Edging up with new technologies

Mary Sullivan, director - global marketing, Mark Andy talks to Supreeth Sudhakaran about how her company’s performance at the Labelexpo Europe in Brussels went flying past their expectations.

29 Nov 2013 | By Supreeth Sudhakaran

How was Labelexpo Europe 2013?
Mark Andy enjoyed a very busy Labelexpo Europe this year. The traffic on the stand was up compared to previous shows in Brussels.  The level of business transactions was also a nice surprise, and also reinforces that many parts of Europe and parts of the world are past the global economic strife of 2010-11.
Mark Andy showcased several new technologies including ProLED – most advance UV LED curing system, Mark Andy QCDC (Quick Change Die Cut), Mark Andy Versa Max – a mid web flexographic printing press designed for film and flexible packaging, Rotoflex Tracker – advanced horizontal finishing machine for inspection/slitting/rewinding, Rotoflex DSI die cutting system, and Rotoflex URC 2.0 control systems for finishing equipment, which will be featured on two Rotoflex machines – the VLI 440 and the VSI 330.
And business?
Business conversation was very brisk and plentiful, having loads of spectators at every live demonstration, even the last demo at the close of the show and that is usually never the case.  We sold more than 20 machines so far (a combination of Rotoflex inspection rewinders and Mark Andy presses) and are working on several more with great interest to close by year-end.
At show time, we had sold 250 Performance Series presses since its launch in 2009. Since Labelexpo, we are on track to sell more than 300 by year-end 2013.  This has been one of the best market-focused presses developed, as it truly delivers quantifiable productivity improvements, while maintaining quality and consistency from job to job.  Business is strong and steady at Mark Andy, and we look forward to introducing more productive innovations for label and packaging printers in the near future.
What was the highlight of the show?
One highlight for us was winning the Award for Technical Innovation, a prestigious award to Mark Andy for our ProLED UV LED curing system. We were jointly awarded the Flint Group Narrow Web for our combined efforts in developing a viable UV LED curing system and validated ink set.  This was the fourth of five technical innovation awards that Mark Andy has been recognised within the past three years.  This is a huge achievement for any company and we are very proud to continue bringing new innovations to the market.  
What are the factors driving growth of label industry in India? What are the threats?
In India, population continues to grow and is increasingly becoming more educated and affluent. The demand for consumer products will continue to grow. The fluctuations in the global trade scenario results in substantial ups and downs in the Indian export business. That will continue to be a factor in all regional economies around the world. 
There is great deal of on-going research and development in the label manufacturing sector, so how should a prospective buyer zero-in on a certain technology? What technologies will play a major role in the near future?
Technology is dependent directly on what the label manu-facturer is trying to achieve.  Whether it be application, lot size, capability, etc, there are different technologies that play an important role for each. A label manufacturer trying to compete in the market needs to fully understand the application and market segment. This will drive the necessary technology to be successful. 
Discussions with label converters show a common need for production flexibility. Do you have machines or products that address these concerns of an average label converter?
Both Mark Andy and Rotoflex have machines designed for utmost flexibility and productivity. The Performance Series printing platform and die-cutting system have both won Technical Awards for their innovation. Rotoflex’s URC 2.0, the new control system for the finishing equipment, also is designed specifically to reduce production costs and drive further efficiency.