New Labels & Packaging Forum

prwhite

Administrator
Staff member
Labels and folding cartons are the low hanging fruit and offer the easiest transition points for a commercial shop. If a Commercial Printer already has a digital press it's not a big leap to doing either. He has to learn about new substrates and probably different finishing processes (diecutting, for example), but all doable. A guy with a digital press is already familiar with short runs and probably has an operation that's geared for those. And at least some digital presses have the flexibility to do some packaging without a huge additional investment.
 

Akumaownz

Active member
There is more to it than you think, also add roll directions, gaps between labels for applicators, different adhesives, different stocks for different levels of refrigeration and all different embellishments leaving very little room for error.
 

gordo

Well-known member
There is more to it than you think, also add roll directions, gaps between labels for applicators, different adhesives, different stocks for different levels of refrigeration and all different embellishments leaving very little room for error.

I second that demotion. Also a great deal of packaging is done where the product is manufactured which can result in a certain difficulty finding customers locally - especially ones who would consider switching suppliers.
And what's the deal with a digital press? How cost effective is that compared with offset or flexo when the runs are typically very long?
 

prwhite

Administrator
Staff member
The idea was to see what new applications can be added to existing operations / equipment without mortgaging the kid's future, not necessarily at no cost. The topic was started to begin a conversation, and it seems to have begun!
 

gordo

Well-known member
The idea was to see what new applications can be added to existing operations / equipment without mortgaging the kid's future, not necessarily at no cost. The topic was started to begin a conversation, and it seems to have begun!

Well, it's not really "new applications" to be added to existing operations/equipment - it's a new vertical market. I'd wager that the majority of commercial printers aren't very effective at servicing their existing markets by leveraging the capabilities of their current systems let alone dealing with the issues of adding a new market to their service offerings.

It's not the brush that makes the painting - it's how it's used. Technology (operations/technology as you put it) offers potential but it is not a solution until the user knows how to extract its value potential.
 

Baldbug

Well-known member
Well, it's not really "new applications" to be added to existing operations/equipment - it's a new vertical market. I'd wager that the majority of commercial printers aren't very effective at servicing their existing markets by leveraging the capabilities of their current systems let alone dealing with the issues of adding a new market to their service offerings.

It's not the brush that makes the painting - it's how it's used. Technology (operations/technology as you put it) offers potential but it is not a solution until the user knows how to extract its value potential.
We are nearing a crossroad with our Label Printing. Yes we have a Digital Press and a good one IMHO.

We added a "new market to our service offerings in November a year ago which is Sign Printing and the printer we purchased also prints labels which has been a windfall for us.

The Roland Versacamm does astounding label quality and any shape label imaginable, but speed is its downfall (20,000+ labels 5 different shapes, printed, contour cut = 100 hours+ (it runs unattended) except for ink and media, then manual weed 20 hours +/- (bit of exercise for me).

As my clients grow with their product and market I need to grow with print speed to produce and supply labels ""without mortgaging the kid's future, not necessarily at no cost""

We've mastered the "Media" which is a learning curve in itself, so we on the hunt for something that will work with what we already use but for the longer and faster print runs of labels.
 

WI-Flexo

Well-known member
There is more to it than you think, also add roll directions, gaps between labels for applicators, different adhesives, different stocks for different levels of refrigeration and all different embellishments leaving very little room for error.
I would third that, and go so far as to say that all you have learned up to now in your particular niche, you can expect to have to learn just as much to take on labels and packaging. The points above are just scratching the surface. That said short run labels on digital can be somewhat profitable but there is a lot of effort put into those short run labels and as your customers size and needs increase you will be pricing yourself out by keeping their newer, larger label runs on a digital press. Therefore if you don't have a high volume press to transfer the work to they will leave to find someone that does. And they don't need to be ordering millions of labels. We have found that flexo and offset have a lower cost than digital at surprisingly low order quantities.
 

Point918

Well-known member
From a folding carton perspective I would not characterize this market as low hanging fruit. Transitioned from Commercial 8+ years ago and the differences were startling.
For many or most customers you'll need: a structural engineer plus software with a cutting table & a score bend tester, die cutting presses & gluers with of course talented operators, plus a warehouse and the capital to inventory cartons for months until they want your product just in time. Printing presses set up to run board are quite different than the typical commercial sheetfed press. 50"+ equipment, across the board of course, allows you to produced oversized cartons and gang all the varieties that brand extension has brought to the consumer. A sheeter helps keep your boards costs down.
Competition is fierce.
Money to be made here, just bring millions of $ to get going; at least at the high volume needed to compete long term.
 

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