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Guests from across Europe and Asia came to the open house in Warsaw
After a number of changes in the structure and location of Mark Andy's European wing, the company held an open house at its headquarters in Warsaw, Poland, to show what it will offer at Labelexpo 2017 later this year. Michal Lodej reports.
It has been two years since Mark Andy moved into its Warsaw showroom, which soon became its European headquarters, moving from Basel in Switzerland. There in central Poland, the company has single market access to the 27 EU states and beyond that, it is within reaching distance of the Middle East and North Africa, all while remaining just a three-hour drive from Berlin.
With the new base established the company made structural changes in its management team. Tom Cavalco, who was a driving force in the move to Warsaw, has been appointed as the company's managing director, Europe. Mr Cavalco has enjoyed continued success at the company in a variety of roles over the past 15 years. In his new position, he will be responsible for leading and growing the sales and distribution partner network, and increasing the breadth of products and services to European customers.
Technology speaks for itself
It is a role which Mr Cavalco is confident will be made easier by Mark Andy's technical abilities and reputation. Mr Cavalco told FlexoTech, 'We can offer inkjet, toner and flexo printing technologies, catering for anything a customer needs. We are also the only company to manufacture all of its own technology for its hybrid press rather than using parts from different OEMs as other press manufactures do. With installations across Europe we have proven that we can compete in this market. We know our customers, and we know the market.'
Tom Cavalco, managing director of Mark Andy Europe
However, with the one line background rooted in conventional printing there has been a change in sales training as well as after sales contact. Mr Cavalco continued, 'Selling digital is different to selling flexo. Working with digital means more maintenance and contact than with a flexo press. So we have built up a service structure especially to help customers buying digital technology. Every customer is different and some may need more help as they get to grips with their new kit than others. With this new service structure, we are able to provide the right level of support to the right customers.
'If the customer already has digital kit or some experience of it, then they will be fine, but if they have only ever used flexo technology then they will need more help.'
At the demo
Leading the demonstrations at the open house was Phil Baldwin, aftermarket director, Europe. He guided visitors through the functions and capabilities of the second-generation P7 Performance Series press, the Digital Series press, the Digital One and the Rotoflex VSI.
Mark Andy's Digital Series hybrid press
The latest generation P7 Performance Series on show was 430 mm (17 inches) wide, with nine colours, using Phoseon's UV LED curing units and low migration inks. The press is fully servo driven and can prints on stock down to 12 mircons thin. With its UV LED curing units, there are no ozone gases produced and so no extraction unit is required to remove the hazardous gases making it quieter.
The machine has been made shorter in length as space is becoming a luxury for many printers, however the press is available in wider web sizes, up to 24 inches, taking it into mid web territory.
Changeover times are quick, at the demo two operators changed the jobs on the press in fewer than 10 minutes, as long as pre-press is set up correctly. The operators used clean set up racks to hold the next job ready in position to allow a swift changeover.
On the P7 demonstration two jobs were shown, 12-micron PET with inline solventless lamination with a 28-micron BOPP film and a shampoo label using extended gamut seven-colour printing and die-cutting at 200m/min.
Other features of the press include Mark Andy's QCDC die-cutting change over kit. This eliminates any heavy lifting for the operator who can simply open a hatch in the side of the press slide the die in from the QCDC unit into the press. This system brings down the time required to change the die, bringing it inline with the fast changeover times experienced with the plates and inks etc.
The press also included the company's Gizmo a device which helps printers specialise in multi-layered labels. The Gizmo cuts the web in half (length ways), and takes one half, applies a glue and places it on top of the other half, creating a peel and reveal label.
Mark Andy also presented its hybrid press, the Digital Series, a 330 mm inline inkjet digital hybrid press which combines with flexo units for converting and embellishing on fully a servo basis.
Attendees to the demo were told, 'The key to printing quality at speed with inkjet is good web control,' which the press gets from the P7 series platform it is built on and which also means it can accommodate flexo units at any point in the press arrangement.
The press has a completely digital workflow to make digital inline with flexo competitive. The digital series comes with five inkjet stations, CMYK + White with two rows of six print heads per colour. The demonstration saw a job printed on a clear PP, which required an opaque white to be laid down. Colour management in the pre-press software can match up the colours whether they are printed digitally or with flexo. The inks are not made by Mark Andy itself, the company instead has partnered with an unnamed ink manufacturer to produce inks for the digital series inkjet heads.
Mark Andy also has another digital press to offer customers, one which is not as much of a commitment as a digital series press. The company's Digital One gives flexo printers a chance to dip their toe into digital printing, setting them back $260,000. The press uses toner technology and comprises of CMYK with one flexo unit for varnishing or laminate work, again using they hybrid capabilities but in a much simpler way.
Whichever way label printing goes Mark Andy has positioned itself so that it is versatile enough for any direction, a reflection of its customers' needs, Mr Cavalco concluded, 'The increasing speed of inkjet is a threat to flexo, because of this, printers want to get into digital work, but they will always have flexo work to do as well. Many print businesses now want to expand their portfolio to be more flexible in the market.'
Read the full May issue here