Roll Label Press Advice?

ikim86

Active member
Hi all,

Our company currently prints on flat crack n peel sheets for labels and are looking to shift to roll to roll. This is our first look in to a digital roll press and would love to see what recommendations experienced users on this forum may have.

- Target market is short to medium run. Most orders are between 1,000 and 20,000 currently, which obviously can change when offering roll labels. Still, looking for a machine to fulfill the needs of our current customer orders
- UV ink
- White ink options are great but not necessary

Original press we were considering was a Mark Andy toner press but many people seem to be advising against toner. What are the pros and cons with each technology based on your experience?

I am also curious to see if anyone has any experience with or insight in to the Anycut I laser die cutter and laminator. Upper management is looking in to this as a finishing option for the roll press as it can be used off-line, but I am skeptical on how reliable and efficient laser die cutting is.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read through this and (hopefully) provide feedback.
 

ikim86

Active member
How many labels per month are you expecting?
We have seen a sharp increase in label orders due to the whole COVID situation. The last 5 business days we've had a little over 30 orders (mostly 1M-5M quantity with a few 20M-100M outliers). Pre-COVID I'd say we were somewhere around half that.
 

jwheeler

Well-known member
Original press we were considering was a Mark Andy toner press but many people seem to be advising against toner. What are the pros and cons with each technology based on your experience?
The Mark Andy Digital One is actually a Konica Minolta C71CF engine with Mark Andy Finishing on it. If you look at the control panel, you'll see they're identical and the body has just been repainted. The KM C71CF was a very successful product for KM. Within a year or 2, they released an upgraded version called the Accurio Label 190, then maybe a year or so later released the Accurio Label 230. There were several upgrades with each model including speed increase, shorter warm up times, more printing between auto calibration, redesigned into one seamless body, and adding the ability to offer in-line finishing. Many customers still choose off-line finishing because one finisher can typically keep up, speed-wise, with 2 or 3 digital presses.

Both the Mark Andy (MA) and the KM product were released at the same time. Mark Andy had the more recognizable name in the label industry so originally many chose them over the KM, also because of the inline finishing. There were many issues with the MA installs because their techs did not know how to work on the KM engines, let along toner engines in general. In many MA accounts, KM was asked to come in and assist. All this to say, if you are going to get this technology, get it direct from the original manufacturer, Konica Minolta. It is built around their C1070/C2070/C3070 engine which, if you read through other forum postings, you will see has been a very solid sheet fed engine for printers for the last 6-7 years.

The toner engines are great solutions with very high quality. They offer the benefit of not having to pre-coat the media which is required by some ink technologies. They tend to be a lower cost investment, a smaller footprint, and less of a learning curve than ink presses. KM did just release an entry level inkjet press if you want to go that direction as well. It's called the PLS-475i. This press has actually been in production and sold for many years by a company called Muratec, which was bought out by Konica a couple of years ago (you'll note the logo on their website now says "A Konica Minolta Company"). It just took some time for them to develop marketing materials, establish a supply chain, and train their techs before releasing it under the KM brand. The benefit to this press over the toner is that you can print on pre-die cut material, it's an even lower investment cost and smaller footprint. The quality is 'good' but not to the level of the toner engines.
 
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ikim86

Active member
The Mark Andy Digital One is actually a Konica Minolta C71CF engine with Mark Andy Finishing on it. If you look at the control panel, you'll see they're identical and the body has just been repainted. The KM C71CF was a very successful product for KM. Within a year or 2, they released an upgraded version called the Accurio Label 190, then maybe a year or so later released the Accurio Label 230. There were several upgrades with each model including speed increase, shorter warm up times, more printing between auto calibration, redesigned into one seamless body, and adding the ability to offer in-line finishing. Many customers still choose off-line finishing because one finisher can typically keep up, speed-wise, with 2 or 3 digital presses.

Both the Mark Andy (MA) and the KM product were released at the same time. Mark Andy had the more recognizable name in the label industry so originally many chose them over the KM, also because of the inline finishing. There were many issues with the MA installs because their techs did not know how to work on the KM engines, let along toner engines in general. In many MA accounts, KM was asked to come in and assist. All this to say, if you are going to get this technology, get it direct from the original manufacturer, Konica Minolta. It is built around their C1070/C2070/C3070 engine which, if you read through other forum postings, you will see has been a very solid sheet fed engine for printers for the last 6-7 years.

The toner engines are great solutions with very high quality. They offer the benefit of not having to pre-coat the media which is required by some ink technologies. They tend to be a lower cost investment, a smaller footprint, and less of a learning curve than ink presses. KM did just release an entry level inkjet press if you want to go that direction as well. It's called the PLS-475i. This press has actually been in production and sold for many years by a company called Muratec, which was bought out by Konica a couple of years ago (you'll note the logo on their website now says "A Konica Minolta Company"). It just took some time for them to develop marketing materials, establish a supply chain, and train their techs before releasing it under the KM brand. The benefit to this press over the toner is that you can print on pre-die cut material, it's an even lower investment cost and smaller footprint. The quality is 'good' but not to the level of the toner engines.

Thanks so much for all the great info. I have reached out to Konica Minolta for a sit down and pricing.

I may be mistaken but I was under the impression that UV ink was the ideal technology for label printing as it can produce high quality prints on virtually any substrate. You seem to be very knowledgeable and I was wondering what your thoughts were on toner vs UV ink. If UV ink makes sense, are there any presses you recommend?
 

jwheeler

Well-known member
Thanks so much for all the great info. I have reached out to Konica Minolta for a sit down and pricing.

I may be mistaken but I was under the impression that UV ink was the ideal technology for label printing as it can produce high quality prints on virtually any substrate. You seem to be very knowledgeable and I was wondering what your thoughts were on toner vs UV ink. If UV ink makes sense, are there any presses you recommend?
Yes, UV Ink Digital presses are a great choice. They offer the ability to print on a wider range of substrates, and offer white ink....however, they are generally a higher cost and for larger volume shops. I always think it’s best to look at what the largest shops choose to know what’s good, and Discount Labels is one of the largest in the USA. They have Domino digital presses. You can see a video here about how they keep adding more to their fleet and are shifting work from their flexo presses:
I have a sales contact there if you need one.

Many mid sized shops have the HP Indigos which have a high price point as well and require an extra process to coat the media in order for their ink to adhere.
 

ikim86

Active member
Yes, UV Ink Digital presses are a great choice. They offer the ability to print on a wider range of substrates, and offer white ink....however, they are generally a higher cost and for larger volume shops. I always think it’s best to look at what the largest shops choose to know what’s good, and Discount Labels is one of the largest in the USA. They have Domino digital presses. You can see a video here about how they keep adding more to their fleet and are shifting work from their flexo presses:
I have a sales contact there if you need one.

Many mid sized shops have the HP Indigos which have a high price point as well and require an extra process to coat the media in order for their ink to adhere.
The Domino presses look amazing. Definitely a tier above. Likely too much for our volume but I'm interested to see how the price point compares to the Konica Minolta 190/230.
Thanks again for all the great information. You've been a big help.
 

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