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Mark Andy users awarded in South Africa

Mark Andy’s local partner, SArepco’s Paul Bouwer (right), presented KB Labels’ Bill Jordaan and Robert du Preez with a gold medal for the Nando’s Lemon & Herb PS label

In South Africa’s recent Print Excellence Awards, organized annually by the FTASA (Flexographic Technical Association of South Africa), five out of six of the gold medals winners in the various labeling categories were converters using Mark Andy narrow web presses. 

For instance, one multiple award winner was First Impression Labels (FIL), whose Mark Andy P7 press contributed greatly to the company’s success in garnering gold and silver for shrink labels for Absolut Vodka Khuli Chana and Go Nutz Gourmet Almond & Whey protein, as well as gold for the wraparound label for Clover Super M Chocolate – all using DuPont Cyrel plates and inks from Flint Group. A silver medal went to FIL for the wraparound label for BMS Smoked Viennas. 

Also taking multiple awards using its Mark Andy 2200 press was SA Label Printers, receiving gold, silver and bronze medals for top-class labels, in all cases using DuPont Cyrel Easy plates and inks from Flint Group. The gold medal went to the PS label for RS-500 engine oil. 

One of three joint gold winners in the shrink labels category was Multi-Color Corporation for Clover’s promotional Christmas pack, printed on a Mark Andy. 

KB Labels won gold for Nando’s Lemon & Herb PS label, printed on a Mark Andy using DuPont Cyrel plates and inks from Flint Group.

Anatomy of a winner
Meanwhile, in the Gold Pack Awards (organized annually by the Institute of Packaging SA), where the focus is on recognizing packaging innovation and design, RPC Astrapak Marcom, Verstraete IML and Siqalo Foods scooped a joint gold medal in the competitive food packaging category for the Rama metallic in-mold label (IML) tub. This pack has also been named as a winner in this year’s WPO WorldStar Awards.

Rama is South Africa’s leading spread and a supermarket icon. Most consumers are familiar with the Rama brick that has been upgraded to a metallized foil wrapper and enjoys 60 percent of the country’s spread sales. In a smart move to consolidate the branding, the tub version has also been upgraded to a metallic-look pack. Designed to woo affluent consumers, who appreciate the tub’s convenience, the new pack sits comfortably alongside the shiny Rama brick.

This award marks a breakthrough for in-mold labeling. Until now, static electricity has stood in the way of the development of metallic in-mold labels. During the injection-molding process, static electricity is used to hold the label in place, but because metallic labels are conductive, the static charge is dissipated, creating instability during melt flow injection. This in turn causes label misalignment and product defects. Under normal circumstances, therefore, metallic labels are not easy to process in standard molds.

In a joint venture between RPC Astrapak Marcom and Verstraete IML, a label was created using cold foil printing. The design parameters were amended to ensure the foiled area did not exceed a specified limit. 

The result was a partially-foiled in-mold label. Although this means certain areas of the tub are not in fact foiled, to the naked eye the entire tub looks metallic – testament to the consummate skill of the development team.

Using this technology, static charges remain on the non-metallic part of the label, keeping it stable during the injection process. In addition, a standard, unmodified mold can be used, opening the way to metallized IML for a much larger market.

RPC Astrapak is an innovative pacemaker in design, development, technology and manufacturing of molded and formed packaging. RPC Astrapak Marcom is part of the molding division and falls within the rigid plastic packaging spectrum.

Verstraete IML is a world leader among IML label suppliers, with a daily production of over 50 million in-mold labels for numerous packaging segments. 

In 2018, Remgro acquired Unilever’s South African spreads business and renamed it Siqalo Foods.


Gill Loubser is Labels & Labeling's Africa correspondent, providing coverage of this important market for the label and package printing industry.

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