Digital Label Presses Galore

Posted on by Dave Erlandson | No Comments »

As the business drivers take hold in the market demand for digital printing of labels is expected to continue to grow rapidly.  It used to be easier to select a digital print engine for label production.  The first manufacturers in the field were HP Indigo and Xeikon with their electro-photographic presses (ElectroInk for HP and toner for Xeikon).  Then along came the Jetrion (now EFI) inkjet presses.  It wasn’t too hard to pick from one of the three main vendors. HP did very well in this environment, capturing well over half of the market and has 1200+ installations worldwide. EFI announced at Label Expo 2014 that they have over 200 installations of their 4000 series.

The number of choices has expanded dramatically. There are 60 digital label printers from 37 manufacturers in the market.  Products range from desktop units (20) to high speed production (40).   Approximately three quarters of the high and mid-range presses are inkjet. And two thirds of desktop units are inkjet. The inkjet presses generally use piezo technology with UV inks or Memjet technology with aqueous inks.

EP is certainly not dead. The market leaders (HP and Xeikon) are staying with their technologies.  EP is also used in several desktop or slower speed printers for in-house label production.  This includes products from Primera and OKI Data.  It is interesting to note that a new press from Canon Océ that is designed for folding cartons will use EP with liquid ink technology.  And this new Canon Océ press is very fast and highly productive.

Inkjet is definitely getting attention as a number of the big names in the printing business are jumping in to the label market with inkjet presses.  In addition to EFI, companies such as Colordyne, Epson, Durst, Domino, Fujifilm, Inx, Mark Andy, Miyakoshi, Screen, and SPG Prints all have digital inkjet presses on the market.

We’ve rounded up descriptions for the 60 presses that were on display at Label Expo 2014 in Chicago and Label Expo 2013 in Brussels. You can download the report here: Digital Label Presses

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