October 25, 2023 | Trisha Smith

A Comprehensive Q&A Session with Ben Luly, Product Manager, Digital Presses at Mark Andy


A Comprehensive Q&A Session with Ben Luly, Product Manager, Digital Presses at Mark Andy

In a recent interview, Trisha Smith, Marketing and Business Development Manager, engaged with Ben Luly, newly appointed Product Manager, Digital Presses at Mark Andy. The discussion delves into Ben’s previous experiences, current responsibilities, future aspirations, and a shared enthusiasm for the digital press industry.


Trisha Smith (TS): How long have you been with Mark Andy and what is your background?

Ben Luly (BL): I graduated in 2012 from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.  After college I worked in heavy equipment for the construction and agricultural industries, before signing on with Mark Andy in 2014.  For the past nine years I have had the privilege of being mentored by many incredible people within this organization who have helped to grow my skillset as an engineer.  I look forward to bringing those skills and knowledge along with me, continuing to add value to this organization in the role of product manager for digital presses.


TS: Why do you believe that digital is a viable path for the future?

BL: Digital printing technology has advanced so much in the time I have been in this industry. Its evolution to a more user-friendly technology with a more automated and streamlined workflow, and high quality at faster press speeds has been fun to see. Ink and toner technology has continued to improve, with a focus on durability, sustainability, and compatibility with a wider range of substrates.  With all of these enhancements, digital printing continues to move out of micro and short run jobs and is breaking into medium to longer runs by lowering the cost to print, which to me signifies a really promising future for the technology.


TS: What excites you about digital?

BL: The technology and precision are fascinating.  I greatly admire those who put in the countless hours to continually push the boundaries of what’s possible in the machines being developed.  The advancements we have seen by combining our industry-leading web handling platforms along with our in-house digital and partner technology make for an exciting time.  I’m also excited to work for a company that offers a complete solution, enabling our customers to be successful with their digital/hybrid presses, while also receiving outstanding customer, technical, and application support, as well as a comprehensive consumables offering.


TS: What trends do you see with digital?

BL: We are seeing growth in the demand for personalized and customized labels, using variable data printing or versioning, and a requirement for cost effective runs at varying lengths. Hybrid presses continue to make a compelling case as they offer the best of both technologies, allowing customers to maximize their benefits.  Improvements are being made in color management, especially for brand consistency.  With increased need for product security, digital printing is being used for incorporating security features such as QR codes, variable data, and invisible ink.  The adoption of digital finishing solutions, such as digital embellishment is also growing.


TS: What can we expect from Mark Andy regarding digital in the future?

BL: Mark Andy will continue to be a key player in the digital and hybrid space, finding new and innovative ways to support streamlined workflows, more sustainable processes, and increased speeds.  We will continue to foster our relationships with digital technology partners, consumable suppliers, and our customers, working together to find solutions to help everyone succeed.