Markets and Events
POLAND • Welcoming about 300 converters to the three-day event at Mark Andy European facility in Warsaw earlier this month, Mark Andy is happy with its latest open house event in Warsaw, Poland. On working display were four presses, a Rotoflex rewinder, and a range of ancillary equipment including a Martin Automatic unwind splicer and the latest ProLED UV curing systems. Also Presstek, recently acquired by Mark Andy, was on site.
Aim of the event was, according to Mark Andy, to show how hybrid technology can be applied to the label market with maximum effect, such as producing filmic labels at 300 m/min on the Performance Series P7E, high-quality short run labels on the toner-based Digital One, or printing labels with the new seven-colour Digital Series HD.
Digital Series HD was making its European debut, ahead of Labelexpo Americas in Chicago later in the month. In addition, recently acquired Presstek showed what can be achieved on its 34 DI offset press fitted with ECO UV.
Focussing on UV curing and low migration ink technology, each session was begun with an informal discussion between Marcus Greenbrook of GEW and Henrik Bernquist of Flint Inks. Topics included the difference between conventional arc lamp and LED UV systems, and the relative merits and costs of running each, and how low migration ink technology is playing a greater role, especially in food packaging, and the strict guidelines that need to be observed to ensure there is no contamination in the printing process.
The demonstration jobs run off during the event showcased the range of substrate capability of the displayed presses. On the P7E, a vodka label was printed on clear foil using Digital Plus Screen and CMYK flexo colours. According to the narrow web press manufactures, Digital Plus Screen offers a high-quality digital inkjet alternative to screen printing, producing an opaque white in a single application. A second job on BOPP using seven colours was run off at 300 m/min (984 fpm) with splice on the run using a Martin MBS unit.
The Digital Series HD, which now adds Orange, Green and Violet to CMYKW capability, was demonstrated at 75 m/min (246 fpm) on three jobs. A whisky label used CMYK plus White, and gold cold foil and a matte varnish, while a gel/soap label used CMYK plus orange with Kurz foil and patterned matte varnish. The third job was an orange juice label using CMYK plus Orange and a gold flexo spot with a matte varnish on a white paper.
Digital One: toner-based digital press
The Digital One entry-level toner press, which was launched in 2016, is intended for high-mix, low volume work and has enjoyed sales from both commercial label houses and from the in-plant production market, like micro-breweries and craft goods manufacturers. It was shown printing CMYK with a Kurz cold foil on white paper, with other jobs showing its personalization capability and the addition of a VDP live photo.
Presstek on show
Since its acquisition earlier this year, Presstek has merged its DI sheet fed offset press range into the Mark Andy portfolio. The Presstek DI is a waterless offset press designed for medium to short applications on a range of sheeted substrates. At the Forum, it was demonstrated printing flat sheet cookie cartons in CMYK with ECO LED UV to complement the labels produced on the Digital One press.
On the finishing side, the Rotoflex VSI 440 fitted with Eye-C Vision Quality Link workflow linked the print to the converting process. Capable of running at 300 m/min (984 fpm), the Rotoflex VSI is designed for inspection, slitting and rewinding of pressure sensitive material. Fitted with the eDrive 2.0 drive system and URC 2.0 control system, the Eye-C system on the Rotoflex monitored the print.
As part of its educational program, Mark Andy launched a competition earlier in the year that invited students to design a label that could be printed flexo or digital. The winners were Olena Onyshchuk from Kiev (Ukraine) and Lydia Haussmann from Stuttgart (Germany). In addition to seeing their own work produced in Warsaw, the students were given a VIP day-out.
As a forum for hybrid technology, the event highlighted how far the market has moved, and how various combined applications of flexo, offset and digital printing can serve different market sectors without compromise, allowing converters the opportunity to enjoy the best of both. It also proved a useful curtain-raiser for Labelexpo Americas in Chicago where Mark Andy is exhibiting its new Performance Series press P9E for flexible packaging production.