Due to European regulation, it’s required to translate certain elements of a label (function, precautions of use, warnings, nominal content) or the entire label in the language of the country you export it to. You’re also well aware that your printing presses are only making money when they are running.
Ideally, you want to change the language of a label while the machine is still running to achieve the lowest cost price per 1000 labels. Non-stop print change-over technology enables this.
I will tell you all about it in this blog, so keep on reading!
What is the non-stop print change-over technology?
The non-stop print change-over technology (NPC) is enabling the operator to switch in between jobs without stopping the press. The idle print units can be prepared to engage with other printing units in addition to colour or text changes. You can imagine this creates an incredible increase in productivity.
For example, you are running a job in six colours, of which one colour is the content of the label in English. You also need to run the same job but with a different language (let’s say; Dutch). Normally, you need to stop the press, switch the print cylinder and start the new job. This takes approximately 5 to 10 minutes. With non-stop print change-over technology you can make this change on a running press.
What are the key benefits of this technology?
- Less downtime
- Higher efficiency
- Lower costs.
NPC enables you to make changes on a running press, which reduces downtime and increases efficiency. Less downtime and higher efficiency simply mean you can run more meters per hour, resulting in a lower cost price.
And with the prices that are under pressure and the operator being a major factor in the costs per 1000 labels, you want them to operate as efficiently to cut costs.
What are requirements to implement non-stop print change-over technology?
First of all, you obviously need a printing press that can facilitate this technology. But secondly, if you want to fully integrate this technology and enhance its ability, you need to optimally organize the prepress stage and implement standardization.
Standardization is needed to get the best result out of your presses and optimally control the printing process. It eliminates uncertain factors, which makes it easier to forecast results. You know exactly which materials to use, what the output is and how much time it takes, so you can accurately adjust the different printing jobs.
As said before, a press only makes money when it’s running. Besides standardization you also need to organize the prepress stage as efficiently as possible to get maximum output. The non-stop print change-over technology is a smart way to increase efficiency and lower costs, but it only does its job properly when the preparation is completed. The technology offers no advantage when the right materials aren’t ready.
An effective strategy to achieve optimal prepress preparation is what we call the ‘pit stop strategy’. To make sure printing presses spend as much time as possible doing what they are intended to do, i.e. print, setup times should be kept to a minimum. This principle also applies to Formula 1: a single second more or less at the pit stop can make the difference between winning and losing.
The same goes for printing. A ‘helper’ can make sure the preparation for the next job is ready before the current job is finished. The only thing your operator need to do once a job has run is switching it. The helper will also make sure that the materials get cleaned etc. This enables maximizing the efficiency of a press.
The non-stop print change-over technology helps you to increase efficiency and lower costs and make your printing process more viable, but you can’t make full use of the possibilities if you haven’t set up the process correctly.
Let our printing specialists help you
We are happy to help you determine what you can do to increase the efficiency of your printing process and make it more efficient. This will help you to keep your place in this highly competitive market. What can you do to take it to the next level?
Arnaud Fleuren was Area Sales Manager Northwestern Europe and Africa until 2018. Arnaud has, in addition to extensive technical knowledge, a lot of knowledge in the field of printing.