The Benefits of Digital Printing – Tackling Diverse Product Offerings

Recently a customer came to us looking for labels for their entire line of products. This particular product line was comprised of 75 variations of the same product, the variable in this instance being the color of each one. Each label required two colors: black and the particular color of the product. To keep a uniform look to the line, each variation sported the same image. However, the copy changed on each.

To execute this job via traditional flexographic printing would have required the use of 76 printing plates—1 for the image and 75 for each copy variation. The cost of the plates alone would have driven up the overall cost of the project. Further costs would have added up from the increased labor and waste that running the labels would have entailed. To run the product line via traditional flexographic printing would have required us to stop the press, change the copy plate, wash out the graphic plate, and mix & match the next color—74 times. Each step costs money and takes time, and together, they contribute to added material waste.

By printing this job on the HP Indigo WS6600 digital press, we eliminated the need for plates. This also removed the need to stop the press 74 times. For this reason, even though digital printing is a slower process than flexographic printing, the removal of these stops made digital printing the faster option. We also eliminated the need for manual color matching. This was taken care of using our HP printer’s IndiChrome feature, which accurately handles color matching. This was taken care of using our Star Extended Color Gamut feature, which accurately handles color matching, and provides continuous color calibration.

In addition to the savings on their initial order, digital printing also provides our customer with more flexibility for future orders. In a line of 75 colors, there are going to be some stronger performers and some weaker performers. For those products that find less demand, digital printing makes it economical to place small volume reorders.