Interview with MPS Systems discussing workflow management and more
Four questions to Hans Poortinga, print manager at MPS Systems (Source: MPS)
Connectivity as a key issue
A smart factory, connected production, Industry 4.0, these market trends are clearly relevant for Labelexpo Europe 2017. Suppliers of printing presses are focussing more and more on a smart factory concept. MPS Systems treats workflow management as a big topic and will be discussing this during the trade show in September. This interview was conducted with Hans Poortinga, print manager at MPS and NarrowWebTech’s editor.
Connectivity as an overall theme for MPS Systems at Labelexpo Europe. The supplier of label printing presses headquartered in Arnhem, Netherlands, is preparing its whole team for the label trade show.
What can we expect? Where will the journey lead the label industry? As a printing press supplier, which industry trends are having the greatest impact on our future working life?
Four questions, four answers
We discuss, with Hans Poortinga, print manager at MPS Systems, topics which include automation, the overlap of package and label printing and the current industry trends such as mid-web or hybrid presses.
Labelexpo Europe 2017 is coming ever closer. What will be the main topic for MPS at the most important event of the year?
Hans Poortinga: The main topic will be “connectivity”. For MPS it means that we can connect any press (not depending on the technology, so flexo, digital and offset) to other sections in the total process. In addition, it also facilitates a connection between the press and the operator (personalisation). To optimize the output of the press, we need to integrate the whole workflow. The conventional press will be the same as the digital press. Just send a file to the digital press or in a conventional way: send pre-mounted print sleeves to the press) and the rest of the settings are preset in the workflow.
Regarding automation the topic “Workflow management” is becoming more and more relevant for the label industry. What will be your focus on the introduction of upcoming products?
Hans Poortinga: MPS will connect MIS systems (like Labeltraxx and Cerm, but also other systems are possible) to the presses and other equipment, like: QQAVT: automatic pressure settings by Presco: the camera reads and judges the print with the camera and has a closed loop to the servo- drives on the print-units. This will automatically adjust the pressure to the right value. QQ 100% inspection QQColour measuring QQ Slitter/rewinders QQ Plate mounting equipment (like Passwerk, with complete plate-management) QQCC1 registration and reporting press performance Every press will give real-time information so that the situation can be monitored all the time.
Label and packaging printers differ to some degree. Where are, in your opinion, the overlaps between package and label printing?
Hans Poortinga: One big overlap for MPS is that the EF is a multi- substrate press, which means printers can print packaging and labels on the same press. This means the press is no longer a bottle- neck. The press can handle from 12 micron PET up to 400 micron carton, and can handle low migration inks as well as LED inks or water based. The limitation is the knowledge of the requirements for the application.
Which industry trend(s) will be the most relevant trends for the label industry during the next few years?
Hans Poortinga: Of course the ones that have been going on for years already, like smaller runs, shorter lead-times, less stock holding, higher quality. In flexo we see more and more complicated labels, because the margins on regular labels are decreasing and many are printed digital already. More and more label printers are entering other product segments, first shrink sleeves and in-mould labels, but also packaging. The flexo presses are becoming wider, more towards 430 to 670 mm (16.9”- 26.3”) width. And last but not least, the hybrid press is upcoming, because of its flexibility and the possibility to manufacture any type of label.