The Label Makers profit from Durst Tau RSC platform

Platform powered by Durst Workflow Label software

Recently Labmak won two major awards for a complicated illustrated label embellished and printed on to bottles of spiced and dark rum for Manchester-based brand Diablesse

Multi-award-winning company The Label Makers has expanded to higher-end markets and turned a major food brand prospect into one of its biggest accounts, thanks to the Durst Tau RSC platform and software capabilities.

“It’s unbelievable photographic quality,” said David Webster, managing director at the company known as Labmak. “The print quality meant that we could look for more sophisticated work, particularly as we found it far easier to hit everybody’s brand color. As one example, we were approached by a prospective customer who asked if we could reproduce its fluorescent green logo. Thanks to the fantastic quality from the RSC green ink, we were able to do this and won the new contract. Now that food brand is now one of the biggest customers.”

Recently Labmak won two major awards for a complicated illustrated label embellished and printed on to bottles of spiced and dark rum for Manchester-based brand Diablesse. One was for ‘Label of The Year’ at the UK Packaging Awards and the other was the ‘Special Effect in Labels and Packaging’ in the Digital Printer Awards. “The depth and vibrancy of the inks printed on the Durst Tau 330 RSC were crucial and I can’t think we’d have ever won without it,” said Webster. “Who would ever have thought we’d be printing rum labels digitally. What more can I say!

“Customer requirements are now changing constantly. In this market label delivery dates now typically get changed hourly, not even on a daily basis, so we have to have the flexibility of printing on either machine or even transferring work from flexo. Durst Workflow Label software enables us to manipulate files press side, so jobs can be tweaked immediately by press operators without sending the file back to the studio, which could easily take up to 20 minutes. Any changes are now done in five minutes – it’s a major time-saver. And it’s a gamechanger.”

Labmak, a family-owned company, was formed in 1963. Starting with letterpress, it moved into litho and flexo printing – and now increasingly uses digital. It has a reputation as a pioneer and supplies some of the UK’s leading brands covering markets such as food, beverages, personal care, petrochemical, and decorative coatings. “Whereas a decade ago, we would be running jobs regularly of 100,000 labels a time, customers started making increasing numbers of order but in smaller batches, perhaps 10,000 labels a time,” said Webster.

Labmark – beta testing site for Durst RSC platform

Labmak became the beta test site for the Durst RSC platform three years ago, working in partnership with Durst. It currently has two Durst Tau 330 RSC single-pass UV inkjet presses, with industrial-scale production possible at up to 80 linear meters/min.

“The future of label printing is here – and it’s digital inkjet production,” said Webster. “We now have supermarket chains requesting that the jobs be printed inkjet rather than flexo because of the vibrancy of the colors, the screen effect of the inks, and the perfect print registration. Our Tau RSC investments give us the opportunity to take on more clients and better serve our existing customers. Previously we were mainly using the Durst Tau presses for the personal care markets. Now, with the new capabilities, we are producing everything from food labels through to high-quality wines and spirits.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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