Rotocon in partnership with European manufacturer, Screen, are offering an accessible gateway into the South African digital printing market with their digital press and finishing machine duo. Rotocon and Screen have been in partnership since 2014 and with a six-year relationship between the two companies, the partnership has only grown stronger with Rotocon adding to its product offering going digital with a Screen Truepress Jet L350UV+ series.
The Truepress works in tandem with Rotocon’s Ecoline RDF 340/440 finishing machine which can varnish, coat foil, laminate and spot colour. The value for money offered in the Truepress and Ecoline kit lies in the fact that the Ecoline RDF 340/440 label converting machine costs 30% of the price of the Truepress which limits the barriers to entry into the digital label printing market without a lack of compromise on quality.
The Ecoline RDF 340/440 is a digital finishing machine for the processing of roll goods. The machine is servo-controlled and can rotate at 120m per minute. It takes materials that are a thickness of between 0.04mm to 0.2 mm. Rotocon sold five Screen Truepress Jet L350UV+ along with finishing equipment in South Africa at Propak in 2019. The press is truly one of a kind in that it offers access to the market in terms of its cost and its ease of use. “It is really easy to use, it is a ‘press a green button and go’ kind of press. You can have it up and running with only a week’s training and I think that is a really important feature in this fast-paced world. The key to running the machine is having a good DTP department, if your artwork is correct then you just load your paper and print,” explains Pascal Aengenvoort, Sales Director at Rotocon.
Avvo Labels, which is based in Durban, invested in the Screen Truepress Jet L350 UV+ and the Rotocon Ecoline RDF 330 digital label converting and finishing system due to the need to meet changing market requirements. “We didn’t want to get left behind, which can happen so easily because technology changes so rapidly,’ says General Manager, Ronnie Rampirith. “It was also important for the company to continue growing, increase capacity, expand its portfolio, and broaden its offering to customers so that it retains market competitiveness,” he continues.
The Truepress and Ecoline RDF 330 label converting and finishing systems have allowed Avvo Labels to do just that according to Ronnie. “Digital printing has allowed us to print highly customisable and excellent quality labels in a quick turnaround time,” Ronnie says.
The machine prints on a wide variety of substrates with a minimum thickness of 0.09mm without a chill roller installed and 0.04 to 0.35mm with a chill roller installed. The chill roller offers thin substrate support as they are prone to heat sensitivity and can lose form as a result. The press is high speed as it prints 60m per minute which increases productivity. It is fitted with an automated head cleaning function which does a 15-minute daily maintenance at the press of a button which saves printers the use of consumable drums, blankets or plates.
The press can be used with low migration inks that meet all the criteria for use with food packages. It also supports blue and orange inks along with the standard CMYK colours. Security is important for label printers, especially in the pharmaceutical market and the Truepress Jet L350 UV+ was designed with that in mind. It has been designed to offer the flexibility of additional modules to expand services as the business growth demands change.
The Jet L350 UV+ is able to supply the precision needed to print security marks on labels. The machine can print QR codes on products which can be scanned with a smartphone and compared with registered information stored on a server which provides a check of the items’ authenticity. The machine can also print security marks that are invisible to the naked eye, these are effective for identifying counterfeit goods.
Label printers, HP Labelling, which has been in the label printing business for over 50 years opted for a Truepress Jet L350UV+ and have never looked back since. “We did extensive market research when it came to purchasing a digital press and the Truepress suited our needs because of its production specs. Our customers are very happy not paying for printing plates, the Truepress has allowed us to print on demand and supply our customers in a very short space of time,” says Chris Bobbert, HP Labelling’s CEO.
Screen and Rotocon have very good relations according to Pascal and the company maintains a very strong presence in South Africa both through Rotocon’s technicians and Screen’s support staff, who fly to South Africa regularly. “Our technicians went over to Holland to receive factory training from Screen and our technicians can also access online support from Screen’s technicians,” Pascal explains.
“The back up from Screen and the training were absolutely exceptional! We were up and running in about a week from when we first purchased the press. I think what we like most about the machine is the simplicity, you basically download the print-ready files and print. The printing has been efficient since day one but we liked most was the value we got from the machine. We initially bought it for shorter runs but in some instances when we were working against time we have been able to print 500 000 labels over two days,” explains HP Labelling’s General Manager, David White.
The first year after purchase is under warranty while the second year is under maintenance, this means the costs of the main components of the machine are insured. The press can remain running for ten years if well maintained, this gives a business peace of mind in that they will have a press that runs with minimal issues under the correct maintenance.
Rotocon and Screen’s partnership has presented new opportunities for South African printers who want to venture into digital but have financial concerns. The companies are looking to produce an even better product offering in the future that will deliver high-quality results for their users.