With legacy experience in both UV inkjet digital and flexo printing, ITW Labels is well versed in the value each technology offers to support variable run sizes, decoration options, and color management. The company, though, needed increased productivity to support augmented current demand and strategic growth plans. During the search for new equipment, the Mark Andy Digital Series hybrid printing solution became a candidate for consideration.
“We were looking for a solution to support our developing book of business while refreshing our existing pressroom lineup at the same time,” says Brad Shuff, Division operations manager, ITW Labels. “We expect the Digital Series to support that effort with high-speed UV inkjet digital printing combined with high-productivity flexo printing and decorating. This new inline hybrid workflow affords us the option of shifting work from other equipment, resulting in productivity gains.”
Quality and color management were also major considerations for ITW when evaluating new technologies. Their search had been targeted to digital options offering 6 or 7-color gamut capabilities. “We needed to be sure the press was going to support all the colors demanded by our customers,” adds Shuff. “Press demonstrations at Mark Andy proved that the CMYK+W gamut supported by the Digital Series print engine more than satisfied our requirements, and we had the added benefit of additional flexo stations to hit even more colors, or add high-impact decoration if required.”
“We are proud to partner with ITW at this exciting time in their 110-year history,” states Steve Schulte, vice president of sales and marketing, Mark Andy. “We are confident the Digital Series is configured to support their business now, and provides the flexibility to fully manage future growth and advancement.”
Currently, the 13" (330mm) Mark Andy Digital Series, which runs quality product consistently at speeds of 240 fpm, is equipped with three flexo stations. ITW has experienced some of the promised productivity from the hybrid solution since installation in first quarter 2017, and is already entertaining the option of adding inline converting to the press. Historically, making use of offline finishing solutions for their digitally printed material, ITW is experiencing higher-speed production off the digital/flexo hybrid solution, and as a result will be evaluating the added value of inline diecutting. The modularity of the Digital Series solution provides that flexibility to upgrade the platform as needs change, as well.