CS Labels, based in Willenhall, UK, has announced details of its fifth Xeikon digital label press installation following the purchase of a new Xeikon 3500 wide format digital label printing system. The arrival of the new press has been timed to coincide with the West Midlands business expanding into an adjacent unit at its Willenhall Trading Estate location.
The new extension to CS Labels business allows it to double its office space, add a board room, and expand studio facilities, as well as providing a dedicated facility for the new Xeikon wide-format label press, and a temperature controlled paper store for all three digital machines.
The installation of the 516 mm wide Xeikon 3500 represents a fifth machine purchase by CS Labels in just five years. Whilst two of the early presses have been traded back during previous upgrade cycles, the new Xeikon 3500 machine represents a third production unit, providing an additional 50% printing capacity at the company.
A sizeable grant from the Government's Regional Growth Fund aided the purchase of the latest press, and it required the creation of three new jobs at the company. Managing Director Simon Smith says: "It is vital to monitor the availability of such grant options. The availability of this funding was an important factor in our purchase decision, particularly with the additional cash required to re-fit the new building. It ensures that our cash flow continues to remain positive and we don't overstretch ourselves in any one direction."
While two screen process presses are still in use, all flexographic printing has now ceased at CS Labels, some five years on from the original Xeikon digital installation. Digital printing of labels now makes up some 90% of the company's throughput.
Has moving to all digital caused any problems for the company? "Relatively few in reality," adds Smith. "Of course, we focus on the advantages of the move to digital, and while we could always outsource any true flexographic orders, the speed improvements provided by Xeikon, along with the reduced run lengths being demanded by many customers, mean that digital really does seem to cover most of the requirements of our current client base.
"One recent convert actually sent their designers in to see us in order that we could provide them with a detailed explanation of the digital process. By the end of a very long day, they were not only convinced that digital was an essential move for their work, they had changed a design three times with press proofs, and they had increased the final order to cover 20 different types of label for their products."