With headquarters in Witzhave, near Hamburg, Germany, RAKO Etiketten is a supplier of labels and packaging and Europe’s largest producer of printed labels using digital offset reel-to-reel technology. The company is installing the new presses across three facilities in Germany to upgrade its current digital printing capabilities and take advantage of the HP Indigo WS6600’s benefits.
The HP Indigo WS6600 features the ILP (In-Line Priming) option, a custom-developed water-based primer that supports standard, untreated paper substrates. The ILP helps ensure faster turnaround times by eliminating the extra step of off-line substrate preparation, while also increasing flexibility and lowering cost.
“The new HP Indigo WS6600 presses are twice as fast as our existing installed models and easier to use. We can reduce our labor costs per label enormously while doubling our capacity,” says Roger Gehrke, manager of digital printing, RAKO Etiketten. “The new ability to use standard media as we do in our conventional offset and flexo printing presses is also a huge advantage, reducing inventory costs and overall material costs too.”
According to RAKO Etiketten, the new Enhanced Productivity Mode (EPM) functionality of the HP Indigo WS6600 helps achieve higher productivity for faster turnaround time on print jobs. EPM increases press throughput by 33 percent for most color jobs and by 25 percent when adding white ink.
“Using EPM – replacing black ink by simulating it with cyan, magenta and yellow – we will be able to print an extra 10 linear meters per minute,” explained Gehrke.
With brand owners increasingly reducing inventory costs and level of risk by ordering once a week rather than once a month, RAKO Etiketten says it has found low set-up times and minimal waste crucial for staying competitive. The investment in the new HP Indigo WS6600 Digital Presses is central to maintaining this position.
“Short runs are like a mantra that almost everyone follows today, and they have become root and branch of our whole operation. We are also seeing more and more variable data printing, especially in the pharmaceuticals industry with unique barcodes and data matrix codes identifying contents and source. It is absolutely essential that we can react in the shortest possible timeframe,” said Gehrke. “The speed and easy operation of the new presses give us the agility we need to keep meeting our customers’ changing demands.”