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French label converter Impackt Etiquettes breaks into short-run markets with SPGPrints’ DSI® UV-inkjet digital workflow

Self-adhesive label converter Impackt Etiquettes (Hannelles-lez-Habourdin, near Lille, France) is meeting the growing demand for short-run and no-label look solutions for food, beverage and pharmaceutical brands after investing in a seven-colour SPGPrints DSI® (Digital System Integration) digital UV-inkjet press with inline converting equipment. Installed in 2015, the 330mm-wide press complements two six-colour flexo presses at its purpose-built 1800m² premises.

Impackt Etiquettes recognised that digital printing, with its simplified workflow, was essential for responding to ‘just-in-time’ delivery requests at short notice, and for supplying ‘artisan’ businesses targeting niche markets cost-effectively. Furthermore, the company preferred a UV-inkjet solution, with its superior opacity on plastic substrates, which would enable them to offer transparent labels to luxury goods manufacturers.

Michel Potelle, Impackt Etiquettes’ managing director, comments: “After seeing the trials and samples, it was clear that the DSI press, with its 4,000-metre roll capacity, could deliver both the high quality and productivity, especially on transparent substrates. We were impressed with the high specification and robust, industrial build that gave the stability at fast speeds, and excellent results on transparent films.”

Impackt’s DSI press features the standard CMYK process colours, plus the optional orange and violet, to achieve 90 per cent of the PANTONE® Colour gamut, and opaque white. The press’s other standard features include intermittent LED-pinning between printing stations, to assure a stable laydown of inks at speeds of up to 35 metres / minute (115fpm), and a chiller to prevent plastic materials from deforming. Impackt’s press also includes a flexo coating unit, cold foiling and semi-rotary die cutter inline.
Since the installation of the DSI press in 2015, Impackt has won significant business for no-label look-related work. The opaque white’s 93 per cent optical density has helped Impackt assure high quality for these applications. The no-label look accounts for at least 80 per cent of spirits labels on the press, while opaque white jobs feature on 35 per cent of all digital labels.

Potelle attributes the success in this niche, for both luxury brands and industrial markets, to the performance of the inks. He comments: “SPGPrints’ UV-inks give us a level of colour, depth and opacity that is equivalent to screen process, providing an effective block that stops the colour of the container contents from modifying the label graphics, especially on clear-on-clear applications.”

Thanks to the ink opacity achieved on the DSI, Impackt has convinced some brand-owners to switch from directly printing graphics on to the container via screen process, to using digitally printed labels instead. These customers are benefiting from shorter lead times and significant savings, as the need to store glass bottles in advance is eliminated.

Also, durability is a critical issue for chemical applications, where the label must resist harsh conditions, ranging from sunlight to corrosive materials. With SPGPrints' UV inks, Impackt can assure up to two years' outdoor performance.

Production runs on the DSI range from 100 to approximately four million labels. The shortest of these are digital samples for clients in the food and beverage sectors. Running one ten-hour shift per day, the DSI is responsible for about 15 percent of overall turnover – a figure that is expected to grow.

“The DSI gives us a controlled, single-pass solution for meeting quality requirements without the risk of error. We believe we have one of the most advanced digital UV-inkjet presses in northern Europe, in terms of productivity and application possibilities,” says Mr. Potelle.