Mark Andy scores hat trick with Performance Series in Ireland

16 Dec 2015
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Advanced Labels investment included two Rotoflex machines, a VSI and DSI.

Narrow web press manufacturer Mark Andy has installed three of its Performance Series presses in Ireland.

The presses, two P3 models and one P5, have been sold through Mark Andy UK, for whom sales manager, Paul Macdonald commented, 'We were delighted to secure these orders because the different requirements of the three customers demonstrate the flexible production capability of the Performance Series.'

Advanced Labels in Dublin installed the first P3 in Ireland. It's an eight colour 330 mm press with full UV flexo capability and is fitted with turn bars and delam/relam capability. Joe Killion, owner and managing director, explained, 'We needed the latest technology to make us ultra competitive in high end labels as we expand our business. Crucially, our new press has only ever run with low migration inks and varnishes, which gives us an edge in the food and beverage markets, and puts a big tick in the environmental box as far as our customers are concerned!' Other areas into which the company seeks to expand include the growing wine and craft beer markets, as well as pharmaceuticals.

The P3 has improved both speed and print quality at Advanced Labels, with significant savings in make ready and changeover times, combined with less material waste. One regular job, run off on the press soon after installation, was completed in four hours instead of the usual two days, which indicates a fantastic ROI, according to Mr Killion, adding that his average order value has also grown from €1500 to €3500 with the P3. The company has also invested in a Mark Andy plate mounter and two Rotoflex machines, a VSI inspection rewinder and a DSI die-cutter. The total investment project is aimed squarely at attaining BRC approval early in 2016.

Also located in Dublin, and with a similar eight colour 330 mm Mark Andy P3, is former Irish Printer Award Winner, Label World, where directors Derek Maher and Declan O'Rourke have grown the business into the largest trade label facility in Ireland. The company's new press has turn bars and delam/relam, but also includes two die stations and a sheeter, which they say is particularly useful for fanfold and tag work required by the trade. 

Existing customer Mr Maher first saw the Performance Series at Labelexpo in 2011. 'I was so impressed with the speed of makeready and consistent register that I knew it was the way forward for our business,' he said, and subsequently ordered a P3 without further print trials. 'We have an excellent longstanding relationship with Mark Andy that is built on trust and after sales support,' he added, explaining that this extended to his production team being given full hands-on access to the press at Labelexpo.

The press was installed in July and replaced two older flexo lines. Regularly running at 140 m/min, the P3 has taught Label World about the need for efficient job planning and preparation.'In the past there had been a clear difference between the quality coming off our flexo presses and that from the digital presses we have - but not any more, and the P3 is so much more productive that it could easily double our turnover,' he said. 

The third of the new flexo presses is a P5 servo driven line, which is installed at Impact Labelling in Limerick. The P5 is the first Performance Series press in Ireland and the UK with the company's new Advanced Waste Rewind system that allows faster die-cutting due to the matrix always being supported.

Established originally in 1995 and trading as a label broker until 1997, the company subsequently moved into manufacturing and today has three Mark Andy presses. As managing director Richard Fox pointed out, 'The P5 is our first brand new press and will allow us to develop our business in the industrial, logistics, automotive and medical devices sectors, which are less seasonally volatile than retail and food.' Explaining that it was the accuracy of the registration system that persuaded him to choose a P5, Mr Fox said, 'We are looking to become more efficient on short run work, much of which has a second-pass element so the accuracy of the die-cutting is critical.  The P5 excels at this re-register work, running at 120 m/min.' 

Described by the operators as 'very user-friendly', Mr Fox is full of praise for the service and technical support offered by the company's UK base in Macclesfield. 'We offer our customers a comprehensive service and the capacity to bale them out of trouble should the need arise - we expect the same from our suppliers, and Mark Andy has always delivered.' he commented.  

Currently some 25% of Impact's production is trade work, with a typical run length of 50,000 labels, all of which are 100% line scan inspected prior to delivery. For Mr Fox, who has an engineering background, the P5 is seen as a machine with highly accurate converting capabilities, as much as a quality UV flexo press. 'Everything about it spells accuracy and efficiency, whether it's the large diameter impression roll or the die station with its easy change system,' he concluded. 

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