Eminence Business Media

Eminence Business Media

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Multi-Action Labels expands into short-run, just-in-time printing and prototyping with SPGPrints’ DSI UV-inkjet press

Multi-Action Labels, a self-adhesive label laminator and converter based in Quebec City, Canada, has significantly expanded its short-run printing operation after installing SPGPrints’ DSI UV-inkjet label printing press, enabling customers to benefit from premium quality, shorter lead times and lower supply chain costs as a result. 

Operational since 2012, the 330mm (13”) wide, eight-colour DSI press at Multi-Action is a complete print-converting line for single-pass production and complements three existing ETI flexo lines.

Jonathan Bourbonnière, president of Multi-Action Labels, comments: “The quality achieved by the DSI press and SPGPrints’ inks has been amazing, and has enabled us to deliver high-impact designs that have enhanced our customers’ brands and boosted their sales. A major tomato grower in Quebec has even declared the printwork achieved by the press as the quality standard for all its labels.  Equally importantly, the press delivers identical quality to flexo, giving us the flexibility to switch all analogue jobs shorter than 10,000ft [3048m] to the digital process.”

With run lengths averaging nearly 260m (850ft) on their DSI, Multi-Action is offering just-in-time solutions with usual lead times of just 48 hours, as well as occasional same-day deliveries. As Jonathan explains in a video interview on the press-maker’s YouTube channel, this is helping customers in the food & beverage, homecare, pharmaceutical and industrial markets make major savings by reducing stockholding levels.

In addition to CMYK, the DSI at Multi-Action has been customised with options including orange and violet, to cover over 90 percent of the colour gamut, opaque white, and a digital primer. Intermediate LED pinning and a chill drum, standard on all DSI presses, ensure crisp quality on film and paper substrates at speeds of up to 35m/min (114fpm). Inline converting options specified included a flexo coating station and semi-rotary diecutting technology supplied by AB Graphic.  The press uses SPGPrints’ proprietary inks that offer BWS-7 lightfastness, strong scratch and chemical resistance and high levels of brilliance.

Furthermore, the DSI has given Multi-Action serialised printing capabilities that help customers improve supply chain efficiency and safety. In one example, Multi-Action supplied one million unique barcodes to a department of the Quebec government, allowing warehouse staff to find and trace products easily through the logistics chain.

Multi-Action is also offering a DSI-printed sample service, helping brand-owner marketing teams to speed up the prototyping stage.  Derek Gobeil, director of marketing, explains: “Whereas flexo prototyping was done with Photoshop and mock-ups, now we can do the actual run on the press, in minutes, with the exact inks, adhesive and facestock. And if any last-minute changes are needed, it’s all numerical anyway: we just go back to press. In this way, our digital workflow greatly speeds up the client’s decision-making process at R&D stage.”

Thanks to the DSI’s Esko Automation software which automates step-repeat functions, the company has a fast, simple digital workflow that fits seamlessly with the flexo operations. Prepress times for the DSI are just 15 minutes, compared with an average of 90 minutes for the flexo plates. The DSI is also able to print several jobs consecutively, effectively eliminating start-up waste. The installation has boosted the productivity of its three ETI flexo lines also, as these now focus exclusively on long runs.

Jonathan Bourbonnière adds: “The addition of the DSI to our business has more than simply improved our flexibility: we can provide services that add significant value to our customers’ operations as a result.  Thanks are also due to SPGPrints’ technical support staff, whose professionalism and passion has enabled us to adopt the digital workflow smoothly.”