Labels UK responds to digital growth with Konica Minolta buy
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Labels UK has experienced improvements in productivity, flexibility and stability after expanding its growing digital operation with a new Konica Minolta AccurioLabel 230 press.
The Manchester-based company, which supplies labels to customers in the food and drink, chemical, security, and pharmaceutical markets, took delivery of the machine late last year. It replaced an existing bizhub Press C71cf from Konica Minolta.
Director David Dobson, who heads up the company with his father, managing director Steve Dobson, said: “Our order book is full of jobs that can only be done on a digital press because customers want them printed yesterday.
“We were finding it difficult to get reliable trade supply, so we decided to go into digital ourselves. This venture has been a real success for us, and some 30% of our business is now in digital, but we don’t want to stand still. Installing the AL230 was the next logical step.”
The toner-based AccurioLabel 230 runs full-colour print at a speed of up to 23.4m/min with an addressable print quality resolution of 1,200dpi.
The machine provides a new overprint kit with eye mark sensor, and digital four-colour print can be accurately registered to pre-printed jobs coming off Labels UK’s flexo presses.
The AccurioPro Label Impose software and RIP also allow for faster file preparation of variable data, which will enable Labels UK to move more work from its thermal printers to the new machine.
The AL230’s other features include a splicing table with air clamps, stuck web detection, Easy Thread automatic web feeding and True Sense low unwind sensor. The press is also fitted with internal LED lights to help illuminate manual web feeding should the need arise.
“The whole installation process was impressively quick. The Konica team simply swapped the presses and trained the operator. We were back up and running in just three days, which is great as we really couldn’t have afforded any significant downtime,” said Steve Dobson.
The company said its demand has increased “beyond expectations” of late, in part fuelled by the coronavirus pandemic and the uncertainty that existed over Britain leaving the EU.
“During the pandemic, we have seen new markets appear with the demand for cleaning products and hand sanitisers going through the roof, so it was important not to miss out or let any customers down,” said David Dobson.
“With Konica Minolta’s reliable digital technology in house, backed up by their excellent support and service, we have been able to offer quick delivery and respond within a matter of days.”