Effective integration of flexo and digital printing technologies in an all-in-one hybrid platform is ‘the current answer’ to the needs of label converters seeking shorter runs, faster lead times, and special embellishments.

This is the view shared by Mark Andy’s Latin America sales manager, John Vigna, who has recently presented the company’s vision for hybrid technology at two industry events in the region.

Mr Vigna was one of the speakers at October’s Intercontinental Flexography Conference (CIF). His presentation, ‘New Technologies for Small, Medium and Large Solutions in Hybrid Conversion Systems’, emphasised that combining digital printing with a flexo analogue operation such as printing, cutting, laminating, and varnishing can optimise production times and reduce costs.

He specifically stated that 35% of all label orders are for runs lower than 25,000 units, and 65% for runs below 50,000 units, and the time changeover that an all-flexo operation requires impacts profitability in the current scenario; adding digital print technology allows converters to maintain quality and take advantage of variable data while speeding up production and customer delivery, he went on.  

In addition to speaking at the CIF event, Mr Vigna took part in the International Congress of Graphic Technology, which took place in November. This event addressed technological market transformations and how to overcome the new challenges, whether through new technologies or a more efficient workflow.

Mr Vigna used the platform to declare, ‘Label converters are asking for shorter runs, faster lead times, and special embellishments. The question is how to integrate all their needs into an all-in-one solution. Hybrid technology is the current answer, as it encompasses both the benefits of digital printing and the capabilities of traditional flexo.’

Both events are allied to the print industry in Brazil but took place virtually this year due to the Covid pandemic. ABFLEXO/FTA-Brasil has confirmed its plan to move back to an in-person format with the next edition of CIF in 2023.