Fine wines from the Palatinate

SurePress L-4033AW produces high-quality labels

Fine wines from the Palatinate

At the edge of the Palatinate Forest in south-west Germany, around 30 km east of the city of Kaiserslautern, is the spa town and district capital of Bad Dürkheim. Wine-growing is the main industry in this area, which, with more than 850 hectares of vines, is the fourth largest wine-growing district in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate.

The printing company Print ONLine, which was founded in 1995 and taken over by its current Managing Director, Alexander Klug, in 1997, is based in Bad Dürkheim After the takeover, he developed the company into an effective provider of printing services. The business, which has specialised in digital printing from the start, now offers a comprehensive range of services for almost all areas of print and design. With its 10 employees, it covers the complete range of services from processing raw data, print setting, layout and pre-press to printing and extra processing. Print ONLine's services range from a small edition of an art catalogue to wine labels, all the way to timetables or XXL posters for the advertising industry. Klug places a strong emphasis on being able to carry out the whole process from design to finishing in-house, using his own staff.

SurePress gives that competitive edge

"The pressure of competition is growing and in order to be able to develop our business further, we had to look for new fields of business and opportunities. Because we live in a traditional wine-producing area, and many wine-growers fill and label their own bottles, a good opportunity presented itself to create a new mainstay for our firm. In order to get a good picture of the solutions available, we visited the drupa print media fair in Düsseldorf in 2012," explains Alexander Klug.

But many of the solutions presented there did not live up to the company's high quality requirements. With luxury items such as wine in particular, a high-quality label creates that all-important first impression in a potential buyer. If the label is not perfect in terms of print quality and durability, the wines go unsold.

In addition, for smaller printing companies such as Print ONLine, a flexible and efficient production is very important. "With other printing solutions, for example Indigo machines, the materials have to be primed and the labels must be varnished after printing otherwise the colour doesn't last," explains Klug. For wine bottles and other items in everyday use, that are passed from hand to hand, this is naturally a significant constraint. The printing quality for uniform, dark areas also failed to impress the experts from Bad Dürkheim.

Quick decision for the Epson solution

A test run with a SurePress was agreed on the spot at the drupa. The prints were error-free and won over Alexander Klug and his printing experts. The SurePress AQ ink set that is used in the SurePress, with the additional colours of green and orange, means that a very wide colour spectrum is achievable. Even when the labels contain Pantone colours, these can be printed reliably with the SurePress as accurately as possible. Moreover, the SurePress is not choosy when it comes to print media. Because there are many organic wine-growers in the Bad Dürkheim area, an effective label printer must also be capable of producing excellent printing quality on FSC-certified paper. That's not a problem with the SurePress.

Label printing with Epson is an important mainstay of the printing company

Label printing with the SurePress has become an important mainstay of the printing company Print ONLine, because the advantages of this flexible printing solution are obvious to the company and its customers. It means that labels can now be produced on demand, so customers do not have to print the whole batch in one go and then find somewhere to store it. "Our wine-grower customers typically order several thousand labels per wine and it is an enormous advantage that they can order further batches on demand," Klug continues. "Storage costs space and money. The on-demand production for labels is, in addition to the high print quality, another good argument for our printing service, but it is only possible because the SurePress can be set up so quickly and easily for the next print job."

A further advantage of small production batches is that changes to the labels, for example different colours or a newly acquired quality seals, can be easily incorporated. A change of printing material is also very easy, for example if it is necessary to swap between different kinds of adhesive labels.

If necessary, the labels are further processed by downstream production groups. Hot foil stamping, blind embossing or, on request, varnish and other embellishments are also possible. This enables Print ONLine to meet any demand.

As an innovative entrepreneur, Alexander Klug has even more ideas in mind. He is currently working on a Managed Print Service for labels, where wine-growers order a certain total number of labels and have them printed off as and when they need them. If labels are not needed by the customer, they are not printed and do not need to be paid for. This would be a very interesting business model and would save wine-growers extra costs. "In order to implement such a system in practice, we have to be able to calculate the exact cost of a single label," explains Klug, "That is still very difficult for us at the moment, because a number of unknown factors such as the label's ink coverage or the number of colours, depending on the type of media, have to be taken into account. But we are working on it and I'm very confident."

SurePress L-4033AW
  • Digital label printer using inkjet technology with 7 colours (CMYK, green, orange, white).
  • Optional white print as first or last colour, for overprinting by other colours, or as opaque colour for transparent and metallic materials.
  • Micro Piezo print heads make sharp reproductions, perfect for barcodes and small text.
  • Quick and easy setup – no pre-treatment/priming of media necessary; no setting up of printing plates and films.
  • Simple operation thanks to its touchscreen.
  • Automatic print head maintenance and cartridges can be replaced whilst machine in operation.
  • Environmentally friendly due to water-based inks without chemicals.