Digital label press brings multiple benefits

Exacto, a Sharon, WI-based maker of agrochemical adjuvants for wholesale and private label markets, focuses on engineering solutions designed to optimize the conditions in which chemicals, water, and soils come together to create bountiful croplands and landscapes.

Exacto's Tom Martin (left) stands in from of his firm's new 3600 Series Laser Pro with Colordyne's Taylor Buckthorpe.
Exacto's Tom Martin (left) stands in from of his firm's new 3600 Series Laser Pro with Colordyne's Taylor Buckthorpe.

The firm packages its products in a variety of primary and secondary packaging formats, nearly all of which require labels.

"Until four years ago, our labels were all printed off-site, and we'd look at a minimum turnaround time of seven to 10 days before we'd get our order back," says Exacto Project Manager Tom Martin (shown here on the left next to Colordyne’s Taylor Buckthorpe). "Every time the customer made a label change, we would have to pay for new plates and set-up charges."

By this time, Exacto was consuming thousands of labels per day, and to improve efficiency and offer their customers faster turnaround times and more freedom from a marketing and design standpoint, they shifted gears and brought printing in-house. Exacto implemented a small industrial benchtop printer and sourced blank labels from an outside vendor. But as business continued to grow, Exacto quickly realized a new solution was needed to drive out remaining inefficiencies in their packaging environment.

“We went from needing 7,000 labels a day to 7,000 an hour. So we needed to make an investment in a new system,” Martin said. “We sought out Colordyne Technologies because we knew we needed a digital printing solution that could keep up with our current production needs and provide room for future growth. We produce all of the labels for our products, often including front and back product labels along with secondary packaging labels for our boxes and bags.”

The solution not only addressed Exacto’s packaging and labeling inefficiencies, it also had an impact on several other processes within the company. The press provided Exacto’s marketing team with a resource to provide their customers with new creative label and packaging ideas. It also provided their quality assurance team with a solution to protect the labels from chemical exposure in their bottling lines, all while improving their bottom line.

The press selected by Exacto in March of 2015 is a Colordyne 3600 Series Laser Pro, providing them with a digital color printing platform capable of printing at 275 ft/min at a resolution of 1600 x 1375 dpi. The Laser Pro gives Exacto the ability to protect labels with over-varnish or lamination inline finishing. The state-of-the-art 400-watt laser die cutter with instant order change capabilities allows for variable shapes to be processed without stopping the press – further eliminating downtime and operator intervention.

“It’s not inconvenient any longer to run one job after another,” Martin said. “The 3600 Series eliminated the stopping and starting we were faced with previously. I can load as many jobs as I want and the machine keeps running. The speed and quality compared to what we had before is like night and day. I can’t imagine going back to the old way of doing things.”

Colordyne’s digital printing solutions provide companies like Exacto the flexibility they need to cater to their customers’ ever-changing demands. The print-on-demand system allows them to reduce pre-printed inventories, consequently lowering costs, waste, and obsolescence.

“It’s a lot faster,” Martin said. “We now print about 120,000 labels per day. Also, our cost per label has decreased by about 12 cents, which is big. If I run 5,000 labels and then find a mistake, we can immediately reprint. In the past, 5,000 labels would take a long time to print. Now we can have them ready in 15 minutes.”

Besides the superior product, Martin cites customer and technical support as one of the reasons why they chose Colordyne.

“Every question we had, Colordyne answered,” Martin said. “They did a great job training our team on how to use the printer, and they continue to be a great resource for my team when they have questions. All the Colordyne techs are very responsive and knowledgeable of the product and our application needs. And in the end, when I’m looking for guidance, I want to have a one-stop shop, and that is what Colordyne is.”

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