Low print runs of full-colour digital labels can be inefficient and costly – which is why it’s worth investing in an in-house machine from Afinia Label

Food labels provide essential information for the consumer and offer marketing opportunities for the manufacturer – but not every company needs high-volume runs. Whatever your reason for requiring a high-resolution, low-print run, Afinia Label has the solution.

From the smallest to the largest
For a relatively small investment, companies can produce their own labels on demand, without the need for keeping high levels of stock or risking the obsolescence of stock.

These include specialist and artisan producers, who only need small quantities, but often of different label designs.

“If a company is selling 50 jars of jam a month, they can print labels on demand,” says Business Development Manager Scott Coates. “While a craft beer company might have 50 different types of beer but only want 500 labels for each. If they are producing a Christmas ale and they have stock left over on Christmas Eve, they don’t have to put Christmas labels on them.”

Meanwhile, larger firms can benefit from printing short runs as, and when, they need them, for example, for the prototype of a new product, or a promotional item for an exhibition or customer gift. This saves on origination and printing costs. Instead of having to spend several hours breaking down a large machine, they can set up an Afinia Label machine in a few minutes.

Recent changes to the FIR (Food Information Regulations) have also encouraged many companies to gain ownership of their labels in-house.

Specialist Memjet technology
Inside every Afinia Label machine is a Memjet printing engine. By harnessing technology that improves the speed, affordability and efficiency of food label printing, Memjet has helped Afinia Label’s clients to increase productivity and profits, with new and imaginative ways to print.

“Memjet is a highly respected name in the inkjet market and is more or less the only name in the short-run digital market,” says Scott Coates. “From the start, Memjet has been a massive help to us, as a partner as much as a supplier.”

A network of dealers
To ensure that customers receive the best service, locally, Afinia Label relies on a network of around 50 specialist dealers with approved engineering teams. The largest of these in the UK is Magnum Materials, based just outside Manchester.

“Magnum Materials has been a dealer for Afinia Label for the past three years, and they have rapidly become one of our preferred partners,” says Scott Coates. “We do have competitors, but we believe our machines are the best, and that our strong service and dealer network is a vital part of the offer.”

A strong printing heritage
Afinia Label was founded in 2009, when parent company Microboards Technology was looking to extend its core activities of media duplication products.

This background of technical expertise allows Afinia Label to offer speciality printing solutions with excellent support and cost-effective pricing.

The UK HQ in Warwickshire has a core staff of eight people handling sales through dealerships in the UK, mainland Europe, New Zealand and Asia-Pacific; with a company head office in Minnesota, plus sites in California and Tokyo.

While Afinia Label sells to a broad range of markets, it has many customers in sectors such as fresh produce, coffee, bespoke consumables, preserves, microbreweries, children’s drinks, water (including promotional water for exhibitions), healthy living supplements, vaping liquids, farming products, racking, logistics and more.

Indeed the machines can be used for pretty much any industry – if you have a product you’d like to produce a label for, it’s worth contacting the company for advice.

Cost is always a major factor in printing, but with short run labels, the cost per print is no longer an issue. “For 20,000 labels, a flexo printing machine might cost 1p a label and our machine 2p a label. However, if you only need 10 labels and the minimum order is 10,000, the price differential is irrelevant,” Scott Coates explains.

New technology
While the L801, a small machine with pre-dye cut labels, is perfect for companies printing just a few label sizes, Afinia Label has recently developed a new machine, the DLP-2000, with inline printing and dye-cutting.

“It’s an all-in-one solution,” says Scott Coates. “We launched in May, installed the first machine in June and recently passed our 20th sale. We also exhibited at Labelexpo Europe and sold in excess of 20 of our machines, small and large; that laid down the foundation for us to have a record month in October.”

Next year sees the launch of further new products, and growth is expected to continue at around 35% through the reinforcement of the UK structure and by signing up new dealers in mainland Europe. Already established as a major player, Afinia Label looks set for growth and success moving forward.