed by the Konica Minolta machine deliver authenticity to the design along with the accuracy required for sophisticated markers that drive the AR application.
“The AR capability has helped Shire Labels build its regular label business. Combined with the shorter turnaround times, it has created new revenue streams. This is set to continue in the future as we continue to rely on the Konica Minolta machine for new innovations.
“We recognise that we have to be an innovator to succeed. Konica Minolta helps us do that by working with us to push the machine to its limits and by providing the technical support we need to keep it up and running. I like Konica Minolta’s innovation and the way it’s positioned in the marketplace. The team has made it clear that, while Konica Minolta is growing its business and I’m growing Shire Labels, we can do it as partners.”
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