Erre.Gi.Elle is the distributor of the Trojanlabel equipment in Italy and has, since the launch of the Trojan2, installed no less than 21 machines. They are now about to receive another seven for distribution. What makes them so successful?
Erre.Gi.Elle is a family-owned company with a long history in label printing in general and short-run label printing in particular. The company has worked with the very first table top label printers and has, from the very beginning, been focused on mastering the technologies to perfection, which has built them an exquisite reputation as a distributor. They know exactly what the equipment can do and what it cannot do; they know every part of the machine and how to service it.
Short run label printing has become very attractive
Luca Riva is sales director and second generation in the company, and he explains that short run label printing has become very attractive. In the past, label converters refused to do short runs because it was not profitable. But today, it is quite the opposite. The margins on large orders are small, while short label runs for just-in-time delivery are perceived as an added value thus giving a better margin.
Brand owners are more frequently requesting short run and fast delivery without wanting to sacrifice quality or cost. To accommodate that without giving away the margin, the Italian producer of labels for the food and wine market ETICHETTIFICIO D.A.P.O. went looking for a new label press.
We wanted speed and quality, but above all reduced costs
In 2007, the company bought its first digital toner-based label printer to serve exactly the demand for short run and fast delivery. But over the years, demand, as well as competition, has increased, and what previously was a good solution for a modest part of the production was now an inadequate and too costly solution. As late as 2014, the company started looking for an alternative.
“We went looking for a state-of-the-art technology which could improve the print quality and speed, but above all reduce the cost,”
says Roberto Porreca.
It was not an easy task, but together with its technology partner Erre.Gi.Elle, ETICHETTIFICIO D.A.P.O. spotted a prototype of the new Trojan2 at LabelExpo in USA in late 2014. Soon after, they visited Trojanlabel in Denmark, and much to their satisfaction, the Trojan2 was exactly what they were looking for.
“The alternatives available in the market were small, table top printers, totally inadequate for professional converters, or big and very expensive digital presses. The Trojan2 press was the golden mean, with performances equal to high-level printers in many aspects and at a very affordable price,” says Roberto Porreca.
Printing directly from the design application
Another thing which satisfies Roberto Porreca is the fact that the printer can be operated directly from a label design application, such as Adobe Illustrator. No need for intermediate software to modify files before printing, which makes file preparation very fast and smooth.
“And there are no ‘gap’ issues between the labels, which allows us to use standard finishing equipment,”
adds Roberto Porreca.
Through its partner Erre.Gi.Elle., the frmware is frequently updated, which also allows new features to be implemented free of charge
To accommodate the needs of existing customers and in preparation for new market opportunities, IKONprint went looking for a digital label press which could refine their RFID label products.
At IKONprint, they are specialists in labels with RFID tags. They buy all the chips and antennas in the Far East to design and produce each individual RFID label order for its specific purpose. This way, they have achieved optimal results and extremely satisfied customers. Owner and CEO Thomas Nielsen says, ”We have a long history in the label business and we are indeed RFID nerds. We design and produce the tags using machinery which we have designed ourselves, and we continuously strive to improve every single detail.”
The expertise they have gained over the years has made them almost exclusive suppliers to Danish libraries where they do not
only supply the labels, but also the RFID scanning equipment.
Furthermore, the demand for RFID labels is changing rapidly
according to Thomas Nielsen. “First of all our present customers want to shift from simple black and white labels to coloured labels with logos and colours. Secondly, we see a rapidly growing demand for RFID labels in the retail markets and entertainment industry where they especially request labels that match their brands in colour and style.”
“Nothing compares to the Trojan2 in that price segment”
“However, each RFID label is significantly more expensive than a traditional self-adhesive label,” says Thomas Nielsen. Therefore, they were looking for a press that generates very little waste, prints in high quality and handles variable data efficiently. They chose the Trojan2 label press, and as Thomas Nielsen says, ”It is a superior press and nothing compares to the Trojan2 in that price segment.”
“What has impressed us the most is the precision of the Trojan2. The web tension and register control is outstanding.
We generate almost no waste when we print pre-punched labels,”
While the flexo presses are hammering away at Inovalabel, the Trojan2 digital label press takes care of the steadily growing demand for smaller runs and shorter lead time in a quality that easily matches flexo print.
The northeastern part of Romania, close to the Moldovian border, lies one of the country’s largest label printers – Inovalabel.
As the name suggests, they are continuously looking for new ways to innovate their business. In 2013, they decided to expand into digital label printing. They were acquainted with several of the high profile digital label printers but found that the initial investment which could easily amount to a million euros was far beyond the scope of their business model.
So they went about looking for a digital label press positioned somewhere between the high profile solutions and the table top label printers. Here they found the Trojan2 digital label press and Lucian Popa, the technical production manager at Inovalabel, says:
“The Trojanlabel team made us feel comfortable from the very beginning. They were frank about the strong points and weaknesses and things developed as we talked with them. The support team is also very good and made adjustments to the software as we went along”. And he continues:
“The Trojanlabel team made us feel comfortable from the very beginning.”
“Even though the investment is a mere fraction of what you pay for high profile equipment, you still get a stable and reliable label press providing a quality that easily matches most of the flexo productions we make.”
The solid construction and simple operation were, along with automatic nozzle-cleaning without waste of substrate together with the high-quality web guidance, the most important features when they decided on the Trojan2. But even though the installation went smoothly, the initial production proved that digital production is not easy to integrate into traditional label production. They realized that to achieve the full potential of their digital label printer they had to invest in a finishing line. It caused too many interruptions in the traditional flexo workflow to combine the two. So they invested in a finishing line for the Trojan2 and can now look forward to doubling their digital capacity within the coming months.
It is almost like a fairy tale. 26 years ago, a recently made redundant coalminer, knocked on the door at Secura Labels to prove his worth. They gave him a chance on the floor for a week, and today he is the managing director of that very same company. And now, Simon Miller is bringing the 34-year-old company into the digital age of label printing.
Despite the name, Secura Labels does not specialise in security labelling, but refers more to securing the customers’ integrity. They are able to provide label printing solutions for many applications, doing a lot of jobs as subcontractors.
“We tend to look at each job and find a solution which suites both the customer and us, and usually we find a way,”
says Simon Miller, which in many ways explains the company’s success.
Increasing demand for shorter runs
However, they found it still more difficult to accommodate the increasing demand for shorter print runs. So they knew they had to dig into the world of digital label printing. After six years’ of investigations, they have covered almost everything in the digital label printing business. They found that it was either too expensive or not suited for professional production. But at Labelexpo 2015, they ran into Trojanlabel.
They were looking for something in between the costly high-end machines and the table top models and finally discovered the Trojan2.