February 1, 2020 / Label Production

Die-Less Finishing: A Profitable Solution for Short-Run Label Production

the ADSI iTech Axxis XL Plus Label Finisher

In today’s busy retail marketplace, a distinctive label can offer a serious leg-up to help a product stand out on the shelves. But getting there has historically been tricky for small-scale label producers—until now.

Custom, unique, and vibrant labels are instrumental in helping a product stand out, be noticed, and ultimately win a customer’s attention. But for printers and producers of the past, creating custom labels—whether by printing on pre-die cut labels in-house or by using a traditional die-cut label finisher—often required minimum production amounts and a high cost-per-label. For some printers, this has made short runs and one-off printing jobs economically unfeasible.

Today, things are different: new opportunities exist for producers to make their labels stand out like never before, and at a significantly lower cost per label. 

New die-less label finishing technology has made it simple for producers to print and finish custom, unique, short runs of labels faster, more efficiently, and more cost-effectively than ever before—and to do it all in-house, with significant long-term cost savings.

Here’s a look at some of the key benefits of in-house die-less label cutting, and why an in-house die-less label finisher might just be the cost-saving solution your label production process has been searching for.

Reliable Cost-Per-Label Savings

When it comes to large-scale label production, die-based label finishing has historically been the predominant method of producing consistent labels at scale. However, the cost and expense involved in die cutting has led to two major pain points for label producers:
 

  • 1. The cost of ordering pre-die cut labels for in-house printing,
  • 2. The cost of new dies for each label design, and the wait time required to receive them
     

Together, these factors have made short-run label production economically impossible for many small-scale producers.

Unfortunately, these inherent inefficiencies and costs have not combined well with the renewed focus on custom, short-run label production. Simply put, label producers want to print shorter runs—often creating a greater number of unique designs—without suffering the cost of ordering more and more pre die-cut labels, or the time and expense needed to keep installing new dies.

The solution: in-house die-less label finishing. By bringing the label finishing process in-house, small-scale and short run label producers can maximize long-term cost savings while retaining a high level of control over each and every label printed, cut, and delivered.

Reducing Cost-Per-Label with In-House Die-Less Label Finishing

For those label producers who have historically ordered pre-die cut labels for printing in-house, a die-less label finisher can offer significant per-label savings. 

While a pre-die cut label order may represent a cost of 10 to 20 cents per label before printing, an in-house label production line with a die-less finisher can bring the actual cost to as low as 0.2 cents per label. This cost savings is especially potent for short runs and custom label production, where minimum order limits can translate to high costs for a greater number of labels than may be required.

Similarly, in-house die-less label finishers can also bring cost savings for short run label producers who already finish their own labels in-house. By removing the need for costly dies with each unique run of labels, die-less label finishers allow even small producers to complete short runs of unique, customized, and engaging labels more efficiently than ever before.

Reducing Label Waste & Inefficiencies

Whether you’re just considering bringing your label production process in-house, you’re looking to step away from ordering pre-die cut labels, or you’re looking to get away from die-based label production, a die-less label finisher can offer major benefits to long-term cost savings by  reducing waste and inefficiencies.

One major benefit to die-less finishing systems for label producers is the intelligent optical registration system, which can scan multiple marks automatically to adjust the cut file during the finishing process. This helps producers significantly reduce the likelihood of major cutting errors across the production process, can help identify costly ink and printing errors on the production line, and can help label printers avoid costly and time-consuming manual adjustments to the cutting process.

Also, by utilizing a high-speed roll-to-roll digital converting system that can laminate, cut, strip, and slit labels in one production pass, our die-less digital finishing systems reduce the time needed to produce a batch of labels. This eliminates wait times for new orders of pre-die cut labels or for new flexible dies, and allows label producers to avoid the inherent costs, delays, and limitations of conventional die-based label production.

Together, these error-reducing and efficiency-increasing benefits to die-less label finishing allow label producers of all sizes—and particularly those focused on short-run label production— to significantly reduce their cost-per label costs during the label production process.

Flexibility For Custom Label Production

Die-less label finishing may make it significantly more cost effective for label producers to create custom, short runs of unique labels. However, this same technology can also offer serious flexibility to make in-house short-run label production much simpler.

Rather than relying on dies to make quick, accurate cuts, many die-less label finishers instead utilize an intelligent combination of optical registration technology—to accurately scan and register cut lines on each label—with a pivoting carbide tip blade, capable of cutting clean and accurate lines across several angles and patterns.

This technology allows label finishers to cut any custom shape on demand, with no need to wait for flexible die orders between each run. That unlocks enormous short-run label production opportunities, without incurring the same kind of cost increases that die-based cutting would require. This translates to savings for those label makers currently finishing their own labels in-house using a die-based finishing system, and for those currently ordering pre-die cut labels from a third-party label producer.

Additionally, our die-less label finishers also allow for some unique personalizations to help make your labels truly shine—including the capability to cut multiple depths in the same file. This allows for multi-layer applications that would not be otherwise easily achievable with a die-based finishing system, or that would cost significantly more per-label for those ordering pre-die cut labels.

Easy to Integrate Into Existing Label Production Processes

While die-less finishers may offer major improvements for short-run label producers, the prospect of changing an existing label production process can still cause some nervousness for those looking to avoid major gaps in label production capabilities.

Fortunately, modern die-less label finishers are designed specifically for easy integration into your existing label production process—making it even easier to achieve the savings of die-less cutting, without sacrificing your established production processes.

For instance: our die-less label finishers can pair seamlessly with almost every label production system, and can easily be integrated into systems with everything from desktop units to larger production presses. That means less time spent with setup and training, and more time getting back to producing labels.

Additionally, our die-less finishers are capable of continuously cutting labels without the need for constant manual input or oversight, allowing for unattended operation. For many small label producers and print shops, this can translate into serious savings on labor hours while producing the same quantity (or more) of unique, custom, consistent labels.

Don’t Miss Out On The Opportunities Offered by Die-Less Label Finishing

Don’t let your label production get hung up on the inefficiencies inherent to the die-cutting process. 

With die-less label production, label producers can print and cut unique, vibrant, and distinctive labels in-house without having to wait for expensive dies, or to incur the added costs of ordering pre-die cut labels. By allowing label makers to print, finish, customize, change, and deliver short runs of labels on their own schedule, all while using significantly less time and fewer resources, die-less finishers help businesses save labor hours and save on materials for a reduced cost-per-label.

Here at Allen Datagraph Systems, Inc. we specialize in producing and delivering high-quality, reliable, cutting-edge digital label production machines specifically designed for small-scale, short-run label producers. Our most popular digital label finishers—the iTech Axxis XL Plus, the iTech Centra HS Finisher, and the iTech Talon Digital Label Finisher—all represent fantastic die-less digital label finishing options for label producers looking to maximize their ROI on digital label production.

If you’re interested in taking the step toward die-less label production (or if you’re looking for a better solution to ordering pre-die cut labels from an American-based company that offers superior, personalized training and customer service), we’d love for you to get in touch. Custom, short-run digital label production is critical to helping today’s products stand out on the shelves—and in-house die-less label finishers may be the best way to achieve just that.

Tags: Digital Finishers, Short Run