Dublin based Label Tech, one of the largest independent label converters in Ireland, marked its 30th anniversary in 2022 by installing another Mark Andy Evolution Series E5 flexo press at its facility in Santry on the northern outskirts of the Irish capital. The latest machine joins an identically specified Evolution Series E5 that was commissioned in October 2020 during the Covid pandemic, and a legacy Mark Andy 2200 Series press.
Label Tech’s James Costello (left) with Mark Andy’s Phil Baldwin and Ian Pollock and the company’s second Evolution Series E5 flexo press at its production facility in Santry, Ireland
Speaking for Label Tech, Managing Director James Costello stated: “This is the second phase of our planned programme of investment that will see a third Mark Andy Evolution Series installed in 2023. The plan is to standardise on the 13” (330mm) web width to give maximum production flexibility and cost-savings on tooling.” Asked to summarise the benefit of the company’s Evolution Series E5 presses, Mr Costello said that job-dependent, he has seen an increase of around 50% in throughput, which has allowed the company to replan its shift pattern and reduce pressure on its busy workforce of 48 people. Key markets served are food and drink, health and nutrition pharmaceuticals, transport, and logistics.
The two Evolution Series E5 presses at Label Tech are 8-colour machines equipped with full UV curing. They have been specified with unwind roll lifts and dual frame rewinds, die stations and sheeting units with a conveyor. In addition, turn bars, a cold foil facility and laminating unit are mounted on overhead rails, and have BST inspection cameras fitted. Both presses are capable of up to 230m/min running speeds.
Commenting for Mark Andy, Sales Manager for the UK & Ireland Phil Baldwin said: “It’s another example of Label Tech putting quality and investment in the latest technology at the forefront of its business. The significantly increased capability of two Evolution Series E5 presses will enable customers to secure faster turnaround times and top quality on every order. Mark Andy is proud to be playing a key part in this company’s success and with the third Evolution Series scheduled for 2023 we will be keen to support the business going forward.”
The ‘Tech’ part of the company’s name was chosen for good reason, because the management team, consisting of James Costello, Johnny Woods and David Keogh has always seen investment in the latest technology as a firm base on which to grow the business. The company is renowned for its knowledge and expertise that has allowed it to achieve many outstanding bespoke label solutions, and continually invests in its technology and people to maintain its offering and support to its customers for new and complex projects.
Commenting at how much the label market has changed over the past few years, Mr Costello said:“In our core food and beverage markets particularly there had been a major shift in demand for labels with more products being sold by supermarkets for home consumption. This has driven a whole raft of innovation at Label Tech, and despite the pandemic, the company had enjoyed two busy years.”
The second Evolution Series E5 press complements the company’s existing E5 and digital platform and adds another layer of efficiency to the production floor. During the pandemic innovations were strong and new demands grew within the PSL sector. “Serving these growing demands has been less of a challenge with the expanding flexo capacity that Mark Andy has provided for us. Having the internal flexibility to react to customer demands gives us a competitive advantage and is also a great source of comfort for our growing customers,” he added.
Despite a very challenging year, with well documented supply chain issues, Label Tech can see some light at the end of the tunnel. “The supply chain is showing slow signs of correction. This, added to our increased capacity, will allow us reduce lead times for our customers for the first time in over a year. We’re looking to have three identical Evolution Series E5 presses in full production here to give us maximum capacity and the scheduling flexibility we’ll need to fulfil our order books. The 13” web width is a perfect fit for our portfolio and the machine’s versatility and scalability will enable us to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations,” he concluded.