The 2600 Series Mini Press is a digital printing system designed to perform with the characteristics of a larger unit. The company defines it as an “out-of-the-box, roll-to-roll solution” for prime labeling. It operates at print speeds up to 60 fpm (18 mpm), with a high resolution of 1600 x 1600 dpi.
“The 2600 Series in comparison to our 1600 Series can do longer run lengths, and it has a much improved user interface and provides the user with a more reliable and productive printing platform,” said Taylor Buckthorpe, marketing director at Colordyne. “It gives you those creature comforts that you have on a large, production class digital printing press but in a smaller, more affordable, compact solution.”
The Mini Press comes equipped with a Memjet color printhead, featuring “Waterfall” technology that involves the firing of millions of ink drops per second. The print width is 8.64” (219.5 mm), and one printhead accommodates all four CMYK colors. According to Colordyne, the printhead is up to 15 times faster than traditional inkjet options and features 1.2 picoliter drop size.
The refined drop size translates to sharper lines and text, as well as smoother gradients and solid-fill color areas. As opposed to traditional UV technology, Memjet does not produce a raised print. “It’s an even, smooth appearance, so in many ways it replicates flexo very well,” explained Buckthorpe.
The press’ size includes dimensions of 59” (1.5 m) in length and a height of 62.6” (1.59 m) with the user screen. It is also 36” (.91 m) wide and weighs 880 pounds (399 kg). The Colordyne control software features a capacitive touch screen that measures 15.6” (396 mm).
The unit’s size and functionality make it easier to set up, too. “When we set this up at the trade show, we pulled it out of the crate on Sunday and we were printing on it within two hours,” Buckthorpe added. “That was the time to get the ink boxes connected, run the power to it, turn on the computers, check the settings and then we’re up and running. The system’s as easy as walking up to it, selecting the file in your job queue, the number of copies you want, hitting print and you’re producing labels.”
Colordyne’s 2600 Series Mini Press was introduced as part of the Commercial Class of products to bridge the gap between its 1600 Series Industrial Class products and the 3600 Series Production Class family of products. This introduction is designed to fill a void in the industry in regards to investing in digital. According to the company, there are few options or platforms that fall in between a bench top digital color printer and large production class digital color printing presses. “The goal of the 2600 Series was to offer the industry a solution at an attractive price point that allows label converters and brand owners to get into digital with an affordable solution or continue growing their digital printing portfolio without making a large investment,” said Buckthorpe.
Colordyne’s newest product can serve converters and brand owners looking to print prime and pressure sensitive labels, tags, tickets and more. The company’s background in software also attracts customers in the variable data market. The 2600 Series can be used to improve a brand’s connectivity with an evolving customer base. Labels containing smart packaging, such as RFID and NFC functionality, can reach more consumers and the target millennial demographic.
Although flexographic technology still accounts for the majority of the industry’s printing, digital is growing at 3-5% annually. It has become a popular choice in markets requiring short runs. Despite the Mini Press’ ability to satisfy smaller orders in multiple SKU’s, Buckthorpe believes that philosophy shortchanges his company’s press. “I like to look at the more forward thinking way and changing people’s vision of digital printing, where it’s no longer just about doing short runs,” he said. “Label converters are constantly faced with challenges of turnaround times, getting jobs done with customers and jumping through hoops. When we explain what business owners can do, it hits home. The same message applies to both the label converter and the brand owner: they’re both looking for ways to cut costs on the labeling process, do it more efficiently, reduce waste and save time, offer their customers new value added services, and that’s what both companies are looking for.”
This technology can also benefit those companies that see a shift in their product requirements. Buckthorpe referenced a food supplier that experienced a significant shift from year one to year two. “That just shows how companies can really start small and grow into something large,” said Buckthorpe. “Those are the companies that, if a label converter can implement a 2600 Series or a 3600 Series, you can win those small clients that you couldn’t win before because they couldn’t produce the labels cost-effectively.
“That’s really what’s driving the print industry in general -- us as consumers,” he added. “We’re looking for something new and different. You go into local markets and you have branded products for local or regional flavor preferences, events, and languages. Everyone wants that connection to their favorite brands and digital printing can provide that to the industry. It’s a very interesting industry that’s ever-growing.”
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