In a move that is highly strategic for its trade printing business, Dublin based JR Labels has installed the first Mark Andy Digital One label press in Ireland. The Digital One, which has a 330mm web width is a hybrid platform that includes a CMYK dry toner unit preceded by a web cleaner, and followed by a single flexo station for decoration (spot color, cold foil, lamination, varnish), and finally a die cutting unit. Introduced at Labelexpo Americas 2016, Digital One is an entry-level digital label press designed to print short-run prime labels with inline converting at a modest investment level and all in one pass. The hybrid technology allows label converters to augment high output flexo presses and bring greater efficiency to short run work.
(left to right) David Duffy, Paul Macdonald, and Andrew Carson with JR Labels' new Digital One press.
JR Labels, which was established in 1978 by Ron Carson, and is now managed by his son Andrew, is a 100% trade house. Speaking for the company, Andrew Carson stated: “We pride ourselves on our trade work and guarantee 100% security and confidentiality for our customers – it’s like an NDA, and they all appreciate the fact that their work is safe with us.” An important part of this is having the ability to deliver the right quality, and to do so on-time, every time. This was the reasoning behind the company’s investment in Digital One. Carson continued: “We have relied on Mark Andy flexo presses for years and felt they were the best company to understand the digital needs of a label converter.”
Although the press has been installed only a few weeks, JR Labels’ Sales & Marketing Manager, John McGrillen is full of praise for Digital One. “It fills the gap we have between flexo capability and demand for short run work, and matches the quality of anything we produce here, no matter what substrate we use. It’s added considerably to our production capability and is beginning to open markets that we couldn’t tap into before. It also does not require the stock to be pre-treated, which saves both time and money, and almost best of all, there is no click charge!” he added.
In terms of operation, Production Manager David Duffy commented: “The Digital One unit is extremely quick and easy to make-ready – it’s very much a label printers’ machine, so if you’re used to narrow web flexo, it’s an easy crossover. The print quality matches what we can achieve on our other Mark Andy presses, even the tricky flesh tones, so we can now choose which technique to use purely on run length and availability.” Another cost saving for JR Labels is the fact that existing die tooling is fully compatible with Digital One.
Keen to stress that the company’s ethos of ‘trade only’ will not change, JR Labels is eager to serve the increasing demand for short run work with a high degree of variation. Commenting for Mark Andy, UK & Ireland Sales Manager Paul Macdonald said: “We’re delighted to secure the first order for Digital One from JR Labels because the nature of their exclusively trade work will be a real test for its capability, and offers them additional and varied capacity.”