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Prairie State Group has installed a Colordyne 3600 Series Retrofit on to a Mark Andy 2200 flexo press to meet increasing demand for short-run jobs and reduce outsourcing of digital printing.
The company is a full-service printer of packaging materials, such as pressure-sensitive labels and flexible packaging, for the food and beverage, health and beauty, nutritional bars, pouching, cold chain technology and automotive after-market industries.
The Colordyne 3600 Series Retrofit adds 4-color digital inkjet capabilities to an existing flexo press, allowing converters to produce the same look and feel of flexo on a digital machine. This allows them to increase their profitability per hour by opening up additional capacity on an existing press without reselling jobs to customers.
The digital retrofit by Prairie State Group was installed on an existing Mark Andy 2200 flexo press at the company’s headquarters in Franklin Park, Illinois. This press was chosen for the upgrade due to the low cost of entry, minimal disruption to its current business and the ability to use existing tooling and finishing.
Prior to adding digital print capabilities, Prairie State Group produced more than 150 jobs under 5,000ft every month on its own flexo presses or outsourced to a digital printer. Many of these analog jobs required longer set-up times than run times.
‘With the growing demand for short-run jobs, we knew it was a bigger risk not to go digital,’ explained Dan Doherty, executive vice president of operations at Prairie State Group. ‘Adding the Colordyne 3600 Series Retrofit allows us to transition our existing high-mix, low-volume jobs to the digital press. This opens up the capacity to print hybrid jobs and new product launches, particularly in the test market stage, for our customers.
Educating clients about the value of digital – personalization, variable data and elimination of plates – has been a large part of Prairie State Group’s success in both transitioning and growing its digital business. Other benefits include shorter lead times, less waste and quicker changeovers. PSG takes advantage of these benefits by combining runs to the same die size allowing it to run multiple jobs as one longer job.
‘The retrofit is putting us on the map as a digital printer and digital is fast becoming the norm at Prairie State Group,’ added Doherty. ‘Existing work is being done more quickly, it saves money on plates and allows clients to walk into a project without fear of their inventory becoming obsolete.’
Taylor Buckthorpe, director of market development at Colordyne Technologies, said: ‘Prairie State Group's all-around success with the 3600 Series Retrofit is due to its hard work upfront and complete embrace of digital printing. Not only has it successfully transitioned current business, it has been able to bring in new digital clients by approaching marketing differently and educating customers on the value of digital.’