Michigan-based converter Artex Label & Graphics has invested in the recently launched Rotoflex DF1 to advance its finishing capabilities and combat bottlenecking delays.
Terry Gruppen started Artex Label & Graphics in 1999, creating labels for the food market, beverage factories, and the industrial market. The company employs a team of 35.
‘As the industry evolved, we started doing a lot of unique numbering and vision inspecting, and even with some high-speed cameras, all the processes were starting to slow us down, so we needed another tool in the kit to meet the demands of out the door. We were getting the printing done effectively but needed to match this quality with the post-press finishing,’ said Phil Treadway, office and project manager at Artex.
The company decided to purchase the recently launched Rotoflex DF1. Before choosing the machine, Artex compared it to similar offerings in the market. The decision boiled down to quality control and speed processing, modularity, and upgrade capabilities.
‘Also, knowing that this device was going to fit in the family of products that we had really pushed us to consider it above all others. We felt it was probably one of the best options that were available to us, and we were immediately sold on it,’ added Treadway. We thought we could make the Swiss Army Knife of finishers of it. I mean, we know it's not an all-in-one, but it certainly has a lot of key tools that are helping to get the job done. We also had hopes that we could set the DF1 up as a mini press for us, and that can be beneficial. It comes down the line when we want to add an embellishment to an item. For instance, one of our presses is a five-color press, so it makes sense if we have six color job or a spot for us to be able to take that over to the DF1. It helps with really premium press time and throughput.’
According to Artex, many of its customers are requesting smaller buys and shorter turnaround times more regularly, even as SKUs continue to increase, and this is where the DF1 semi-rotary shines, as jobs that historically required a full shift for printing, finishing, and converting can now be completed in one third or half of the time due to the speed and robustness of the DF1.
‘Our goals in the last few years have been a continuous improvement plan, working on additional color certification or taking additional measures for quality control. We see this as an ongoing thing, where quality and improvement are non-stop. The Mark Andy family of products and now the Rotoflex DF1 have helped our business to continue to keep pace with other manufacturers and, at some point, even outpace them, and there is intrinsic value in that. One of the things that we look for is a good mix of quality, speed, and price, and we feel that Mark Andy and Rotoflex enable us to meet and exceed the goal of offering them to our customers along with the capabilities that will continue to serve them for the long haul,’ concluded Treadway.