Mark Andy’s recently held Open House was ‘an outstanding success’ according to the company’s newly promoted European Sales Director, Tom Cavalco. The four-day event, which commemorated 21 years on the same site, was held in Mark Andy’s newly refurbished Show Room and Demonstration Centre in Macclesfield, UK.  Attended by nearly 200 visitors from 60 companies, the Open House proved to be a truly international affair, drawing visitors from as far away as India, Russia, Turkey, and Lebanon, as well as from 10 of the European Union countries.
Mr. Cavalco said: “We have taken orders worth more than US$3.2m this week, including sales of three Performance Series presses and a Rotoflex inspection/rewinder.  Most important, is that they were all from companies new to Mark Andy.  We see this as a sign that Mark Andy is continuing to be considered a technology leader, with a range of innovations to suit all types of narrow web applications.  And, with the expanded facilities here in the UK, and the addition of experienced print, sales and technical support, I am very optimistic about our future in Europe.”
Mark Andy Europe Open House Event

The programme, which repeated each day, included Keynote speeches from Roger Pellow, Chairman of the Label Group at Tarsus plc, John Bambery, Chairman of BPIF Labels, and Mike Fairley, who pioneered so much of today’s narrow web market as Founding Editor/Publisher of Labels & Labeling magazine, and who has long been acknowledged as the industry’s leading consultant. The event was especially significant for Mike, as he had attended the official opening of the Mark Andy UK facility in 1992.

Each day saw a mix of new technology presentations and machine demonstrations. These included combination and high-end flexo printing on a 430mm (17 inch) Performance Series P5 press, fitted with the Quick Change Die Cut (QCDC) system. The Performance Series is the fastest selling platform press in narrow web history, with more than 230 sold worldwide since launching in 2009. Easy and quick to make-ready, the Performance Series, which has the shortest web path in the narrow web press market, has significantly lowered the crossover point where flexo remains more economical than industrial digital printing. Apart from the effortless loading of plate cylinders and the automatic register that reduces make-ready waste, the QCDC unit alone has reduced die-change times from typically 10-15 minutes down to less than 60 seconds – and it is a far safer process for the operator and poses less risk to the magnetic dies during loading. In the week following the Open House event, Mark Andy was presented the prestigious FTA Technical Innovation Award for this new QCDC technology.

But, mindful of its responsibilities as a leading press technology manufacturer, and in response to the results of converter feedback and research, Mark Andy gave its new SRL 4.0 entry-level digital printer a European debut at the event. Designed specifically for ultra-short run work, the unit offers cost effective production of quality labels, and is seen as a low-risk introduction to digital technology for converters currently using flexo and other conventional print technology. Capable of printing a 320mm web at 9 metres/minute, and matched with the Mark Andy SRC converting line, the newly available digital print workflow offers an attractive solution for converters who currently struggle with costs on very low volume jobs.

With Rotoflex making successful strides to restore itself as the market leader in inspection and rewinding technology, the Open House gave the opportunity to showcase two of the company’s current machines: the VLI and the VSI. The recently revamped/redesigned URC 2.0 control system allows both machines to handle virtually all types of substrate tensions and web management at high speed. The VLI line has multiple slitting, multi lane counting, dual rewind, multiple web guiding, and missing label or matrix detection. The VSI is a high-speed machine with the latest integrated web transport that includes eDrive, web inspection, and finishing technology designed to improve machine performance and enhance product quality.

Each day concluded with a demonstration of the technology that is predicted to change the face of curing. The new Mark Andy ProLED system offers substantial cost savings with its reduced power requirement, and all round lower production costs because of its simplicity and associated reliability, and the durability and performance of its lamps. The system, which was shown fitted to a six-colour Performance Series P3 press, uses medium wave rays that produce neither ozone nor heat, and are available on new presses or as a retrofit to existing installations.

At the end of the week’s activities, International Sales Director Mike Russell, commented: “The success we have enjoyed this week will provide a powerful springboard for Mark Andy’s European sales and service group. We have demonstrated that we are at the forefront of commercial technology in our industry, and are leading the way to providing the right technology and solutions for any business situation, whether it be flexo or digital. We are now in a great position to grow our business in Europe and the global market, and are looking forward to doing so at Labelexpo Europe later in the year.