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Labels and Labeling | A Moment With Colordyne's Taylor Buckthorpe

Converting Solutions magazine caught up with Taylor Buckthorpe, the director of sales and mar- keting at Colordyne Technologies, a manufacturer of high-speed, high resolution digital inkjet color label printers. He says the company offers a range of products, from benchtops to customized in-line solutions, and that the scalability of products allows customers to start small with digital printing, like with the 1600 Series C, and grow within Colordyne’s suite of solutions as their vol- umes increase. With digital printing, converters can pro- duce customized, short-run labels and packaging—all while improving production flexibility and turnaround times to their customers. Read on for more of what Buck- thorpe has to say about the label and labeling converting market.

Converting Solutions magazine (CSM): What is the No. 1 concern your customers have when selecting a label production machine?

Taylor Buckthorpe (TB): Outside the typical concerns of print quality, performance and consumable costs,

Taylor Buckthorpe

the top concern for our customers, both when considering investing in digital technology and during production, is filling the press’ digital print capacity. Many converters recognize the value of adding digital label production to their business but struggle to sell and promote those benefits to their customers. This can lead to a shortfall in pro- duction capacity, and for those who have a standalone digital press, it often means a piece of equipment is not running for one shift or more.

We work with our customer throughout the purchasing lifecycle and post-acquisition to assess their current busi- ness and help identify jobs that have the potential to be transitioned to digital production. Then we work with and help train their sales and marketing teams to build campaigns and selling tools to drive business towards dig- ital label and packaging production.

Being able to prove the technology that is right for the scope of the customer’s application creates an accurate ROI for the converter while driving business to the plat- form. This is the path to success with digital equipment.

CSM: What other challenges do you face as a label equipment manufacturer? How do you overcome them?

TB: The biggest challenge as a manufacture is delivering digital printing solutions that provide a balance of speed, resolution and capital cost to our customers. To meet this goal, Colordyne’s focus is on developing scalable print head technology allowing us to provide our customers multiple entry points for adding digital equipment to their business.

Other digital label equipment manufacturers do not offer the same number of entry points into digital printing using the same print head technology across platforms. The benefit of maintaining this print head consistency is that users of our technology do not have to resell their customers if they move to a faster or larger capacity press. Print quality stays constant across every platform.

This approach gives our customers confidence and peace of mind in their digital printing investment. Not only can they start with the solution that meets their current needs, they can also scale our solutions as their volumes grow.

CSM: How important are run lengths for this industry?

TB: As a manufacturer of digital label equipment, we are seeing an increase in shorter run lengths driving a higher demand for digital label production equipment as a sup- plement to traditional flexo and offset converting. The days of “one size fits all” are over; today’s consumers are looking for a more individualized, one-to-one experience with the products they purchase, resulting in a higher demand for short-run label production. Consumers buy from brands that incorporate per- sonalization, localization and flavor variation into their pack- aging and product offerings.

This change in consumer behavior is forcing companies to evaluate both their product offerings and marketing efforts to better connect with consumers’ distinct tastes and lifestyles. These companies then turn to their label suppliers for the tools to create these custom, short- run labels. Due to plate costs and setup time, it is not economical for converters to produce short runs on traditional converting equipment. This factor is leading more converters to asses the best way to incorporate digital equipment into their current business environment.

CSM: What is the most prominent innovation you have seen in the label printing industry?

TB: The advancement of process color inkjet solutions, as well as the continuous innovations in inkjet technology are both exciting parts of the printing industry to be a part of. Inkjet has come a long way over the past decade and shows a lot of promise in the future of label printing.

Companies continue to develop and announce new print- head and ink chemistries that provide advancements in printhead life, resolution, and speed.

CSM: Tell me about variable data printing and its importance in this market segment.

TB: Variable data printing (VDP) uses a database to insert different pieces of data into a print job without stopping during the production process. Companies often use VDP for text, like names and addresses, but users can also include graphic elements as well. This practice was derived from digital printing decades ago, but—with con- tinuous digital press enhancements and software development—the ability to create variable data labels and tags is more affordable and efficient today than ever before.

Adding to the popularity among converters, new printing techniques, like versioning and personal- ization, emerged from VDP. Versioning uses text and images to create labels that connect with specific groups of people—think labels that fea- ture an upcoming event in a cer- tain region. Meanwhile, personalization targets individ- uals rather than groups with mes- sages that, for example, feature different names.

We touched on consumer’s changing purchasing habits leading to an increased demand for custom and personalized label printing. This trend is only eco- nomically achievable though the use of variable data printing. Dig- ital production allows converters to easily and affordably produce high-mix, low-volume runs cre- ated though VDP. Converters can print 100 copies of 10 different labels or 1,000 of the same label all in one pass, not only saving them money on plates, but also significantly lowering their changeover times.

Contact Company

Colordyne Technologies

Taylor Buckthorpe: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Converting Solutions

Sharon Spielman: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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