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Short Run Success


Digital Print/Cut Devices for Label Creation


By Cassandra Carnes


Part 2 of 2


Wide format inkjet printers offer extreme versatility. When paired with integrated cutting capabilities, these devices provide new opportunities. Wide format print/cut solutions are particularly suited for the creation of on demand labels.


Adhesa Plate Manufacturing Co. celebrates a long history of producing quality custom labels, product markings, graphic overlays, membrane switches, insulators, and shields for a variety of manufacturers, including providers of electronic devices, industrial equipment, medical devices, and transportation equipment.


Established in 1954, the Seattle, WA-based company originated in offset presses to produce pressure-sensitive foil labels. To stay relevant, Adhesa illustrates a proven history of incorporating the latest technologies into its service offerings. In 1976 the company adopted UV technology to increase efficiency on its graphic overlay production. In the 1980s the company expanded into screenprinting to take advantage of new polycarbonate production. A custom estimating system was also developed in the 1980s, which is still utilized today to streamline cost estimating, inventory control, and prepress.


New Capabilities

Entering the new millennium, Adhesa added digital capabilities. Today, the company provides a full range of label printing capabilities, including screenprinting as well as thermal and UV inkjet digital print. The company estimates that digital now makes up approximately 28 percent of its monthly business. “Our niche with labels is short run, we knew digital production was a good fit for our business model,” says Craig Mitchell, president, Adhesa.


With its digital UV inkjet capabilities, the company is able to offer a high-quality image using four-color processes that also provides outdoor durability. Additionally, the digital printer offers variable data capabilities to allow for the inclusion of serial numbers of any font size or number of digits.


Recently, Adhesa added to its digital inkjet offerings with the purchase of its second digital printer, a Roland DGA Corporation VersaUV LEC-330. Mitchell admits that the new Roland device was specifically purchased for its ability to print and cut labels. “It was for a specific piece of business that we could not reproduce with screen printing,” he explains.


Adhesa needed to apply a coating on a curved surface and knew its standard polyurethane coating couldn’t provide the needed durability and flexibility for the particular application. To get the necessary effect, passes of the clear coat ink were tested over prints from the LEC-330. “We applied the clear coat until we had established the proper thickness for the application,” says Mitchell. “The ability to accurately control the thickness of a coating is a very unique feature,” he adds.


The LEC-330 is a wide format inkjet print/cut device that uses safe, low-heat LED lamps to print on a wide range of materials. The 30-inch device creates effects including matte and high-gloss finishes in a range of textures and patterns. Additionally, the printer utilizes Roland ECO-UV inks to produce graphics that are easy to handle and can be stretched across curved surfaces and sharp edges without cracking.


Meeting Client Needs

In order to satisfy customer demands, print providers of all capacities must remain on top of the trends. Whether you’re a traditional label manufacturer or a print service provider that owns or is looking to purchase a digital print/cut device; short-run, niche labels are always in demand. For Adhesa, new client needs were met with digital innovation.


Click here to read Part 1 of this exclusive online series, Breaking from Tradition.

Click on the link above to get more information on the vendors mentioned in this article.

Apr2011, Digital Output DODL0411

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