In opening the new facility, MPS is moving its North American facilities from Green Bay, WI, to Levittown (near Philadelphia). MPS was joined at the grand opening by a host of companies, including Alphasonics USA, Apex, Cyngient, Domino, Esko, Flexo Wash, Imageworx, Kocher + Beck, Label Traxx, Miraclon (Kodak), Prati, Twisted Rope, UPM Raflatac, Zeller+Gmelin and more.
As part of the event, which boasted the theme, “Labels Connected,” industry experts and MPS personnel cited the technology’s growth–especially as the company looks to expand in North America. Hans Poortinga, printing technology expert at MPS, ran several live demonstrations of the MPS EF Symjet Powered by Domino. The EF Symjet, which was central to the event, was 13” wide and came equipped with seven flexo print units, a 6-color inkjet engine, a delam-relam unit with turnbar, cold foil and lamination units, diecutting and an inline conveyer belt.
Atze Bosma, CEO of MPS, welcomed more than 125 attendees to Philadelphia over the course of two days. He cited MPS’ rich history, along with its commitment to automation and product development for the future.
“I have spent a substantial amount of my life in the packaging industry,” explained Bosma. “In this room, there are probably 2,000 years of experience, so I’m humbled to be here. We believe we have made some (enhancements) that are substantially changing working in the printing industry. We’re really visionary people at MPS. Flexo should be easy, fast and flexible. That’s always been the vision of MPS, and it still is.”
Eric Hoendervangers, founder of MPS, stated that the company is looking to meet demand for higher quality labels, with a vast range of features. “We have embraced flexo technology and tried to take out all the negatives of the flexo process,” he noted. “We’ve kept it as a standard technology, with its ease of operation and high production speeds. This technology is still in every new MPS press. It’s been quite a journey, and it’s nice to see today that we’ve become a worldwide company.”
In keeping with the event’s theme, MPS personnel explained their goals of making label printing more automated. The next phase includes the improvement of prepress and platemaking. The stream of data needs to flow from marketing and the front of the house all the way to the press and the final product. This reality has been realized with “talk to me,” a connectivity technology designed to sync the press with all operator functions throughout the printing process.
“We are connecting all of our machines, which are ready to send information to the Cloud,” adds Bosma. “We want to be able to analyze all aspects of the process. With data, information and intelligence, we can revolutionize flexo. These are the steps we’re taking in the upcoming years, and we are willing to work with customers to make sure you achieve these results.”
Michael Weyermann, vice president of sales and marketing for North America, explained how the next generation of MPS presses will help operators. “Finding good and skilled operators is one of the biggest challenges in the industry today,” he said. “How do we make it better for you to keep them? We’ve focused this entire press on the operator, something a new press operator can actually run.”
The new MPS press technology is all about “gaining seconds,” said Weyermann, which can add up and become significant over the course of a year. All new MPS presses feature full automation of servo motors, a user-friendly control knob, an ergonomic slideout ink drawer, as well as Crisp.Dot and E-Sleeve technology.
“Whatever your company thinks that it needs, we can work it out for you,” stated Weyermann. “We’ll take your product, the new equipment, and bring it to the level that it needs to be for you to be successful.”
“Labels Connected” also featured several customer testimonials. Steinhauser’s Tara Halpin and DWS Printing’s Tom Staib explained how MPS press technology has helped their businesses.
DWS Printing mainly operates in the food, beverage and craft beer markets, with craft beer accounting for 40% of its business today. DWS Printing utilizes a mix of pressure sensitive and shrink sleeve printing, with shrink going on craft beer cans.
“We’re very happy with the EF Symjet, which was installed in 2018,” said Staib. “We did a lot of due diligence on the machine, and it has become a real game-changer for us. Our industry is constantly evolving and changing, and it’s our job to be cognizant of what technology is needed to participate in the market and how we can stay at the forefront of that.
“We can do things now that we weren’t able to do two years ago,” he added.
For more pictures of the event, click here for a slideshow.