Mi’er enters label business with digital technology

Chinese commercial print company expands into personalized label and flexible packaging production with a new digital press. 

Founded in 1992, located in Minhang District, Shanghai, Mi’er is a company focused on commercial printing and book publishing. 

‘In the printing industry for more than 30 years, Mi’er has experienced and witnessed different periods of development of this industry in the Chinese market, including periods of early development, rapid growth, declining growth and now the complete transformation by digital technology,’ shares Yao Yuande, founder and general manager of the company. 

The overall development of Mi’er is consistent with the pace of the print industry’s wider development. ‘I felt the huge demand and potential for printed matter in the Chinese market when we established this company. With the development of the business, we have accumulated many high-quality loyal international brand customers, like Bosch and Disney.’ Yao reveals that at its peak, the company’s annual sales reached 30 million RMB (4.15M USD), and has more than 100 employees. 

When it reached the 2010s, Mi’er realized that the growth of its existing business had reached a bottleneck, as the entire market entered a stable development stage where little real growth was happening. 

The size of the label is small, the related investment pressure is relatively small, its growth is currently the fastest in the whole printing field, and the profit and market prospects are considerable


To achieve longer-term growth, the company started actively looking for new areas to invest in. ‘The first new area we tried was the folding cartons industry,’ recalls Yao. ‘We invested in a new factory and equipment in Shanghai. But we found that this field is not suitable for small and micro enterprises like Mi’er, because the capital investment required is very large and the profit margin of this industry is not as high as we expected.’ 

At the same time, the company was faced with declining demand across its commercial printing business. The situation became worse when its book and publication business took a major hit after the Chinese government banned extra-curricular teaching and training courses in 2021. Then came the global pandemic. 

Mi’er made full use of the lockdown years to lay out new plans. The company actively integrated the existing businesses, continuously improved internal management efficiency, reduced production costs, and concentrated resources on servicing high-value customers, thereby enhancing the company’s overall market competitiveness. 

The company once again searched for a new direction for growth. This time, they set the target firmly in the field of label printing. ‘We learned from the experience and lessons of that first unfavorable transition. Before setting the new target, we visited relevant industry events to understand the trends and growth prospects of label printing. The size of the label is small, the related investment is relatively small, its growth is currently the fastest in the whole printing field, and the profit and market prospects are very considerable, which prompted us to transition to this industry,’ explains Yao. 

New business 

After selecting its new focus, Mi’er quickly started investing in the necessary equipment for label production. 

‘After comparing conventional printing and digital printing technology, we chose digital printing equipment,’ recalls Yao. ‘The development of digital printing technology in the past two years has been very rapid, especially in the field of small and medium-sized label orders, which is our future core target market.’ 

But which digital press to choose? Mi’er carried out a lot of research before investing because they were beginners in digital printing technology. 

After comparing the printing performance, printing speed, available materials range, and the color control system on different presses, Mi’er locked into UV inkjet printing technology. In October 2023, its first label printing equipment, a Screen L350UV SAI UV inkjet press was installed. ‘We are confident about the quality of Screen products. What most impressed me is that, in addition to printing label products, this device can also perform very well for flexible packaging products, which is exactly the business area we want to explore. And the color calibration software of this press could solve our color consistency requirements for digital printing products,’ Yao tells L&L. 

Mi’er has also invested in three Rhyguan die-cutting machines for its new business. In addition, a new DMS digital foil machine will be installed in May. 

Yolanda Wang

  • China editor