In a webinar entitled, “Fast Track Your Growth with Digital Hybrid,” Mat Taylor, COO for Revolution Print & Packaging, explained how the Digital Series HD has helped the company establish its roots.
As technology has evolved, printers and converters are increasingly faced with new industry challenges. Customers are demanding quicker turnarounds and lead times, and runs are getting shorter. Brands are looking to differentiate their products in order to stand out on crowded shelves, and manufacturers like Mark Andy are responding to the marketplace’s demand for more digital options.
Hybrid presses provide a viable alternative to printers seeking short-run printing with better inline converting and embellishments. A hybrid press comes in three forms: semi, modular, and true. Modular hybrid solutions are beneficial to companies looking to avoid capital expenses. They typically involve a retrofit solution that adds digital capabilities to a flexo machine. Meanwhile, a semi-hybrid involves multi-company integration for digital printing and flexo converting. Finally, a true hybrid serves as a single source integration for digital and flexographic press elements.
While Mark Andy has provided Revolution Print & Packaging with a Digital Series HD, the manufacturer also offers the Digital One and Digital Plus Screen press options.
Most large converters have digital and conventional options to meet all of their customers’ needs. In the case of Revolution Print & Packaging, a relatively new converter, Taylor was looking for a piece of equipment to cover a wide range of applications.
“We knew we needed a digital option, and the hybrid solution allows us to do anything at our customers’ request,” says Taylor. “We looked into several diffeent UV inkjet systems, from true hybrid to combination hybrid. The advantage to Mark Andy was they built and supported the entire system, and it did not require printing plates. The speed and quality really drew us to Mark Andy. They provide very quick turnarounds, which allow us to cover short, mid, and even some of the long run options for our customers.”
With the Mark Andy Digital Series HD, Taylor has noticed a drastic reduction in waste and what he says are the “lowest lead times in the industry.” The press, which features six flexo stations, can even be used to run flexible packaging.
“The production you get off the Mark Andy digital is exceptional,” notes Taylor, who adds that the press consistently runs at 240 fpm. “The revenue that we have been able to generate, not having printing plates, and with the speed to go from job to job, there’s no other press able to produce the jobs as well as the Mark Andy hybrid. It’s as quick as a click of the mouse, too.”
Revolution Print & Packaging has seen print runs range from 1,000 to 100,000 feet. However, the average run lengths for the printer are between 25,000 and 35,000 feet. The company has noticed that the hybrid press is more economical than strictly going with conventional printing, and the fast changeovers and enhanced consistency are extra bonuses. The hybrid option has eliminated many of the challenges associated with flexo printing such as bandings and gear marking.
Revolution Print & Packaging has also been able to add a host of enhancements to their labels, utilizing cold foil, embossing, delam and relam. The company often runs prime and beverage labels, however the press is configured to handle a wide range of applications. The majority of semi-gloss and BOPP substrates are run on the press without primers, as well.
“We will sell to the strengths of this press,” says Taylor. “Using UV inkjet gives you benefits of rotary screen without having to have a rotary screen–with speed. The press has been a massive advantage for us.”
The press can also been run as a strictly flexo press, which essentially renders it a Mark Andy P7 Performance Series. According to Ralph Boer, Mark Andy’s West coast digital sales manager, running the Digital Series HD hybrid solely as a flexo press will generate speeds up to 750 fpm, depending on drying or curing capabilities.
For Revolution Print & Packaging, the one press can tackle all of the company’s needs. The Digital Series HD features inline embellishment, variable data printing, just in time delivery, and finishing in a single pass.
Mark Andy, citing the Digital Packaging Summit 2017, also notes that the cost savings are dramatic with inline finishing. Time savings are estimated at 55%, while inline finishing has generated an increase of 40% on gross margins.
“Short to medium runs are where the press shines the most,” says Taylor. “The press is extremely easy to use, and the software is easy to navigate through. Our operators were able to pick it up very quickly and still handle the P7 portion of the press.”