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In a rare and praiseworthy display of openheartedness – not often found among South Africa’s label printing fraternity! – the owners of Label Link in Cape Town opened their doors, allowing customers and competitors alike to view their brand-new Omet XFlex X2 press, as it went into spanking action.


But, it should be noted, unlike other label printers, Label Link doesn’t deal directly with end users – instead the company acts as a wholesale label manufacturer, producing labels for blue-chip customers via a well-established distribution network.

‘With annual growth averaging almost 40% since 2003, we were simply running out of capacity,’ explains managing member Wiaan Stemmet. ‘We realised that our capacity could only meet our increasing requirements by investing in the latest and best technology.’

This, then, was the reason for the purchase of the Italian-built Omet XFlex X2, the centrepiece of the open house staged jointly by Omet and its local representative, Presstec.

Following welcoming remarks from Presstec’s Antron Hendricks and Omet’s regional manager, Sergio Villa, visitors were able to witness a faultless demonstration of the press, marking the first official presentation of XFlex line of packaging printing machines in South Africa.

The 370mm-wide press features eight UV flexo print stations, plus inline cold foiling and die-cutting units; and the demonstration showed impressive results on both unsupported 38?m white polypropylene film and a semi-gloss labelstock printed in eight colours and foiled inline. Printing speeds reached 190m/min.

Among other contributors to the success of the event were ColorGen, supplying its specialised UV flexo inks, designed specifically for low-migration food packaging applications; UPM Raflatac, providing the pressuresensitive labelstock; and Synchron, sponsoring the foil.

Impressive low waste factors

Wiaan Stemmet is delighted with his new press, and particularly impressed with the low waste factors. The XFlex X2 is designed to reduce set-up times and waste to a minimum and to make operators’ work as simple as possible. It’s also said to have ‘the shortest web path available on the market’, to quote Omet’s publicity. Other features include a quick ink change system, and the ability to switch almost seamlessly between pressure-sensitive labelstock and flexible film as thin as 12?m.

Electronic equipment includes cross printing registration adjustments and printing and diecutting automatic pre-register. All this, in addition to top-quality components and a robust design, makes this the ideal press for a company such as Label Link as it moves ahead with its chosen business model that includes ensuring economic growth for its label distributor partners as well as for itself.

As Presstec’s Linton Hendricks comments: ‘The X-Flex X2 delivers extremely low waste, very rapid changeovers and stability on a wide range of materials and is exceptionally easy to use. With its extreme flexibility, this press can be configured to combine UV flexo, water-based flexo, UV silkscreen, cold and hot foil application, cold and hot lamination.’ He goes on to point out that a complete range of accessories allows production of special products, such as booklet labels, with delivery on the roll, folded, sheeted or ready die-cut to the desired shape.

‘Specifically designed for short runs, it combines the compactness, versatility and price-to-performance ratio that we feel the market requires,’ Linton sums up. ‘Core values such as innovation, passion and stability guide us in presenting the South African narrow-web flexographic industry with solutions they can trust.’

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