For some years now, Sivakasi based Graphic Reproduction Syndicate (GRS) has been playing a key role in producing self-adhesive labels in the Indian label industry. The strength of its market position is supported to a major extent by letter presses and Flexo technologies from Mark Andy. In fact not many know that the first machine ever sold by Flexo Image Graphics in South India was a Mark Andy Scout in the month of January 2002 to GRS. Yes GRS was FIG’s first client when they started operations in South by selling Mark Andy machines. Naturally, when GRS was planning to expand its capacity in flexographic operations, could GRS think of any other press to be added? The answer was an emphatic “No” by Mr. D. Karunakaran, Director of Graphic Reproduction Syndicate.

One of the newest additions to the GRS family is second Mark Andy Press from Flexo Image Graphics (FIG). However, this time GRS has gone in for the much talked about Performance Series P7 printing system, after their only Mark Andy Scout. The company’s fast-paced growth, along with its need to deliver high quality labels efficiently and consistently, led them to explore modern technology to meet their demands.

GRS that was toying with the idea of adding a new high end press and had already spent some time searching for the right press to help it gain a foothold in the flexographic printing sector. According to Mr. Karunakaran, a key criterion in comparing possible alternatives was that the total investment in a new press complete with cutting-edge technology should also be in tune with the other flexographic press that it has in their plant. The company had to consider its decision very carefully as this investment would add a new process to its overall portfolio of printing methods. For GRS, the new P7 came onto the market at just the right time.

The most technologically advanced offering in the newest line of Mark Andy presses, the P7 is the high-end, efficient solution for the most complex print applications. Multiple servos accommodate more functions at each print station and the independent web pacing allows enhanced web tension management over traditional flexo presses. Integral to the success of the machine is the simplicity of the print station design, guaranteeing consistency and accuracy, shift-to-shift and day-to-day. Additional advantages over traditional presses include short web paths and minimal ink usage requirements resulting in waste savings up to 50% and fast changeover times for increased productivity. Looking back, Mr. Karunakaran is pleased that they opted for the P7: “For GRS, this was definitely the right press at the right time. And GRS is also the pioneer and one of the first label printers in India to use the new machine concept of the P7 Performance Series press,” said Mr. Karunakaran.

The Mark Andy P7 performance press installed at GRS is a 13 inch 8 Color dual servo platform machine capable of high quality combination printing effects such as cold foil, rotary screen, chilled UV curing as well as converting options. Prior to investing in a new press, GRS was searching for a press that was already cutting-edge enough to ensure short make-ready times and low waste levels.

“It was necessary to invest in cutting-edge production capacities because business with new customers had to be met with shorter deadlines and declining profits. Although the applications involved in the orders could have been carried out using the existing equipment, the method of production would not have met economic needs. The new press not only boosts productivity and flexibility but has cut manufacturing times considerably. With shorter make ready times, we are now able to be much more flexible in responding to our customer’s short deadline requests,” explains Mr. Karunakaran.

Building on the unique print station design common to all Performance Series presses, the P7 is focused on productivity. Simple, repeatable settings and limited operator steps for job setup make the P7 one of the most operator-friendly presses on the market. The P7 eliminates several operator steps, drastically streamlining productivity and ensuring consistently high print quality. With the fastest make-ready times in the industry and extremely efficient waste savings, the P7 is perfect for the everyday converter looking to achieve servo-driven productivity and high quality levels, at an extremely appealing value.

Speaking about FIG’s special relationship with GRS, Mr. Gourav Roy, Managing Director – Flexo Image Graphics reminisces: “The relation of FIG, Mark Andy and GRS goes a long way – one that can be counted as the first of sorts. GRS, Mark Andy and FIG came together to purchase the first ever MA Scout when FIG launched its operations in South India. And now GRS is the first label printer on Indian shores to order for the Performance Series P7 press by Mark Andy.”

GRS started operations way back in 1970 as a full-service supplier of stationery, labels, stickers, tags and cartons. With a fleet of 10 letter presses and a MA Scout, the rapid growth at this print shop was soon checked by shortages in production capacity, prompting the decision to add a new, state-of-the-art press to meet the needs for future-focused label production. “The versatility of the press allows us to print and finish any configuration of labels and accepts a wide variety of substrates. The decision to purchase the P7 as a high end flexo press was unanimous by our team and we are happy that we are now fully equipped to produce high-quality pressure-sensitive labels as per our customers’ requirements – a value-added service to our already extensive set of label printing solutions,” stated Mr. Karunakaran.

“The progressive expansion of its technical equipment has made GRS one of the most cutting-edge flexographic print shops in the South. Producing all kinds of labels on paper, films, aluminum foils, as well as stickers and ice cream cone sleeves, GRS’s product portfolio includes labels for product decoration, cartons and much more with Mark Andy presses continuing to be the cornerstone of the company’s flexo operations,” says Mr. I.M Shelvam, CSD Director, FIG. “To get into new applications and business opportunities, look no further than the P7!” sums up Shelvam.