Board Converting News, June 15, 2020

Converters Weigh (CONT’D FROM PAGE 24)


that labeling can. If you’re looking for a nice, shiny, photo quality finish, labels are the way to go,” says Tackmier. Quantities also play a role in determining the break even point of digital printing vs labeling. “For lower quan-


tities with multiple outputs, digital printing makes sense. Whereas, higher quantities and a desire for higher quality graphics would lead you to labels instead,” he says. Cost is another factor that differ- entiates the two methods. The cost of ink, storing and maintaining ink

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Dennis Tackmier

and maintenance costs are some reasons that customers have chosen to stick with labeling. The upfront costs of purchasing a digital printer are much higher than label- ers, and the labor costs can also be higher due to the skill needed to operate the printer. “We’ve had several integrat- ed customers tell us that they are using labelers instead of digital printers because of the trouble they have in finding employees with the expertise needed to run them,“ says


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The Automatan A+ Label Laminator

Tackmier. “Oftentimes labeling is a more reasonable solu- tion for smaller plants that can’t afford to invest millions for a digital printer.” Aside from quality, quantities and costs, plants may choose to run one machine or the other to achieve higher throughput and better flow through their facility. What we know for certain is that there are applications that make sense for both methods of printing. “A year ago, we had customers saying they were not going to do any more labeling but all of those customers have come back and now see the value to both,” Tackmier says. “We have seen no customers move exclusively to digital printing, which is a key indicator that there is still a need for labeling.” Although digital printers offer the versatility and fast speed to market, the industry is realizing that there is still a need for labelers and that plants with both printing solu- tions are able to provide better options to their customers and diversify their printing capabilities. Rebecca Rendon is the Director of Marketing at Inspire Automation and is also an AICC Emerging Leader. Reach her at (317) 612-1820 or


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June 15, 2020

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