The short answer to that is, of course, no. The slightly longer answer is that label converters are still showing a flicker of interest for investing in digital presses. Clever Etiketten in the Hague (Netherlands), for example, was until a few weeks ago a 100 percent flexo printer. Director Michel Tromp explains the decision to “go digital” as a reaction to the smaller and smaller print runs being demanded by Clever’s customers.
“Our customers are getting fewer and fewer guarantees from their customers, such as supermarkets,” says Tromp, “so their orders are for smaller numbers, to keep stocks low. And they are using the opportunity of the greater number of orders to make endless changes to the design or the text. We can now take advantage of that by printing digitally with our new HP Indigo ws4500. The coming months will be tough for everyone, and I foresee that digital printing will supplement the capacity of our flexo presses and undoubtedly also partly replace them.”
Another converter who installed a digital press in February is Etiketten-Reissner GmbH in Germany. Reissner is an old hand in the digital printing business, having taken delivery of its first digital press in 2001. Etiketten-Reissner’s customers include direct marketing agencies and companies in the retail and industrial sectors, and the new press, also a ws4500, will make it possible to extend services and deliver even shorter runs, with faster turnaround times, according to the company’s CEO, Richard Reissner.