In terms of production, the fleet of machines, made up of a dozen lines, uses various traditional printing methods including flexo, typo, offset and screen. However, the print managers had been closely monitoring digital printing as a potential growth driver, mainly for short runs.
The first N610i digital press with four colours + white, introduced in late 2013, was the first of its kind to be installed in France, followed by a second Domino press in 2014.
“The choice to include white was motivated by the need to print on transparent synthetic media and metallic substrates,” explains the entrepreneur. “This allows us to obtain good opacity and it brings out the colours giving the label a vibrant appearance.”
Where short runs of 50 to 10,000 labels were previously associated with digital production, this has now extended to runs of thousands of copies. “With the piezo ink jet technology, we are now looking to replace our rotary typos because our Domino press is just as efficient on medium run lengths. We have already printed a run of 400,000 labels in production,” he continues. He believes that Domino’s piezo ink jet technology is the future for his sector. Furthermore, the QRT printshop can rely on the service and expert advice from Domino to ensure that its digital press is always running smoothly and providing valuable input into the development of new products for its customers.
Christophe Quirantès summarises: “With Domino’s digital press, the labels are already printed by the time we would have finished plating up on the typography press.” The result is that, combined with the productivity of the N610i, which runs at 50 m/min in high definition, digital printing is proving unbeatable when it comes to execution speed. And that doesn’t include the savings made on waste that is produced during plating up in flexo. “Since we’re running at a constant speed, it’s easier to organise our production planning and plan ahead,” emphasises the director, whose printshop produces around 20 million m2 self-adhesive labels a year.
Its first investment in digital allows QRT Graphique to position itself in new markets, with medium size runs of multi-reference labels, for example. Christophe Quirantès unveils another unexpected strength of the N610i press: “We have attracted a new customer, as UV inks produce a screen-printed likeness. They give the impression of being thicker to the touch, and provide increased abrasion resistance compared to traditional printing.There are a number of sectors in which these qualities are extremely important, for example with the transportation of products in boxes and ensuring that the labels are not damaged on arrival.”
“With Domino’s digital press, the labels are already printed by the time we would have finished plating up on the typography press.” Christophe Quirantes, Commercial Director, QRT Graphique
QRT Graphique’s introduction of digital has even led to a modification of the company’s sales policy. From now on, when sales personnel visit a prospective customer, rather than spending a lot of time talking about the quality of the press, they ask for a test file and return a printed copy of the label within 48 hours!