MMS roundtable: Digital labels vs flexo, a comparative analysis

Hosted by the Mumbai Mudrak Sangh (MMS), the seventh edition of its Roundtable Conference convened on 5 April, 2024 at MCA Club, BKC, Mumbai. 'Circle of Print' themed discussion involved industry stalwarts to explore trends and challenges on the ‘digital label and flexo’ table.

08 Apr 2024 | By Disha Chakraborty & Disha Chakraborty

The discussion embarked with a very rhetorical question “ Digital or Flexo, which is better?”

The discussion helped us understand that the market for digital labels and the market for flexo labels are different. Certain jobs like sandwich labels are possible on both the technologies but are easier on a digital label machine. Like, was a repeated job that you are sure of is more profitable on conventional press. “Co-existence of digital and conventional printing is the ideal scenario. Criticality of a job or the budget are the aspects that could help the client choose the best suitable option.”

Milind Deshpande of Trigon emphasised on the process of convincing the customer and making them understand the difference in cost while printing the same label job in digital or a conventional flexo machine. He said “With a digital machine,  I can pace up the pre-press operations. Plus, a lot of customisation is possible that curtails counterfeit, a major concern for the upcoming brands.”

With the start-up culture growing around, we see there are a lot of options for every product. Earlier, the consumer made a buying decision based on the budget, but the consumer these days, would not mind paying a rupee or two extra to have a product with their name and customisation.

Digital has opened the print-on-demand doors for the start ups. In a conventional press, you have to get the plates made to even proof check the design, colour, finish and such operations. But with digital in the picture, you can print as low as 10-50 labels, get the colours and other parameters vetted by your client or brands and then proceed with the job.

“Digital has certainly reduced the wastage factor. For a lakh labels to be printed on a conventional press that we have, a minimum of 1000 extra labels are wasted for proofing and registration, which is evitable on a digital press,” said Aditya Mehta of Shruti Enterprises.

Adding on to the same, Vipul Thakkar of Thakkar Flexipacks said “On the flexo machine that I have, a minimum of 300-800 metres is wasted per job to get the proper registration, ink tone, colour, and so on. That cost to print plus the raw material cost gets saved on a digital press notably.”

Sanjay Gaitonde of Procam shed some light on the challenges of a digital printer over a conventional flexo printer. He said “Since the printed technology in a digital printing is done by imparting electrical charges, printing any type of metal sheets and foils is difficult since the charges have a tendency to react and deflect.”

Parag Pimple of TechNova while talking about the HP Indigo digital printer said “The ink used in this machine reacts on the surface but does not get embedded and hence has received Nestle’s certification for food grade inks. The toner shows zero migration once printed on the substrate. It is an oil-based jelly kind of toner that dries at a lower temperature. Another USP of this digital printing machine is that it can print 14 layers at once.”

 While talking about sustainability, the digital printers stood a step forward as the oil used in the machine is carried throughout, sucked at the last station and is reused again. 


  • Industry Expert: Neeraj Jagga, TechNova, Mumbai
  • Print Expert: Milind Deshpande, Trigon Digipack, Mumbai
  • Delegates:
    Aditya Mehta, Shruti Enterprises, Mumbai
    Amita Kharpude, Artee Graphics, Mumbai
    Ankit Madan , Konica Minolta, Gurgaon
    Ankit Doshi, IThink In, Mumbai
    Disha Chakraborty, PrintWeek, Mumbai
    Gaurav Agarwal, Miracle, Jaipur
    Parag Pimple, TechNova, Mumbai
    Sanjay Gaitonde, Procam Flexipacks, Mumbai
    Sunil Kokane, TechNova, Mumbai
    Vipul Thakkar, Thakkar Flexipacks, Mumbai