Belgium-based start-up converter Flexprinter invested in the first Mark Andy P7E in Benelux to focus on roll-to-roll production of labels and flexible packaging.
Flexprinter is a start-up operation, which has chosen to focus on the roll-to-roll production of labels, pouches, sachets, shrink sleeves, and flow packs, as well as other flexible packaging.
‘The market for self-adhesive labels is highly competitive with many converters working local to us, so I looked for opportunities to convert other work that could be produced cost effectively in one pass on an inline press, and flexible packaging was the most obvious,’ said Michaёl Thorrez, owner and managing director of Flexprinter.
Although previously from a mid-web offset background, Thorrez decided the way forward was with flexo, and although he considered several manufacturers, Mark Andy stood out in his mind as the most fit for purpose.
‘We ran print tests at their demonstration facility in Warsaw and spoke with a number of Mark Andy users before committing ourselves to an order, but it was clear early on that the only decision we really had to make was not the brand but the specification,’ added Thorrez.
The 22 in (560mm) Performance Series press was installed in May 2019. It is a 9-colour machine fitted with full GEW LED-UV curing, a Vetaphone Corona treater, turn bars, Mark Andy’s laminating unit. According to Mark Andy’s distributor Maarten van Bergeijk of Packtion it is the first 22” P7E in the Benelux.
According to Thorrez, who had flexo experience prior to his recent offset work, the benefits are the greater stability, significantly lower waste, and quality that the process offers, with more vibrant colors that are consistent throughout the run. Also, flexo overcomes the potential adhesion problems that can be encountered on difficult substrates when printing offset.
‘There is a far lower energy requirement with flexo, especially with LED-UV, and we print wet on dry as opposed to wet on wet with end of press drying. This is essential with products like IML, where any residual water causes major problems with downstream label application. I just prefer the simplicity and reliability of the flexo process, it makes sense and gives a better ROI,’ explained Thorrez. ‘I’d say the total cost of ownership of a Mark Andy press is as good as it gets. It’s designed for simplicity of operation and maintenance, and well-built to make it reliable and fast. It’s a true operator’s press.’