Mark Andy hosts students at Open House event

Young talent from print-oriented universities and high schools learn theoretical and practical sides of converters’ operations.

Lukasz Chruśliński, European sales manager, who gave a keynote speech covering different aspects of label printing

Lukasz Chruśliński, European sales manager, who gave a keynote speech covering different aspects of label printing

More than 120 Polish students have participated in Mark Andy’s Open House event that consisted of theoretical and practical tutorials and demonstrations, as the company continues to organize special events for print-oriented technical universities and high schools.

This year event saw two groups of young people attend a workshop at Mark Andy’s Warsaw-based Technology Centre. The workshops included presentations of the three printing presses installed in the demo room, covering flexo and hybrid technologies.

‘These meetings are aimed at our future printers, and the event has become a Mark Andy Europe tradition for the universities and high schools,’ said Lena Chmielewska-Bontron, European marketing manager at Mark Andy. ‘This year we decided to split the students into two groups to match the sessions to their knowledge and qualifications.  So, we focused mainly on theory with the high school students, while the technical universities’ students took part in a practical workshop that included setting up presses and printing jobs.

‘The feedback was very positive, and it was clear that our agenda really tapped into the students’ interest. We were delighted to see their involvement as we’re all very conscious of the global shortage of highly skilled and qualified people in the printing industry.’

Mark Andy has several goals in organizing these events. According to Chmielewska-Bontron, the company aims to leverage and create knowledge and provide a technical background for future print industry employees. Mark Andy shows and promotes printing as an interesting and future-proof industry, with label production being core to its business.’

Opening the event, Lena Chmielewska-Bontron warmly welcomed the students before handing over to Lukasz Chruśliński, European sales manager, who gave a keynote speech covering different aspects of label printing.  He started with a short presentation of Mark Andy as a manufacturer and pioneer of narrow-web presses, with its 77 years of history and market presence.

‘Our company was a kind of cradle for narrow-web printing, because it started and developed with Mark Andrews, the founder of Mark Andy,’ underlined Chruśliński. ‘We’re observing a significant and rapid growth in the sales of Mark Andy hybrids worldwide, right now.’

Chruśliński went on to present current trends in the narrow-web print sector, focusing especially on the label industry.  He pointed out that geopolitical and economic uncertainty are key factors currently influencing the activities of many entrepreneurs and consumers.

‘To be honest, in today’s market conditions it is very hard to predict the future, even within a very short time perspective,’ he said. ‘We have experienced very stormy years recently and there are no clear indications that the situation will get better any time soon.’

Taking these conditions into account, he highlighted that it is crucial for companies to be flexible and agile, as label converters cope with the many challenges, including decreasing run lengths and smaller orders, shorter delivery times, the growing importance of e-commerce, VDP and versioning, as well as technology aspects like the growing interest in linerless, peel-off, and RFID labels. 

‘We’re watching all these trends very closely and analyzing the situation with our customers. This allows us to prepare and develop the new technology for investment projects,’ added Chruśliński.

Student saw demonstrations of three printing presses installed at the company’s Technology Centre, including the newly introduced Pro Series, and Evolution Series E5 flexo lines, as well as the hybrid Digital Series HD. 

Labels were printed on each press to allow comparisons
Labels were printed on each press to allow comparisons

The same label designs were printed on each press, allowing for comparisons of the finished labels produced by different processes. The university students were invited to set up the presses, including make-ready and press start-up. They were supervised and supported by print specialists and service technicians from Mark Andy Europe.

‘We were very impressed with the interest shown by all the students who took part, especially their involvement in workshop. They were very active, asking many detailed questions and were keen to set up presses and start new print jobs. For both events we prepared and printed occasional labels that showed all the participants, which proved a fun and much appreciated souvenir. 

‘We hope they all have good memories of their visit to Mark Andy and that meeting our specialists and seeing and using our technology will provide them with a solid background to their learning process. We believe that meetings like these provide encouragement and make them keen to spend their future in printing industry,’ concluded Chmielewska-Bontron.