Latest investment is a step up to the next level in digital production.
Domino, headquartered in Cambridge, UK has announced that it has installed the first Domino N600i digital colour label press at Reynders Label Printing’s Belgium production facility.
Established in 1959, Reynders has since expanded to become one of the leading label specialists in Europe with six specialised printing divisions and eight production facilities spread throughout Europe and Asia.
The company has over 60 printing presses and more than 450 printing stations covering flexography, offset, letterpress, screen, dry toner, wet toner and ink jet printing technologies. This latest installation is a direct result of Reynders focus on maintaining its leading position through investment in the very latest label printing equipment as Chief Executive Officer Marc Reynders explained.
“Over the past few years, label printing has been facing new challenges with customers demanding ever tighter delivery deadlines, shorter average run lengths, more personalised data; but still the highest quality of end product,” he said. “As a result, we needed to find solutions that can not only cope with these changing demands, but that also means adjusting our service offering for our customers. It ultimately helps us to move our business forward in line with the changing dynamics of the industry.”
Marc and his team first saw an early technology demonstration of the N600i at Ipex 2010 and liked what they saw.
“We already had a number of HP Indigos, the latest Xeikon technologies and three Agfa Dotrix digital label presses all of which were doing a good job,” continued Marc, “But to take Reynders to the next level in digital label production we needed a solution that could offer high quality digital printing at significantly increased speeds. The N600i was just what we were looking for.”
The Domino N600i four colour digital label press offers a native 600dpi print resolution and uses one of the smallest drop sizes (6pl) to deliver high quality output onto a range of coated paper and plastic label stocks, and operates at speeds of 50-75 metres per minute. Combined with a standard 333mm (13”) wide web width it provides up to 1,500 m2 of print per hour. In addition, by varying the droplet sizes delivered from a single print head combined with the composition of the ink, the N600i can reproduce a wide colour gamut including over 80 per cent of the pantone colour range.
With so many label press technologies installed across Reynders multiple sites, the fact that Domino had integrated the Esko front end into the N600i was an added appeal to Reynders and assisted with its integration.
“We already worked with the Esko workflow and this together with the intuitive user interface made working with the N600i so much more straightforward,” said Marc.
Installation didn’t go without its challenges, especially with the company agreeing to be a beta test site for Domino’s N600i. “It’s fair to say that with any beta site, installation can take longer than usual, but we are delighted with the outcome,” confirmed Marc. “We always had complete confidence in Domino throughout the process. They listened to our requirements, were extremely helpful in exploring ways to overcome any issues and conducted the installation with the utmost professionalism.”
Within a short time, the operations team had the N600i running at production speeds of 50 metres per minute, a significantly higher rate than the company’s existing digital technologies, and were using the press for new mid-volume applications of up to 3,000 metres, well above the 1,000 metres limit they typically would schedule on digital machines.
The increased speed of throughput brought additional challenges for the operators, as it meant they could no longer manually check for rejects and quality of output, as was the procedure for the company’s slower running solutions. To overcome this, Reynders installed an automated vision system onto the N600i line that could cope with verification of output at such high speeds, reducing operator intervention with the added bonus of delivering extra production efficiencies.
To further develop the flexibility and capabilities of the N600i, Reynders and the Domino team are working together to develop new inks as well as review the integration of inline die-cutting technology within the N600i production line.
“Although it is still early days, we are extremely impressed with the capabilities of the N600i,” continued Marc, who is already looking to exploit the potential it can offer in terms of longer term new business opportunities.
“The N600i has certainly lived up to our expectations of high resolution, high quality output at significantly higher operational speeds. The operation has been reliable and we are able to run much longer production jobs than we would normally print with digital technology. In this respect it is more targeted at replacing what we would normally run on flexo machines. If the N600i continues to perform to our expectations and we can achieve all our business goals, we will be considering further investment in this technology in the future.”
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