Analog vs. Hybrid vs. Digital Label Printing: Uncover The True Costs

Analog vs. Hybrid vs. Digital Label Printing: Uncover The True Costs

analog hybrid cost comparison

Introduction to the Label Printing Processes

To make an informed decision about the best press technology for your needs, it’s crucial to emphasize the cost comparison between analog, hybrid, and digital equipment. In this post, our aim is to assist you in making a rational decision by providing numerical data on the cost differences associated with analog, hybrid, and digital systems.

At the very beginning of this post, we would like to present a simplified flow chart that outlines the processes involved in analog, hybrid, and fully digital in-line operations.

Analog(offset printing)

Analog label printing involves six essential processes, including making plates and dies, color matching, and cleaning. These processes cannot be skipped and require a significant amount of time and effort.


Hybrid digital printing combines a digital printer and a flexible die cutter, requiring fewer processes compared to analog. However, it still involves tasks such as making dies, cleaning, and changing processes.

Fully Digital In-line (digital press + laser finihser)

The latest advancement in label printing technology is the fully digital inline system. One of its key advantages is the elimination of plates and dies. This significant advantage reduces the number of processes required, resulting in streamlined and efficient label production. With a fully digital inline system, you can bypass the steps of plate making, die cutting, and related cleaning processes, saving valuable time and resources.

Comparison of Short Run Label Printing Operation Costs for Each Equipment

Let’s consider conducting 5 different design jobs per day for 20 days and for a year.

Comparison of Analog Label Printing Operation Costs

  • Plate Production: In the case of analog, the cost of producing plates is required. The production cost of a CMYK plate is approximately $50 USD. The cost for producing 4 CMYK plates for 5 jobs per day would be $50 USD x 4 (CMYK) x 5 jobs = $1000 USD. In a month, this would amount to $20,000 USD (20 days x $1000 USD), and in a year, it would be $240,000 USD for plate production costs.
  • Die Production: Analog requires not only plate production but also die production. The cost for producing one die is approximately $50 USD. For 5 jobs per day, the cost would be $50 USD x 5 jobs = $250 USD. In a month, this would be $5000 USD, and in a year, it would amount to $60,000 USD for die production costs.

Additionally, we cannot ignore the media waste during analog work. The media waste per job is approximately 50 meters. Assuming a media width of 200 meters and a cost of $1.4 USD per meter, each job incurs $14 USD as media waste. This amounts to $70 USD, $1400 USD, and $16,800 USD wasted per day, month, and year, respectively.

Lastly, we can consider the labor cost for job shifting. Job shifting takes approximately 1 hour, and with a labor charge of $25 USD per hour, the daily, monthly, and yearly labor costs for job shifting would be $125 USD, $2500 USD, and $30,000 USD, respectively.

Comparison of Hybrid Label Printing Operation Costs

  • Die Production: Unlike analog, hybrid equipment does not require separate plates as it uses a digital printer. However, it incurs significant costs for cutting die production. On average, the cost of producing one cutting die for hybrid equipment is $100 USD. Calculating this for a day, month, and year, it would be $500 USD, $10,000 USD, and $120,000 USD, respectively.
  • Media Waste: The amount of media waste during hybrid printing is approximately 1/5 compared to analog printing. Therefore, the yearly cost for media waste is also 1/5, amounting to $3360 USD.
  • Labor Cost for Job Shifting: Job shifting in hybrid equipment takes half the time of analog, 30 minutes. This translates to daily, monthly, and yearly labor charges of $62.5 USD, $1250 USD, and $15,000 USD, respectively.

Comparison of Fully Digital Label Printing Operation Costs

In fully digital equipment like Anytron, neither plates nor cutting dies are required.

The amount of media waste during digital printing is approximately 5m per job, which is about half compared to hybrid printing. Even when calculated on a yearly basis, it is about 1/10 of the media waste generated in analog printing.

  • Labor Cost for Job Shifting: When using Anytron for printing, the job shifting time required is only 10 minutes. This is about 1/6 compared to analog printing and 1/3 compared to hybrid printing in terms of labor cost.

After conducting such a detailed comparison of Label Printing Operation Costs, it becomes evident that the operating costs of label printers, such as ink and media prices, represent only the tip of the iceberg. Beyond that, the hidden costs, including expenses for consumable production, media waste, and labor charges, hold even greater importance.

Download the uncovered comparison chart to assess the potential cost savings 
offered by the fully digital in-line solution ANY-JET!

ebook download- analog hybrid digital

Introducing Anytron ANY-JET: A Combination of Digital Label Printing and Laser Die Cutting

 ANY-JET is a game-changing label printer that combines digital printing and laser cutting into one unit. It streamlines the production process by allowing printing and cutting to be done simultaneously. With advanced technology, it eliminates the need for separate machines and manual handling, saving time and reducing errors. The system removes the requirement for plates and dies, resulting in cost and time savings. It also minimizes material wastage and offers continuous printing for enhanced efficiency.

The auto job changeover function ensures smooth transitions between different label designs or print runs, maximizing productivity. By reading the barcode of each job, it can automatically change cutting positions without requiring operator intervention.

Furthermore, ANY-FLOW, Anytron’s work flow software supports hot folder, job management and simultaneous inline system.


  • ANY-FLOW, an intelligent workflow solution tuned for optimal printing efficiency, allows you control all the process from printing to finishing with just a few clicks.
  • Rip features such as variable data printing and workflow management technology work perfectly work together in a single platform

 You are fully aware that today’s markets are seeking small quantities and a variety of products. If you are searching for a superior label printing solution that offers optimal performance and cost savings, Anytron’s fully digital printing systems are the perfect answer. Embrace cutting-edge technology to enhance productivity and profitability according to your needs.

Don’t miss the opportunity to upgrade your label printing process. Contact us today to explore our complete range of fully digital label printing solutions and gain a competitive edge in the industry.

Learn more about ANY-JET Fully Digital Inline Label Printing series

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In-House Fully Digital Inline Label Press

Production Class Fully Digital One-Stop Label Solution

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