Manchester-based Labels UK has upgraded to digital print capability by investing in a Konica Minolta AccurioLabel 230 press.
The third-generation label press from Konica Minolta is delivering significant improvements in productivity, flexibility, and stability, along with higher speed, to ensure Labels UK stays highly competitive in the rapidly expanding labels production market.
Labels UK is a small but dynamic company that supplies labels to customers in the food and drink, chemical, security, and pharmaceutical markets. For Labels UK, investing in the AccurioLabel 230 (AL230) was a natural progression and a decisive response to a demanding label market, where those able to provide fast turnaround and just-in-time delivery of high-quality jobs succeed.
The company is headed up by father and son, Managing Director, Steve Dobson and Director, David Dobson, “Our order book is full of jobs that can only be done on a digital press because customers want them printed yesterday,” explained David. “We were finding it difficult to get reliable trade supply, so we decided to go into digital ourselves. This venture has been a real success for us, and some 30% of our business is now in digital, but we don’t want to stand still. Installing the AL230 was the next logical step.”
The challenges imposed on the industry by the COVID-19 restrictions have not stopped Labels UK from expanding its business to offer customers faster delivery, higher quality, more variable data options and better service. Demand has also increased beyond expectations, in part fuelled by the pandemic and the uncertainty that existed over Britain leaving the EU. Having previously successfully utilised a Konica Minolta bizhub PRESS C71cf, Labels UK turned to the company again for its move to a digital solution.
“The whole installation process was impressively quick,” said Steve. “The Konica team simply swapped the presses and trained the operator. We were back up and running in just three days, which is great as we really couldn’t have afforded any significant downtime.”
David added, “During the pandemic, we have seen new markets appear with the demand for cleaning products and hand sanitisers going through the roof, so it was important not to miss out or let any customers down. With Konica Minolta’s reliable digital technology in house, backed up by their excellent support and service, we have been able to offer quick delivery and respond within a matter of days.”
The AL230 is perfectly suited to Label UK’s expansion needs. It provides a new overprint kit with eye mark sensor, and digital four-colour print can be accurately registered to pre-printed jobs coming off the flexo presses at Labels UK. The AccurioPro Label Impose software and RIP also allow for faster file preparation of variable data - another plus for Labels UK as they were keen to move more work from their thermal printers to the Konica Minolta press. Now jobs that previously took three days to produce can be done in an afternoon.
With increased speed and a start time of just 30 seconds, the AL230 features a host of other improvements that together make the printing experience much easier. These include a splicing table with air clamps, stuck web detection, Easy Thread automatic web feeding and True Sense low unwind sensor. The press is also fitted with new internal LED lights to help illuminate manual web feeding should the need arise.
Steve Lakin, Label Press Sales Consultant, Konica Minolta Business Solutions UK, also commented, “Working with Labels UK and seeing first-hand the difference that Konica Minolta’s digital technology can make is immensely satisfying, and we are proud to play a part in their continued success. Reliability, quality, and consistency are key for companies of any size to succeed. From the outset, Labels UK invested in a solid label press that performs day in day out, and they are now reaping the rewards, having built a reputation as a company that delivers.”