According to GM CEO Uffe Nielsen, a crucial factor in label finishing is minimising waste. The DC350Flex+ stands out by delivering a plethora of features within a minimal square meterage. Compact and user-friendly, GM’s approach to designing label finishing machines is to reduce waste and increase efficiency, a valuable trait for label printers worldwide.
‘It’s all about getting the job done with minimal waste and the more compact the machine you can make, the less waste you have,’ comments Uffe.
For the South African market, the DC350Flex+ offers a modular platform. The flexibility to adapt and innovate is crucial in this industry, and the digital varnish module is a prime example. South Africa is adopting new digital technology to replace conventional screen units, and the DC350Flex+ allows businesses to adapt and upgrade their existing lines.
Featuring high-speed, semi-rotary varnishing and die-cutting as standard, this modular platform can be upgraded easily with value-added options including digital embellishment, multilayer label, laser die-cutter, hot foil, screen-printing modules and much more. Uffe says the DC350Flex+ platform is born to be modular, so if the market changes, new modules can be retrofitted quickly. ‘This flexibility and compatibility with modern components protect the customer’s investment and provide a competitive edge,’ states Uffe.
Even third-party technology, such as a digital spot varnish module, can be integrated for true hybrid production, and bespoke customer options are available on the PLUS series. DC350Flex+ is Industry 4.0 certified and fully compatible with all major digital presses.
Kevin Tucker, product manager at Beswick Machinery – exclusive agents for Grafisk Maskinfabrik in southern Africa – says the ‘dream configuration’ for label producers in the local market is the DC350Flex+ with the Digital Varnish Module (DVM). ‘There is a portion of the wine market segment that will use only screen print. What’s great about the DC350Flex+ is that there’s a DVM as well as a screen module available for uncoated substrates.’
Uffe adds that the DC350Flex+ features two product lines: the big configurable (550mm web width) and the compact mini version (350mm web width). ‘If suddenly, your print and production run increases, you can start with a low economical footprint and add features as your business grows.’
With only seconds to capture a consumer’s attention, the DC350Flex+ Wine line will make labels stand out in a sea of choice. Uffe explains that the DC350Flex+ Wine line is a premium finishing line that provides the best in fast and highly automatic wine label finishing.
‘The machine not only features servo-driven motors on unwinder and rewinders for excellent web tension control, but the DC350Flex+ Wine also delivers both hot foil, cold embossing and advanced options such as a foil saver and hologram register to serve all label production needs.’ The DC350Flex+ Wine offers electronic temperature control and a BST web-guiding inspection system come as standard. The machine configurator also offers die-cutting and slitting of the web using AutoKnives in one pass. This gives any label converter a new, more profitable way to enter the luxury end of the wine, spirits and cosmetics markets.
Sustainability meets efficiency
GM takes sustainability seriously, addressing it in multiple ways. Uffe emphasises that the DC350Flex+ includes an energy monitoring system that recycles energy during braking, which would otherwise be wasted. The UV curing system, a significant energy consumer, has been modernised with low-power LED options. Additionally, GM has optimised the machine’s fan system, cutting down on energy usage. ‘These measures reduce the carbon footprint of the machines and align with a growing focus on sustainability within the label printing industry.’
The sustainability journey doesn’t stop with the machines; GM is also re-evaluating its packaging materials.
The company has shifted towards reused wood for packaging, reducing weight and environmental impact. While it may not be feasible to recycle the boxes at this point, GM is actively working on lowering its environmental footprint by reducing packaging waste. Uffe underscores the importance of building relationships within the South African market.
‘We recognise the value of engaging directly with local printers and understand the dynamics of family-owned businesses. Their proactive approach has not only strengthened business relationships but also highlights their commitment to social responsibility.’
Last August, Beswick Machinery sold and installed the first GM DC350Flex with digital embellishment in South Africa. ‘This has enabled the label printer to offer raised digital spot varnish and digital cold foil inline with flexo applications, slitting and die-cutting, all in one pass,’ states Kevin.
He believes the DC350Flex+ gives digitally and conventionally printed labels very high added value, and special effects with a premium feel without the need for any silk screens, flexo plates, high set-up times and bulk waste.
Uffe thinks it’s important to emphasise Beswick’s work in the local market. ‘In a very short time, Beswick has come a long way with our products. However, by visiting customers directly, the team is able to establish value-adding relationships and is well versed in dealing with family-operated and corporate companies and understands how these businesses are built.’
In summary, Kevin believes GM’s DC350Flex+ finishing machine is a game-changer in South Africa’s label printing market. ‘Its compact design, modular configurator and sustainable practices make it a vital asset for label printers looking to boost efficiency, expand their offerings and reduce their environmental impact,’ he enthuses. ‘GM’s commitment to sustainability and building strong relationships with local businesses exemplifies the company’s dedication to advancing South Africa’s label printing industry.’
Pretoria-based premium, short-run label converters Minit Print purchased and installed a GM DC350Flex+ last June. Label production manager Carike Smit says the machine operates like a dream, and without so much as a hitch. ‘We love the machine, and our customers are seriously impressed with DC350Flex+’s finishing capabilities. Minit Print opted for the digital embossing with high-build varnish module. ‘Our customers love it, because we’re able to add various levels and dimensions to their labels. For instance, the GM DC350Flex allows us to do a flat spot UV with a high raise image on the same label,’ comments Carike.
She says efficiency is the name of the game with the GM DC350Flex+ machine. ‘It’s a workhorse, and with its European-made quality, the machine is built to last. We’ve never experienced a single technical issue or mechanical breakdown.’ Carike adds that the machine runs 24/7 and puts in a full shift every single day. She also compliments Beswick Machinery’s aftersales service. ‘With experienced and proficient technical staff at our every beck and call, and all-round excellent assistance, we’ve been seriously impressed with Beswick Machinery’s level of service. The machine is magnificent, and easy on the eye, and it’s coupled with outstanding back-up service thanks to Beswick.’
Build-your-own 3D Configurator
GM’s secret weapon for label printers is the 3D configuration tool on the company website. According to CEO Uffe Nielsen, the idea was inspired by the IKEA kitchen planner. ‘This tool empowers label printers to create a machine tailored to their specific needs. It’s a game-changer that allows customers to visualise their ideal machine and efficiently meet their niche market requirements.’
With this configurator, GM is offering South African label printers the key to expanding their product lines and exploring new market opportunities.
Ed’s note: Grafisk Maskinfabrik is represented and distributed in South Africa by Beswick Machinery. For more info, go to www.beswick.co.za.