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Printing inkjet labels

Sep 1, 2008 12:00 AM


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At EFI's 2008 Connect users conference, Ken Stack, vice president and general manager of the company's Jetrion industrial inkjet systems division, detailed the advantages of label printing with the Jetrion 4000 Series UV inkjet label press, a narrow-web (5.5-inch) product released two years ago.

Today, said Stack, the press delivers “image quality as good as flexo,” enabling EFI to penetrate markets dominated by what he called the “de facto standard” platform for high-end label work in color, the HP Indigo.

No clicks or clean rooms here

The Jetrion 4000 doesn't require a temperature-controlled, clean-room environment and therefore can be installed side by side with flexo equipment in conventional pressrooms. Jetrion users do not pay by the click (i.e., machine impression). By paying only for ink consumed, said Stack, Jetrion 4000 customers can save up to 80 perecent of what it would cost to print a low-coverage label on a competing press.

The Jetrion 4000 will add full variable-data printing capability later this year. Stack also reported that his developers are “writing the hooks” from EFI Digital StoreFront to the press, an improvement aimed at giving it W2P capability for short-run, on-demand label production.

Flexo labels' friend and foe

Stack predicted that UV-curable digital inkjet will become “the ubiquitous technology” for label production as more printers come to appreciate the fact that unlike flexo, it doesn't need lamination or any other finishing step to produce a glossy, scratch-resistant surface.

Stack also detailed the capabilities of systems in the UV-capable Jetrion 3000 series. These scalable printhead arrays can be run inline with flexo equipment for a variety of labeling and packaging applications including bar coding, brand protection, and “track-and-trace” security printing.

See www.efi.com.

Patrick Henry is the director of Liberty or Death Communications. Contact him via www.libordeath.com.