On a post a week ago, we introduced how we produce drill bits at high level of precision and that we keep trying hard to catch up customers’ requests.
Today, as customers requests more “added-value” prints, we are getting more requests from printers for solutions to punch holes on various materials with different coatings. So the paper drills nowadays are used not only for papers, but also for plastic films, labels, synthetic sheets, lenticular sheets and so on. Swing tags are the one of the typical applications that we are often asked for solutions. As written before, more printers are aware that tags on-demand is a good business and a paper drill is an essential part.
Generally, valuable prints requires higher quality. On the contrary, it is more difficult to finish such materials with high precision and less damage. For example, when punching on laminated sheets, strokes need to be not too long but not too short. Short strokes cause burrs on surfaces of sheets and laminating films peeled away from the sheets. Long strokes cause generating frictional heat, ending up with sheets stuck on each other.
To avoid such troubles, we offer “Teflon-coated” drill bits. Teflon coating enhances the durability and smoothness of drill bits, helps drill bits punch holes with better quality especially on laminated sheets and labels. Especially if you are using a high-end paper drill, which is capable to change the rotating speed of spindle, difference is significant when run at slower speed.
Thus, drill bits seem to be small pieces of metal but the high quality ones are actually made with full of technologies. There are lots of techniques behind how they are made, and of course there are some tips to use them properly.
Mr. Tsubakihara, the director of Sakura Seiki gave us an advice. “For longer lifetime of drill bits, we suggest to take the drill bits off the machine and to remove paper chips inside after use. If the chips are left inside the drill bits, they absorb humidity and cause the rust. Moisten chips also swell in the drill bits, and cause the chips clogging up when they are used the next time. Please also ensure to resharpen drill bits when they are being dull. These can damage and shorten lifetimes of the drill bits. As long as they are maintained properly, our drill bits keep quality at very high level and last long.”
If you are looking for solutions to punch beautiful holes smoothly on several materials, feel free to contact us for more information!
(Written by Yasto)
Nowadays more and more people are getting used to shop on-line, but some people would never be satisfied by such virtual shopping experiences. Technology is improving rapidly, yet it cannot reproduce real shape, texture, volume and smell of products. That’s why I can bet that people won’t stop “real” shopping for the next several decades, especially when it comes to apparel. And what do you see when you are shopping? Of course products themselves, and yeah, swing tags.
Swing tags have important information that need to be presented to consumers. At the same time this is also important for sellers to manage inventory and sales. For these reasons, tags have to be physically attached to products.
From sellers’ viewpoint, swing tag is a cost, and it’s reflected to the price of product. We are paying for not only product itself but also its tags. So generally, reducing costs of swing tags will make everyone happy.
How do you print swing tags on-demand?
There are some ways to make swing tags. Firstly, printing methods are roughly divided into two ways.
A. Offset / Flexo print
B. Digital print
Offset is perfect as long as large numbers of same tags are required. In this case, to handle variable information such as size, color and price, labels must be prepared separately and attached to tags, or all the options have to be pre-printed and then ticked manually.
Digital print is an ideal way to handle variable information, especially when the required quantity is not big. If all the variable information is printed, additional label is not necessary, which is a great advantage to print digitally. This can be an option to print “base” prints by offset and overprint variable information by digital.
So how would the difference in printing methods result in purchasing cost of customers? Here’s a rough calculation in case of making 10 kinds of 100 tags. The prices were referred from the one of the most major web-to-print service provide in Japan, and converted into USD from JPY based on the current exchange rate.
(4 colour duplex, 250gsm)
7 days turnaround
1 day turnaround
$13 x 10 kinds = $130
5 days turnaround
|Variable data option
+1 day turnaround
+1 day turnaround
+1 day turnaround
7 days turnaround
4 days turnaround
Digital print is 10% cheaper and 3 days faster. Of course the price even break point may vary depending on quantity, country, company etc., but for both printers and customers, important thing is to have an option. Actually this is not a bad deal for the printer, too. The printer can get the job done with faster setup and production time, improve customer satisfaction, and compared to business card, this is an added-value job.
How to optimize “on-demand” swing tag production.
One of our customers is specialized in “on-demand” swing tags and improved their productivity. We are quite impressed with the way they produce swing tags. Here are the procedures.
1. Print digitally
Let’s say… they need 1,000 tags of the same size (90x50mm) but different contents. Firstly they prepare ready to print variable printing data, and print 24up tags on SRA3 sheets. If they need 1,000 tags, it is 42 sheets and only takes about a minute to print as today’s production digital print engine is as fast as 70ppm.
2. Programmable paper drill
Put the prints on the programmable paper drill. Punching holes on piled small tags has risk of damaging products and it requires skill to finish them beautifully. If the drill punches holes on multiple layout original sheets, the height of print pile becomes lower which means a risk of damage is lower. This way requires more strokes, but if the drill is programmable, this is not a big issue. If the template is pre-programmed, this phase will take only 5 mins.
3. Finish tags with AeroCut
Then, put the pre-punched prints on the AeroCut. As the AeroCut Quatro is capable to finish 7x 24up cards per minute, it takes less than 10mins to finish off all the tags. (While the AeroCut is working, the operator can walk away and do other jobs.)
One of the advantages that AeroCut has is, it is capable to finish folding swing tags, too.
Another tip, use a bundling machine to separate tags. This prevents contamination and for customers it’s much easier to handle.
[Link to Youtube – Tapit-WII+]
Overall, as shown on the drawing below, it dramatically decreases production time. Plus, it saves the labor, time and costs to print and attach labels.
So once again, if you prints business cards on-demand, why don’t you put swing tags on your portfolio?
(Written by Yasto)