For Chris, this has translated into an investment in the award-winning Mark Andy Performance Series P5 UV flexographic press and VPM-400 print-mounting system, both supplied by Paul Bouwer of SArepco.
‘I’ve always been a Mark Andy fan,’ Chris comments. ‘When I started the business in 1990 my first press was a small three-colour water-based Mark Andy 830. By 2000, when I was getting close to maximum production capacity, I expanded with a 2200 eight-colour UV press, which was something of a step up in terms of speed and overall print competence.’
Two years ago, another Mark Andy 2200 eight-colour combination UV and water-based press, with in-line cold foiling capabilities, turn bar and translation module (for the manufacture of coupon and peelable labels) was included in Multiprint’s printing armoury at the company’s Germiston (Gauteng) operation. This is still in place, running in concord with the spanking-new ‘all bells and whistles’ P5 press – only the second in the country.
Designed for speed and efficiency, with easy-to-manage controls and settings, the servo-driven press has a maximum print width of 254mm and is fitted with a delamination/relamination attachment for printing on the adhesive side of the label substrate; a movable web turn bar on rails, which can be moved above any print station; and a rail-mounted cold foiling attachment that can also be positioned at any print station. Its platform design means that all feed rollers are set higher off the ground than the Mark Andy 2200 models, decreasing waste and assisting with static control.
Chris also mentions that two different sized ink trays are available – shallow for short runs and deeper containers for long runs – allowing ink usage to be carefully managed. In addition, these trays are Keco coated for quick wash-up.
‘There are numerous features on the P5 that enhance our productivity and print quality,’ Chris declares. ‘A full-colour job takes roughly five minutes to prepare and one operator can easily run the P5, thanks to its user-friendly touchscreen and controls. I estimate we’ve reduced waste by 50% and with speeds of up to 190m/min we’ve doubled productivity. It’s all about working smarter and more efficiently.’
Comprehensive operator training has been completed by Mark Andy’s US-based flexo specialist, Darren Collins, and SArepco’s well-qualified team will carry-out ongoing service and support.
Another significant contributor to Multiprint’s improved output is the Mark Andy VPM 400 plate-mounting system, complete with dual cameras and monitors, situated adjacent to the P5 press. ‘I cannot emphasise enough what a difference this plate-mounting system has made to our production procedures,’ continues Chris. ‘Handled by one dedicated operator, it prepares all jobs quickly and easily. Plates are mounted and prepared with absolute precision; and once one job is finished, plates are waiting for the next set-up.’
Since 2006, plates have been produced in-house using a Creo/Kodak Thermoflex narrow platesetter, with Prinergy software for direct imaging of plates, and a Cyrel Fast System to develop/wash out the plates. With top-quality plate setting equipment, Chris is confident that customers receive what they expect every time; and, from a print perspective, the P5 press is already performing beyond expectations.
‘The P5 concept comes at just the right time for our business,’ explains Chris. ‘From prepress right through to inspection and rewind, we’ve established ourselves as one of South Africa’s leading label suppliers and the P5 will cement our continued growth. Right now, customers can place an order, have the print proofs approved and a top-quality print job complete within four to five working days; that’s what they want and we deliver,’ he concludes.
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