The digital label decision!


The digital printing of pressure sensitive labels (PSL) has become a much spoken about trend across the world as advancements in this technology have opened up new possibilities for exceptional quality results. Henk Jacobs, General Manager of a leading South African self-adhesive label production company, Lebone Paarl Labels, answers some of the questions around this versatile production method.

Why did Lebone Paarl Labels invest in digital print technology?

Proactive investment in leading edge technology has always been a cornerstone of Lebone Paarl Labels’ success as modern equipment ensures we can efficiently deliver the highest quality, innovative label solutions to our clients. Lebone Paarl Labels invested in our first HP Indigo digital press and abg Digicon finishing line in 2017 in response to shifting clients’ label requirements.

This extension to our existing UV flexo self-adhesive production capabilities allowed us to apply the printing and finishing technology best suited to each job’s particular profile. Digital printing efficiently caters for smaller to medium print runs as well as offers individual label personalisation capabilities for new product testing and dynamic marketing campaigns. Escalating demand for this service has now prompted our investment in a second HP Indigo with a new Rotocon Ecoline RDF 340 digital finishing machine.

Why did you select HP Indigo digital presses?

A non-negotiable measurable for Lebone Paarl Labels is the delivery of uncompromised quality labels. After a thorough investigation of all the options on offer internationally,HP Indigo stood out for its efficiency, quality and versatility. None of the current technologies could match their production especially on uncoated stocks.

Is there a minimum order requirement for digital labels?

Lebone Paarl Labels’ HP Indigo digital presses do not require printing plates so can produce any quantity with no minimum requirement. This makes it the perfect choice for small to medium runs which we often see for new or specialised product ranges.

Can the quality of the digital printing be trusted?

The HP Indigo’s superior technology delivers a digital colour printing process that matches the quality of gravure printing. With high resolution printing and perfect registration, this digital press can perfectly produce the distinctive labels envisioned by the designers. 

What colours can be produced digitally?

HP’s sophisticated technology offers efficient, versatile printing with up to seven colours. This includes the HP Indigo ElectroInk Silver for a metallic look similar to UV flexo silver inks as well as HP Indigo ElectroInk White for shrink sleeves. An inline spectrophotometer eliminates manual color calibrations and adjustments for perfect colour from the first label to the last one off the press.

Can individually unique labels be produced?

Variable printing of unique elements such as text, images, barcodes, numbers and security features may be included on the labels. Brands can also leverage the capabilities of HP SmartStream Mosaic and Collage to make every label unique, creating an infinite number of designs, without impacting productivity, for irresistible shelf-appeal and maximum customer interactivity.

How are finishes applied to digitally printed labels?

Once printed, the reel of labels moves directly from the HP Indigo presses onto Lebone Paarl Labels’ customised Abg Digicon and Rotocon Ecoline RDF 340 Digital finishing lines where foiling, debossing/embossing, die-cutting, laminating and a high build screen printed varnish can be added in a single pass to incorporate depth and texture to labels.  This expansion of our converting and finishing capacity for digitally printed labels with embellishments will allow us to respond faster to the growing demand for these products from our clients.”

Is digital printing environmentally friendly?

Lebone Paarl Labels’ HP Indigo press is manufactured using renewable energy and is certified carbon-neutral. This press comes equipped with technologies that reduce wastage by eliminating print media waste, plates, cylinders, and other elements of conventional printing. HP Indigo’s unique proprietary Liquid Electrophotography (LEP) technology, enables a high ink coverage job with low energy consumption, without compromising on the safety aspect of food packaging use. The LEP digital printing process helped remove the use of many hazardous substances that are typically used in conventional printing.

The HP Indigo press is also equipped with advanced energy recovery mechanisms such as regenerative braking and an advanced heat recovery system. Thereby, these presses achieve optimal press productivity by reducing media waste and energy consumption The HP Indigo digital press emits a fraction of the VOCs used in conventional printing processes as it has a capture and control system that allows the capturing of VOCs in the recycling system located in the utility cabinet of the press.

The carrier liquid used in HP Indigo ElectroInks is a high-purity, virtually odourless, synthetic isoparaffinic fluid which does not include mineral oil but rather is comprised of low weight hydrocarbon chains, commonly used in personal care products and allowed for use in food contact materials across various jurisdictions.  Furthermore, HP Indigo ElectroInk is certified for both home and industrial compostability in accordance with leading standards, such as EU regulation EN 13432. 

“Ongoing investment in the modern advancements in software and equipment ensures we will continue to reliably deliver exceptional quality pressure sensitive labels with innovative finishes faster and more efficiently through UV flexo and digital self-adhesive printing technologies,” concludes Jacobs. “Our team can assist you in selecting the right print solution to ensure your pressure sensitive labels spotlight your brand.” For more information, email or visit

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