From 2016 to 2020, digitally printed labels had a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 18%, creating a $3.31B opportunity. Source: Smithers PIRA, “The Future of Digital Print for Packaging to 2020”
New Opportunities for Conventional converters
Conventional converters may have an ‘all or nothing’ mentality around production, preferring to use a single asset for an entire production. However, using digital assets for a portion of the jobs can increase production efficiencies and savings for many converters.
Consumer trends are leaning towards limited editions, variable content, short runs, and high-agility requests. With the cost-effective, seamless customization afforded by digital, brand marketing managers can easily launch more product versions or create localized promotions as part of their marketing strategy.
How digital label finishing creates value
As label converters look to the future and equipment is updated, the entire workflow is transitioning to digital.
Digital tools are also being introduced to manage workflow as the speed and demand of jobs are increasing. In the past, a company may have had three jobs a day, easily managed by an admin employee; converters may now need to process hundreds. Digital tools can help streamline the production process.
Digital capability also advances label production. In contrast with traditional flexo technology, digital has four differentiating assets—no plates, faster press setup, virtual elimination of makeready and running waste, and easy customization.
1. Low consumables costs
The obvious benefit to digital label finishing is that it eliminates the need for solid or flexible dies, which includes ordering, manufacturing and shipping time, storage, wear, and sharpening. Preparation time and waste are minimal. The operating software is constantly improving, and now can incorporate job data of all kinds and enable auto job changeover—switching from one die cutting pattern to another without hesitation so you no longer need to stop the machine to change dies between jobs.
2. Suitable for High-mix, low-volume printing
Whether laser can do the job is no longer the question. But is laser too slow? In large runs, maybe. But with small and medium runs, digital finishing will be much faster than traditional equipment. Customers are learning—they understand the numbers and demonstrations.
3.Perfectly works on broad range of materials
Manufacturers and converters agree that most label substrates can safely and functionally be subjected to laser cutting.
Especially, Digital Laser finishing can handle a variety of materials, including PSA, polyester, paper, abrasives, cork, foam, rubber, neoprene, silicone, PET, VHB tape and reflective film. This list also includes ablated metals bonded to polyester or similar substrates, as well as abrasives, adhesives, fabric, paper, plastic, rubber, and textiles.
4. Various functions in one machine
Digital label finisher cut with pinpoint accuracy and minimal waste. They can handle intricate shapes, contours, and sharp corners, and with kiss cutting, engraving, through cutting, and bit removal capabilities, the creative possibilities are endless.
The most compact sized digital label finisher any-CUT I
Best Quality at Affordable price Label finisher any-CUT II
Production class laser label converting any-CUT III
5.Easy to Use
You can create the cutting line through your adobe software and We have special software anytroncut that comes with the machine. Just 3 days of training will be enough to operate the machine.
Learn more about anytron digital label finisher series
Research shows that converters in management find that businesses are hesitant to make the leap to the new digital press because ‘new technology outside of an organization’s core competency may present a risk that seems too great to consider the investment required.’
However, according to industry experts, while digital may initially seem expensive, in reality the profit per employee can be up to twice as high as analog. Unfortunately, it’s common for converters to lack a clear understanding of their “actual” production cost, so estimates do not reflect true production costs.
When it comes to going digital, saying ‘yes’ may appear to be expensive—but it’s certainly more valuable in the long run—especially as trends are pointing to or demanding digital.
Being too fearful to take a risk or justify the cost of digitization may leave many traditional incumbents left behind as the rest of the industry moves forward.
When purchasing their first digital label finisher, converters should consider how they envision their digital business. The more advanced and versatile the digital solution, the more opportunities are within reach.
The time is now for converters to reposition themselves to appeal to evolving brands by fusing decades-long analog expertise with digital capabilities.