More than 300 converters witnessed digital, flexo, and finishing technologies
Hailing the recent Open House in Warsaw as a resounding success, Managing Director of Mark Andy Europe, Tom Cavalco, confirmed orders for seven flexo and digital presses as well as two Rotoflex inspection rewinders by the close of the three-day event that attracted more than 300 converters from around Europe, North Africa, South Asia and the Middle East. (Image gallery here)
Organised as an opportunity for narrow web converters to have a preview of the technology due to be shown at Labelexpo Europe in Brussels later in the year, the Open House featured live demonstrations of Mark Andy’s flexo and digital technology in what is now the most comprehensive portfolio available from one manufacturer.
Making its European debut was the second-generation Performance Series P7 flexo press. This fully servo-driven machine is Mark Andy’s top-of-the-range offering, recently updated with converter-focused enhancements to support ease of operation, improved productivity, and increased profit potential. For the Open House this 430mm press was specified to offer almost limitless inline decoration and converting capabilities, with nine UV-flexo units, the full ‘film package’ that includes eight ProLED lamps on chilled impression drums, with a double mercury UV unit in the lower position on the final station.
The P7 also had a corona treater, web cleaner, delam/relam, cold foil, hot foil, and a Stork screen unit, as well as a constant tension laminator for solvent-free lamination, a compact web translator for peel/reseal labels, QCDC (Quick Change Die Cut), a vertical die slot sheeting station and advanced waste wind up. Two jobs were run off for demonstration purposes: a 12-micron PET with inline solvent-free lamination to a 28-micron BOPP film, and a shampoo label using extended gamut 7-colour printing and die cutting at 200m/min. The P7 also has a new high-speed option to run production speeds of 305m/min.
Mark Andy’s digital offering was shown in two of the three available hybrid platforms: Digital Series, the production-level UV inkjet inline hybrid that is fully customisable, and Digital One, the dry toner entry level prime label press. The Digital Series is a 330mm line built on a Performance Series platform, providing a commercial approach for any size job. It is highly configurable according to individual requirements, and at the Open House was shown with one flexo station before and two flexo stations after the inkjet module. Developed entirely in-house by Mark Andy, the inkjet station was shown with CMYK plus White that offers screen-like quality.
Capable of, and demonstrated at 76m/min, the Digital Series was fitted with a corona treater, web cleaner, cold foil stamping/laminating, and the QCDC Quick Change Die Cut unit. Three substrates were run with multi jobs and three die changes. There were eight variations of a beer label on PP with variable data versioning, holographic cold foil varnish and die cutting – then a switch to a clear on clear cosmetic job to show how ink jet quality matches silk screen. Finally, there was a material change to wine/estate stock to show how well Mark Andy’s inkjet performed on textured material.
The Digital One press, which attracted great attention from label converters who do not have sufficient business currently to need a production-level digital solution. Offered with a 330mm web width, the hybrid platform includes a CMYK dry toner unit preceded by a web cleaner, and followed by a flexo station for cold foil or lamination, and finally a die cutting unit. Jobs demonstrated were: first, an ice cream to doughnut label for instant change and multi versioning with cast and cure foil, die cutting and inline finishing; and second, a multi version flower label with variable data.
While not on live demonstration, the Mark Andy Digital +3600 retrofit is an aqueous inkjet module that allows converters to enhance their flexo capabilities with the benefits of digital, without the expense of investing in a new press. The flexibility of inline converting, decorating, and finishing all in a single pass, go hand in hand with print speeds of up to 152m/min.
Representing the latest technology in web inspection and finishing was the Rotoflex VSI high-speed inspection slitter rewinder, capable of 305m/min on a 330 (or 440mm) web width. It features the latest web transport with Rotoflex eDrive 2.0 and URC 2.0 control system. The VSI has 711mm unwind capacity and either 406mm or 457mm rewind depending on whether a single or double spindle is fitted.
Commenting on the successful event, Cavalco said: “There is a huge demand for flexo and digital hybrid knowledge and technology in Poland and many of the emerging markets in eastern Europe and beyond, so as the global leader in narrow web presses Mark Andy has a duty to respond to that need. The results speak for themselves with the large number of visitors who attended, and the excellent sales contracts that were concluded during the week.”
A gallery of images from the event may be viewed here.