By Melissa Donovan
Part 1 of 3
Labels are found on nearly everything. In regards to digital printing and its capabilities in relation to labels, we traditionally think of those found on bottles or cans. However, many manufacturers are savvy to the endless possibilities afforded by digital. Labels aren’t just of the peel-and-stick variety, but fabric- or plastic-based and found sewn into clothing or onto décor items.
Printing Innovation Middle East (Pime) Label Co. celebrates over 40 years in labeling, specifically working with more than 200 carpet manufacturers primarily located in the Middle East as well as abroad. Housed in a 1,200 square meter facility in the Gaziantep region of Turkey, the company’s 16 employees design labels as well as print them via offset or using other printing technologies.
Turkey is the center of the carpet industry—over 60 percent of the world’s carpet production originates there, Pime’s label production is up to a million pieces in carpet labels alone. A half-million pieces make up self-adhesive and film labels.
Expand and Improve
Around 2016, the company sought out a new printing technology that would enable it to expand services and improve production of textile labels. Looking for on demand color label production, Pime added the iCUBE series from Printing Innovation, a brand of JG Special Products GmbH into its production facilities. At a maximum print media width of 8.5 inches, the printer utilizes dye-based inks with drop on demand thermal inkjet printing. The printer is powered by Memjet’s VersaPass page wide digital color inkjet technology. These inkjet printheads utilize millions of ink drops per second.
The iCUBE is ideal thanks to its advanced functionality, ease of use, and speed. While it originally planned to only add the iCUBE printer into its own print operation, Pime realized that its customers would benefit greatly from adding it to their own facilities to enable the production of labels in house and replace the time consuming and expensive outsourcing process.
Today Pime not only operates as a label printer, but distributes and supports iCUBE printers to carpet manufacturers throughout the Gaziantep region. The creation of carpet and textile labels are now part of the carpet production process, which is completely digital. During the ready-made garment phase, the manufacturer prints the barcode directly on the label. Prior to the iCUBE printer, the process required a thermal transfer barcode printer with a separate barcode printed to accompany the label.
“In-house label printing has a positive impact on the operations of these carpet manufacturers. The iCUBE printer transforms the way labels are produced for the carpet and textile sector in Turkey and the Middle East. The process is simplified, eliminating the time and cost of producing separate barcode labels and storing separate consumables,” shares Sercan Tuna, sales director, Pime.
Hasan Bedir, apparel director, Kartal Carpet and Trade Inc., is one customer of Pime’s benefiting from the transition to digital. Prior to implementing digital, even if it only needed 30 labels, it still ordered at least 250. “This was a financial burden, and caused the surplus label stock to increase. Thanks to the digital label production we do within our organization, we print as many labels as we need without waiting for the labels to come from the print provider.”
Another customer, Merinos Carpet and Trade Inc., finds the iCUBE ideal for a number of reasons. A major advantage is printing all of the manufacturing details directly on the label, ensuring the correct product is shipped to the customer. “Under the old system we ran the risk of sticking the wrong barcode label on the wrong carpet label. This caused huge mistakes in the shipping step. In the new system, this error is reduced to zero, and therefore, possible disputes with our customers are now avoided,” explains Sami Daplan, managing director, Merinos Carpet.
Beyond barcodes, other carpet manufacturers have found ways to utilize the iCUBE technology further. “By integrating the digital carpet label machine into our SAP garment system, we eliminated the color mismatch between the labels and instantly produce labels that include visuals of the carpet,” shares Arif Ali Demir, GM, Bayteks Carpet Inc.
All About Leverage
Pime leverages its experience with digital printing by offering the actual technology to customers. Its business model plays a large role in the recent transformation of the carpet industry, especially in Turkey.
This series on digital label printing continues by focusing on a dedicated label printer serving industrial, distribution, and scientific markets.
Sep2018, Industrial Print Magazine