FINAT, the international association for self-adhesive label industry, announces it has been undertaking preliminary initiatives for standardization of testing methods for digital printing upon request of the industry.
In the past 15 years there has been a continuing growth of
digital printing technologies with now over 30 digital label press suppliers in
the market, representing some 40 different models. With more than 1,300 digital
label presses already installed, digital label printing is now regarded as a
mainstream label printing technology. It is accepted by thousands of end-user
customers in all kinds of applications and in a wide range of run lengths.
Over many years, printability testing equipment, procedures and standards for
conventional printing by offset, letterpress, flexo or gravure have become
widely used and/or accepted by the paper and board, printing, converting and
print end-user sectors. However, most of the standard printability tests and
procedures have yet to be fully tried, modified or utilized – or new tests
developed, for the digital printing of labels and packaging. So, although the
digital market matured significantly over the past decade, there remains a
major leap to being taken.
For that purpose and upon the initiative taken by IGT
Testing Systems and label guru Mike
Fairley, a task force representing different disciplines has
now been established. This technical digital label printability group is now to
explore the possibilities of setting up a common testing framework facilitated
under the FINAT umbrella. The overall aim is to make digital label printing a
more globally standardized technology in terms of printability, performance
standards, test methods and procedures.
There are a number of challenges currently identified and determined. There is
a need for defining and agreeing on digital technologies and terminology. It is
desirable to benchmark digital label printing processes against each other and
against conventional printing on existing test equipment. In addition,
standards and procedures for testing digital label printing need to be written
and dedicated or new test methods developed where required.
“In the light of the current global supply chain with
pressing needs for global standards, being technical or environmental, it is my
belief that less is more,” comments Andrea Vimercati, president of FINAT. “Collaboration
and commitment to meeting common needs and driving common initiatives is what
matters, not the technology as such. FINAT is there to serve the needs of both
‘conventional’ and digital label companies to jointly develop and determine the
overall labeling and packaging agenda.”
31 (70) 312 39 10
FINAT establishes digital label task force
October 26, 2010