The Grafitec Group in Northern England buys, refurbishes and sells used label presses, as well as manufacturing several ranges of printing and carton converting machinery. Now Grafitec has signed a partnership to market and service label presses from the Brazilian manufacturer Etirama. The agreement covers nearly all the countries of Europe, and your European correspondent recently visited Grafitec to see two of Etirama’s latest models now about to be launched.
Central Impression label presses are nowadays the exception in Europe, but Technical Manager John Ainley reckons that Etirama’s new Flexowine model could change this. This press was being demonstrated running standard four-color PS labels at around 250 feet per minute and was turning out near-offset quality printing. A job change was demonstrated in well under two minutes per color. The demo model had a print width of 13" (the press also comes in 14" width), and was running with water based inks. The servo driven tension control is a new feature likely to increase the model’s attractiveness for European narrow web converters. Despite tough economic times, Ainley is upbeat about the new press’ market chances. “Many of Europe’s smaller label converters don’t have space for in-line machinery. The smaller footprint of the Flexowine makes it ideal for such workshops, and with a webpath of just 25 feet you waste far less start-up material than with an inline press.” But one of the biggest advantages, according to Ainley, is being able to print on very thin substrates, down to 15 microns.
The Flexowine looks to be a simple, robust press, but why the name? Is it specially designed for printing wine labels? Nothing of the sort, says Grafitec CEO Tony Barrett. “It’s that these presses are all painted Bordeaux color. But if the customer wants it yellow or sky blue pink he can have it.” One of Grafitec’s latest sales of a Flexowine was, however, to French converter Airep in one of France’s many wine growing regions. Airep’s General Manager Jean-Claude Tretsch confirms that he is highly pleased with the Flexowine’s performance (and, presumably, its color).