Prima Tapes & Labels invests in Mark Andy Evolution E5 flexo press

UK-based converter celebrates BRC accreditation with Mark Andy Evolution flexo press.

L-R: Mark Lee, David Lee and press operator Glyn Waters

L-R: Mark Lee, David Lee and press operator Glyn Waters

UK tape and label converting specialist Prima has installed a 340mm Mark Andy Evolution E5 flexo press at its headquarters in Orpington. The new 6-color UV flexo line will provide extra print capacity to coincide with Prima’s newly attained BRCGS Grade A rating, achieved at the first attempt.

Established in Beckenham by Sam Lee in 1966 as a supplier of various types of adhesive tapes principally to the London and Kent market, the company saw moves to Crystal Palace and then Clapham, South London, before settling in its current location in 1996. Alongside this, came the development of the registered Prima brand. Now under third generation family ownership and management, with David Lee and Mark Lee succeeding their respective fathers Julian and Martin Lee, the company began to expand its business in the early 1980s.

The move into label production came with the installation of a Mark Andy 2200 press in 1994. This 254mm six-color machine sits alongside two other 2200 flexo lines, of which one has both water-based and UV ink capability. According to Julian Lee, the initial choice of a Mark Andy 2200 was made on its unmatched balance of price and performance, and this has been substantiated by the fact that it’s still in daily operation.

David Lee, said: ‘We have remained loyal to Mark Andy because of the unwavering support they have given us over the years. Our 2200 and 830 presses are reliable and great commercial workhorses, so when we needed more capacity, Mark Andy was our first port of call.’

Installed in a newly created production area of the company’s 5,000 square meters facility, the new Evolution E5 is one of Mark Andy’s scalable range of flexo presses for the label market.

Phil Baldwin, UK sales manager for Mark Andy, commented: ‘The Evolution is designed to complement the workflow needs of label converters, which are likely to change in today’s volatile market. It’s a versatile press, capable of being upscaled as the need requires and will handle a range of products from prime labels to tags, tickets, filmics, in-mold, lids, and shrink sleeves.’

The new servo driven E5 at Prima is a full UV press, capable of speeds of up to 230 m/min on substrates from 12 to 300-micron. It has a print repeat of 140 – 610mm and a standard unwind and rewind capacity of 1016mm. In addition, it has an overhead rail system to accommodate pressure-sensitive lamination and foil wind-up for cold foil application. The E5 is fitted with a vertical die station, a sheeting die station, and a dual rewind.

The newly acquired BRC rating and added capacity of the Mark Andy E5 will help the sales team to grow the company’s business within the UK’s vast supermarket supply chain.

Currently, Prima’s annual output is half split between tapes and labels, but the company sees more growth potential on the label side, while the company’s expertise in tape manufacturing and adhesives will continue to provide a strong financial base.

‘The Prima and Mark Andy relationship is ample proof of the benefit to both sides of working together long-term – and we look forward to helping the company grow its business with our technology well into the future,’ concluded Baldwin.