With relative slow production speeds digital printing & finishing have been regarded as separate processes. With current speeds of some digital technologies approaching speeds of analogue flexo, offset & letterpress machinery it is becoming practical to combine digital printing with traditional print shop equipment to take advantage of ‘ in line’ finishing, cold foil, hot foil & silk screen services in order to enhance and value add to the product label. Hence the term ‘hybrid digital solution’. A hybrid solution can bridge the gap between flexo and digital for a print shop. It can improve the colour gamut limitations of digital. Thanks to its flexibility and ongoing ability to interchange print technologies you can produce labels in either flexo or digital print, or a combination of both technologies, this is the significant long-term advantage of a hybrid press.
In Line Combination Printing
With print speeds of up to 120Mts per minute of single pass digital systems like UV Ink jet it has become perfectly practical to combine analogue & digital system into a single press. A perfect example is adding variable information such as bar codes & sequential numbering onto generic labels or security labelling applications. Another application might be personalisation of generic labels for an advertising or promotional campaign. Additional opportunities to add value such as like embossing, hot foil, cold foil, over varnishing & spot varnishing are readily available with in-line hybrid systems.
Is a Hybrid Solution Right For Me?
This will depend on the structure of your production workflow and the quantity of short run jobs that will benefit from combining printing processes and finishing lines. Some will point out that investing in a hybrid press will be higher, which actually may not be the case, furthermore a Hybrid system provides the option to switch from one technology to another to improve your return on investment.
Focus have long standing experience integrating Digital print systems into its existing servo based machine lines, from mono to full colour systems. The current dFlex systems are found in applications for security bar coding, variable data, personalised labels & general short run printing applications. The advantage & ability to switch to normal production is a real advantage to maximise production capacity. We recognise that maximised use of the equipment needs to be realised to reach an acceptable return on investment for all levels of business.