A survey of the die-cutting of labels: Part 3 with Cartes
In this interview series a range of companies names the current challenges for the die-cutting of labels, the role of digitization in this regard and how laser die-cutting fits into this industry. In Part 3 Virgilio Micale from Cartes shares his point of view about this relevant part of label production.
- What are the current challenges for the die-cutting of labels?
Virgilio Micale: Nowadays all markets are experiencing a dynamic change which is sometimes hard to follow with the same rhythm. The label market is not an exception and this is demonstrated by the rapid growth of the sector in recent years. Labels are evolving following different patterns and label shapes are one of the changing variables in this evolution. In addition, there are also new substrates and applications needing adjustment to the way of working.
- We are living in a digitized production world, in your opinion, which system is the most suitable for the modern single-pass label printing (rotary/laser) process?
Virgilio Micale: Labels are being improved constantly and are sometimes totally reinvented, this trend is well recognized as “differentiation“. Laser converting sets the tone for digital printed labels since it is the only technology matching the digital service concept as well as offering several applications in a single-pass, like; die-cutting, cut-out, perforation, etching and scoring. Rotary is a conventional die-cutting system that fits perfectly for long-run jobs whilst laser is the key for on-demand digital label converting.
- In general: what are your preferences for certain applications? (Semi) rotary die-cutting or laser die-cutting?
Virgilio Micale: Contrasting with those of the laser, semi-rotary die-cutting benefits are much closer than those of the rotary system. Nevertheless, it is still a system ruled by conventional tools. Certain applications, especially those with short delivery times and intricate shapes, are better done by laser.
- Laser die-cutting is a rather new technology: where do you see the opportunities and limitations of this process?
Virgilio Micale: In the eyes of label printers, laser technology looks like the perfect digital printing complement, even if not always affordable and convenient. The definition of what type of technology is correct, is preceded by a key variable, the number of labels that must be converted.
For short-runs, this is a giant challenge for conventional die-cutting systems, where laser converting is totally ready-to-run.
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