Epson launches short-run label press

Max Goldbart
Friday, August 4, 2017

Epson has launched its SurePress L-4533 series of short-run label presses.

The series, which is slated to replace the existing L-4033 series, will be shown for the first timeat Labelexpo, Brussels in September, and it will become commercially available straight after the show. It is comprised of two models, the seven-colour L-4533AW, which comes with white ink capability, and the L-4533A, which comes without.

Frank Maeder, Epson product manager for its labels division, said he estimates around 80% will purchase the L-4533AW. Pricing is yet to be finalised. 

The machine, which was beta-tested in Japan, is intended for small and medium-sized label converters aiming for digital printing capabilities, as well as commercial printers looking to diversify into labels. It is looking to build on the 4033’s global install base of more than 200 units.

Maeder said the 4533 was the result of “continuous development” initiated almost immediately after the 4033 was launched six years ago.

“This is a refresh of the platform. Quite a number of small things have been put together, so the development of the features did not take that long but you can see this as almost a combination of everything we’ve learned in the last five to six years,” he said.

“If you think about how we position this platform, the 4033 has been popular with people entering digital, typically flexo printers. When you look at what these people prioritise in a product it’s things like substrates, versatility, quality and ease-of-use. If you look at every incremental change on the 4533 they go in that same direction. 

The series offers improved speed and quality over the L-4033, printing in two-pass mode at a maximum speed of 8.2m/min - 3.2m/min faster than the 4033's maximum speed - as well as faster variable data processing. It also offers an additional two-pass mode, mainly intended for barcode printing, meaning it now prints in two-pass, four-pass, six-pass, eight-pass and 16-pass mode.

Maeder added: “What we’ve done is increased the quality in the four and six passes, meaning that we can now do quality equal to what we used to do in eight passes in six. So you get quality improvements and productivity improvements as you are using less passes.” 

It has a number of additional operational improvements on the 4033, including reduced setup and maintenance times, improvements in paper feeding and automated head maintenance.

It takes substrates ranging from standard paper to films to laminated pouch material, and can now take films at minimum 80μm thickness, 20μm less than the 4033. It uses a water-based SurePress AQ inkset and Epson Micro Piezo printheads. 

Maeder added that considering the 4033's wide European install base, he thinks the press will sell “disproportionately well” in Europe, including in the UK. 

He said: “This press is extremely good for very very short runs of good quality work so when you look at the European landscape, including the UK, where you have many languages and lots of different legislation and smaller batches in general we have done very well with this press. Europe in particular has been a real success story.”

Epson recently used Fespa to showcase its "breadth of applications"


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