Leading West Midlands based narrow web converter, Daymark Labels, is the latest company to instal a Mark Andy Digital Pro 3 press at its production facility in Hartlebury, Worcestershire, and according to General Manager, Kevan Palmer, it has made a fundamental difference to job throughput. “I can’t believe how we coped without it,” he commented, adding “on one of our regular jobs it’s shortened production time from three days to one shift!”
The Digital Pro is a second-generation Mark Andy hybrid that combines a toner-based digital engine for 1200dpi CMYK with a press platform that offers flexo printing before and after the digital module, laminating, cold foiling, rotary or semi-rotary die-cutting, slitting and rewinding, or sheeting and stacking, all in one pass. Not surprisingly, this versatile and modular press is viewed as an all-round production tool with an inbuilt future-proof configurability.
Capable of printing on a variety of stocks, from tags to pressure-sensitive and Tyvek materials, typically self-adhesive stocks, porous and wine label substrates, PET, and PP, without any need for primer, Digital Pro has a production speed of 23.4m/min (77ft/min) and requires no cleanroom environment nor involves any ‘click charge’. It features a simple to use RIP that allows any existing pdf to be printed at the touch of a button, and its small footprint and onboard compressor for its air-cooled LED-UV curing system, make for a ‘plug-in and go’ installation.
For a company like Daymark, which prides itself on serving top quality print to some of the more testing niche markets, the two new Mark Andy presses, Digital Pro and Evolution Series E5, fit their production requirements perfectly. The Evolution Series E5 features the latest Mark Andy servo platform for entry-level flexo. It has 330mm (13”) web width, eight flexo print units, and is the first to be installed in the UK fitted with GEW’s LeoLED/UV curing technology. Specification also includes a web cleaner, overhead rail with turn bar unit, delam/relam, double die stations and a sheeter/conveyor.
Described by Kevan Palmer as ‘the perfect operator’s press’ for its ease of set-up and production, he says its print quality and speed have both exceeded expectations, and significantly, allowed Daymark to bring outwork back in-house with improved customer service.
Founded by Jon Bird Snr in 1974, and now run jointly with son Jon Jnr, Daymark Labels began by specialising in short run work including foil-stamping 1000 labels at a time. The company moved into flexo in the 1980s and later into letterpress with three 340mm presses that are still producing good quality work. In fact, the semi-rotary die station on the new DPro was familiar to Daymark from its letterpress lines.
“We’d been looking at the digital technology on the market for some time, trying to work out the best solution for our customers’ specific requirements,” said Jon Bird, “and then Covid hit, and plans were shelved until such time as we could see how things settled.” Knowing that the company needed to upgrade its flexo capacity and commit to digital for the first time, it was the combination of what Mark Andy had to offer on both fronts that tipped the balance.
Jon Bird takes up the story: “We were ideally looking for a single source supply for both print technologies, and with its reputation in the market for customer support, and a comparison of its product portfolio with other press manufacturers, we decided the way ahead for us was with Mark Andy – and I’m pleased to say that, so far, we are well pleased with our decision on the presses and the level of back-up!”
Currently employing 30 people and aiming for a £3.5m turnover this year, Daymark is keen to grow its label business rapidly in the food and beverage sector and as in pharmaceuticals and the electrical industry, as well increasing its output of tags and tickets. Run lengths vary from 500 to 1 million labels but repeat business is high, which requires close attention to customer service as well as a high-quality product.
“We aim to make life as easy for our customers as possible, and do it with an environmental conscience,” said Jon Bird, adding “It’s a matter of educating the market about sustainability and what is actually achievable. We believe our partnership with Mark Andy will help us to achieve that and grow our business organically.”
Speaking for Mark Andy, Sales Manager Phil Baldwin commented: “Daymark has invested in the very latest technology we have to offer, and it will allow them to manufacture a wide variety of printed products as cost-effectively as is currently possible. The DPro has enabled Daymark to produce jobs in a single pass that previously required multiple presses. Both new Mark. Andy presses, the Evolution Series E5 and the DPro are scalable, allowing them to be adapted to meet changes in market demand. We are looking forward to supporting Daymark in their quest for ‘green production’ in the days and years to come.”