Page 38 - Print 21 Magazine Sep-Oct 2018
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Digital technology
Dragon fires up digital
Sydney trade label outfit Dragon Printing has taken its first big steps into digital label production, with the installation of Australia’s second Gallus Labelfire hybrid press from Heidelberg. Directors Paul McCullum and Fareydun Pourshasb share their story with Jake Nelson.
A new fire for Dragon
The Labelfire at Dragon Printing is
only the second to arrive on Australian shores, and the first in Sydney; Melbourne’s Rapid Labels installed the first in the country last year. Dragon had previously experimented with a Memjet-powered desktop label printer to test the waters on whether digital was right for the business, but held off purchasing until what it felt was the best machine for the job came along. “We had been looking down the digital path for a long time, but until it was the right fit, we were never game enough to jump in,” says McCullum. “We probably went through every system out there before we decided on the Labelfire.”
Dragon staff have found the new machine spectacular, says McCullum. “The operators love it, because it is so much simpler than what they are used to,” he said. “The turnaround times and the output are mind- blowing, and the quality that comes off it is amazing. It is pretty much faultless when it’s running.”
The Labelfire hybrid construction, has opened up a wide range of applications for Dragon. “We can do any job from straight four-colour process through to embellished wines and cosmetics – the whole gamut of jobs in one pass,” said McCullum. “The other side to it is that if you have got large coverage of ink, you can run conventional for one part of the job, and run different SKUs and variable components on digital. “There are certain things we are looking into, aside from the variable data,” he added.
For three decades Dragon Printing has been a fixture in Sydney. Starting out in sheetfed offset, the company moved into labels, and soon found a niche in trade label production. Paul McCullum, director says, “We do a fair slice of trade and direct label work, including in-mould labelling. We cover basically anything roll-fed. Where a lot of label printers will focus on one area, such as pharmaceuticals or wines,
we do the whole spectrum, right
across the board.”
At Dragon’s facility in Mascot, the shop floor is dominated by two Gallus label presses: a pure-flexographic ECS 340, and the newest addition to the stable, the digital hybrid Labelfire,
Below, from left:
installed this year. “It has been a long journey to get here, going back five years,” says McCullum. “We looked at all the options available to us, we had been following the Gallus system for some time.”
According to McCullum, what Dragon wanted was an all-in-one solution. “There was nothing else that fit what we wanted to cover from start to finish with the label,” he says. “With most of the systems, it was prime the stock, print, take
it offline, do the finishing, then do the inspection. We wanted a system where we could print all the different types of labels we do, one pass and it is done. That was the driving factor of the direction we went in.”
Directors (l-r) Paul McCullum and Fareydun Pourshasb.
Digital power: Gallus Labelfire.

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