Moniko ramps up production with Martin Automatic investment

Macedonian converter will double its production capacity with Edale and Martin Automatic equipment combination.

One of the leading label converters in Mecedonia, Moniko, has fitted a Martin Automatic MBS non-stop unwind/splicer to its newly installed Edale FL5 flexo press to improve productivity and reduce waste. 

The company, established in Skopje in 1991, today employs 33 people and has a sales turnover of EUR 6.5m. The company started out with a second-hand Lonsdale (now Edale) stack press.

‘I started buying and selling labels as a teenager,’ said founder and current CEO of Moniko, Vladimir Kjurchiev. ‘While I was still at school, my parents bought me a 386 computer with a Corel Draw graphics package, rare back in 1993, and I was hooked.’

In 2012 Moniko was approached by a casino to supply tickets on lightweight cartonboard. The tickets are used to record the funds of each gambler as he or she moves around the casino, without the need to carry cash.

‘It’s a high-volume low-margin business so you have to specialize to make it work. We started small with a local casino but as our reputation grew, we quickly established an international business and today our casino tickets are in use all over the world,’ adds Kjurchiev.

In 2019, Moniko moved into a new purpose-built 3,000 square meters factory, but the founder knew that to maximize potential in this market sector he needed to invest in new technology. The result was the installation of an Edale FL5 six-color flexo press that would allow him to develop a new range of products that had previously been beyond its capability, and consequently tap into large new export markets.

In addition to requiring a new press to fully develop his company’s potential, Kjurchiev knew that automated roll changing would be a key element, and was in contact with Bernd Schopferer, European sales manager for Martin Automatic regarding improving the performance of his Gallus presses. 

The first real opportunity of putting this into practice came with the installation of the new Edale, which is fitted with a Martin MBS unwind/splice unit to allow continuous operation.

Capable of matching the Edale’s top production speed of 200m/min, the unit can handle rolls at web widths up to 660mm, 1270mm in diameter, and 590kg in weight.  According to Kjurchiev, using the Martin Automatic equipment saves around 60 meters of material per roll change and by allowing the press to run continuously there is no drop in quality as it slows to a halt and then ramps up again when changing the rolls manually. In fact, production at Moniko will double with the Edale/Martin combination and grow sales beyond EUR 10m by 2026.

The MBS unwind/splicer is fitted with Martin’s ‘Enhanced Operator Productivity Package, which includes a festoon dancer brake system that holds the roller carriage in position, even if air and power is cut off unintentionally.

‘The system also guides the operator through the splice preparation and monitors the status of the components required for safe operation.  It has a laser assist system for the second-side tape roller, which makes precise positioning of the tape on the second side easy and helps straighten the new web into the splice unit. It’s a really useful added-value package,’ said Schopferer.