NarrowWebTech presents the new white paper “Hybrid printing”
When is a flexo/digital hybrid narrow web press a viable solution?
This white paper provides you with some useful information to answer the essential question, whether and to what extent the use of state-of-the-art hybrid flexo/digital presses are a winning solution to deal with the current challenges for label printing companies and to achieve a profitable production workflow.
A current challenge for label printing companies is how to achieve and maintain a lucrative price per square metre in their overall label and packaging print production. The daily incoming order flow does not always come in the desired sequence or quantities, and can involve rush requests for quick turnaround. Other challenges include shorter print runs, processing different types of substrates, more diversified jobs and one or more order flows congesting production capacity.
Is hybrid the answer?
A hybrid solution can bridge the gap between flexo and digital printing thanks to its flexibility. Although initially a larger investment, the ongoing ability to exchange print technologies and produce labels in either flexo or digital print, or a combination of both technologies, is a significant long-term advantage of a hybrid press.
Some technical facts about hybrid printing
Dutch press manufacturer MPS compared different job sizes in conventional (flexo), digital offline and hybrid printing from 500, 2000 and 5000 m (1640, 2187 and 16,404 ft) run lengths. It was clear that the length of time needed changes with the different steps of a print production process, depending on the order size.
Digital printing used to be a slower process in comparison with the converting process, so the two were previously separated. However, as both processes are becoming more comparable in terms of speed, they are more frequently combined.
Is a hybrid press a viable solution for your label printing company?
It is recommended that a label printer reviews the number and type of jobs run over the years, to determine whether the job structure might be more favourable with hybrid printing.
Initially a larger investment, the ongoing ability to print labels by either the flexo or digital process, or a combination of both technologies, is a significant long-term advantage of a hybrid press. The added cost is repaid by greater efficiency.
Considering the lifetime of the press, with frequent diversity of order flow, the return is higher productivity. It also provides label printers with more flexibility in production planning that can be extended to their clients, which in turn increases customer satisfaction. Other hybrid advantages include combined order flow, 100% colour gamut, variable data and minimised capital machinery investment.