Based in Belgium, ASQ Labels, specializes in label Printing for a variety of sectors, including Food and Beverage brands, as well as providing flow-pack printing, wrappers and single-layer packaging. The company's newly-purchased Domino N610i digital color label press has enabled it to diversify into new market sectors.
ASQ Labels was founded in 1988 in Lummen, during a time when the Belgian government was incentivizing new businesses in the area. By 1998 the labeling company had 45 employee sand had relocated to a 2000 sq. meter property. ASQ originally serviced a wide range of markets, until the recent economic crisis forced the company to reevaluate its focus.
“We were a heavily sales-driven organization that, until 2008, was successful in the automotive, transport, logistics and warehousing sectors,” recounts Raf Joos, CEO of ASQ Labels.
He continues: “That’s when we realized we needed to commit to a market sector that was effectively recession-proof and that high end food and beverage products would be a key area of interest, as there will always be a demand for high quality labels with eye catching graphics to go with the product. Today we are heavily involved in the Belgian beer and chocolate sectors.”
"We realised we needed to commit to a market sector that was effectively recession-proof and that high end food and beverage products would be a key area of interest, as there will always be a demand for high quality labels with eye catching graphics to go with the product."Raf Joos, CEO, ASQ Labels
Raf, the CEO of ASQ Labels, began looking into a UV inkjet solution in 2010, but initially was not convinced by the technology because the tech was still in its infancy. Before a technology could be chosen, it had to address three key requirements:
- The digital solution had to be able to print directly onto the standard substrate materials used by ASQ without the need for pre-coating
- The system had to be able to print the high-resolution, bright images that ASQ’s customers expect to see on their product labels
- Finally, this system needed to be able to print transparent labels.
It was not until witnessing first-hand Domino’s N610i digital press at Labelexpo Europe 2013 that ASQ took notice of the possibilities that UV inkjet could bring.
“When Domino invited us to their headquarters in the UK, we were given the opportunity to print a series of different label samples on a range of our standard flexo substrates," Raf said. "Not only were we impressed with the end result, we also realized that the press’ inclusion of opaque white would prove extremely useful for printing onto transparent materials. It is a very opaque white - it looks like it’s been screen printed. That was the moment we were won over by the Domino N610i.”
“It is a very opaque white - it looks like it’s been screen printed. That was the moment we were won over by the Domino N610i.”Raf Joos, CEO, ASQ Labels
The N610i operates at speeds of up to75 meters (246ft) per minute with a 600dpi native resolution and is available in 4, 5, 6 and 7 colors. The highly opaque white ink which delivers a silk screen-like finish is ideal for printing solids through to fine detail onto metallic and clear label materials.
Elke Buckinx, Operations Manager, comments on the smooth installation of the N610i. “Everything was well organized and went according to plan. After just five weeks, we were producing labels for our customers. We now use the Domino every day. We have a mixture of new customers, and definitely new jobs which are more colorful. We have moved a number of jobs over that we previously printed on flexo, such as short runs and we now print several versions in one run, without the need to change the plates.”