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Mark Andy Poland hosts Symposium with a new market approach

  • Publicado el 14 de Junio de 2024

More than 60 managers and directors of Polish narrow-web printing houses participated in the Mark Andy Poland Symposium held recently at Topacz Castle near Wroclaw. The event included several presentations from key industry figures and adopted a different approach from previous Open House meetings that focused on technology and market aspects. This time the guests had an opportunity to listen to presentations on other aspects of business activities, for example cyber safety and motivational techniques. The event concluded with a networking dinner, accompanied by live music.

Mark Andy Poland hosts Symposium with a new market approach

Przemyslaw Polkowski, Mark Andy Poland Director comments: “This year we decided to modify our established formula of customer meetings that take place in our Warsaw-based Technology Center. This time we selected Topacz Castle near Wroclaw as the venue because we wanted to create opportunity and space for less formal chats and discussions concerning current and future market trends, challenges and more. Instead of press demos and workshops, we arranged several presentations devoted to the wider aspect of the market, including an exclusive speech from the President of FINAT. We also invited the CEO of one of our Spanish customers, Mirmar, to present his vision of label market development. Our guests also appreciated two other presentations - one devoted to cyber safety in IT departments, and the other to motivation in life and business.”

The Symposium participants were welcomed by Tom Cavalco – Executive Vice President Mark Andy and Lukasz Chruslinski – European Sales Manager. Tom Cavalco thanked the guests for their long-term and well-established co-operation and underlined the huge knowledge and inspiration gained from customers that supports further development of Mark Andy’s solutions and offering.

Lukasz Chruslinski presented the latest trends in the label market, highlighting some of the crucial challenges that many printers face these days. As he underlined, they’re stimulated by constant geopolitical, law, social, and climate changes. “All these aspects influence a consumer’s behavior and expectations, which, as a result, impact on the manufacturing of labels and packaging and finally, on the configuration and design of print technology.”

He spoke about the digital product passport, RFID, and linerless technology as examples of market phenomena that impact our lives, including labels and packaging requirements. “These factors influence the configuration of equipment used by printing houses and require the presses to be more agile and flexible, what we call a hybrid. Mark Andy has been observing these market changes for a long time and has responded to them by modifying its product range. Today, we are the global leader in sales of hybrid presses – solutions that comprise both conventional and digital (inkjet- or toner-based) technologies. We warmly invite everyone who is interested in our technology to visit Mark Andy’s Technology Center in Warsaw, which houses presses in all technologies utilized by our company: flexo, inkjet and toner” he said.

Philippe Voet – President of FINAT and CEO of Etivoet, was the next speaker at the Seminar. He presented the latest data available to FINAT on volumes and changes in labels manufactured by printers and converters. He pointed out opportunities and threats concerning the entire industry, based on the organization’s yearly report.

Referring to 2023, Philippe Voet underlined that the entire label market, in terms of volume (in sqm of printed substrates), returned only to the level of 2013. Moreover, it dropped by 25% compared with 2022. FINAT says it is affected by numerous factors, including global supply chain disruptions, uncertainty in the global economy impacting on label demand, and destocking of inventories in terms of substrates and consumables. He presented detailed data for different market areas including self-adhesive labels and final applications.

According to FINAT, brand owners plan to maintain current print volumes in 2024 while optimizing procurement processes for cost management and operational efficiency. He underlined that printed labels experience significant cost fluctuations due to supply-demand imbalance, global supply chain disruptions, increased demand and geopolitical tensions impacting raw material prices. In contrast, sustainability and integration into procurement decisions involves environmentally friendly materials that impact the entire life cycle of labels.

Jaime Mir Pastor, CEO of the Spanish family printing company Mirmar, tried to convince the seminar’s participants that label production is still one of the most future-proof sectors of the printing market. Established over 35 years ago, Mirmar employs approximately 50 people working two shifts for five days a week. Last year the company converted 24m sqm of substrates, including 16m sqm of printed labels and 8m sqm of blank labels.

Mirmar is a long-term user of Mark Andy’s technology, and its current equipment comprises of seven Mark Andy flexo presses and a Digital Series HD hybrid press. Jaime Mir Pastor underlined a compatibility of all these presses as they based on 17-inch wide web, offering many inline finishing and embellishment options. They are accompanied by numerous rewinders.

He also presented the production portfolio of Mirmar, pointing out that an increasing number of jobs are now printed and converted using hybrid technology. According to CEO of Mirmar, this perfectly reflects the current market trends: lower single order volumes, VDP, and versioning, amongst others.

This was the main motto of a speech from IT & cyber-safety specialist Pawel Hordynski, CEO of IT Develop company and owner of CyberGuru brand. His presentation was divided into several parts, including a practical demo of techniques used by hackers and cyber-criminals while gaining data from institutions and companies. He showed the principles of so called ‘white intelligence’, which allows criminals to gain data and information in a legal way (e.g. via social media). He pointed out a triviality of passwords that often leads to data leaking and causes problems for the user.

In the next part of his speech Mr Hordynski focused on hacker attacks, including phishing, which can be a source of huge problems, especially for big companies who use informatic systems and digital data in their daily operations. As a way of protection, he said that ‘cyber-hygiene’ is a way of preventing possible cyber-attacks on IT systems. He explained the key parameters for data recovery time: RTO – maximum acceptable time of system recovery after its damage, and RPO – maximum amount of data loss that an organization can accept when being attacked.

He also drew participants’ attention to social engineering (socio-techniques), being, as he underlined, the most dangerous weapon in hands of cyber criminals, stating that often its usage is more successful than the most advanced technical cyber-attacks. When discussing factors that protection against socio-techniques, he listed: building consciousness, identity verification, safety when sharing information, and checking sources credibility. He also mentioned situations that should catch everyone’ s attention: sudden requests for help or other online actions. He pointed out a need to report suspicious activity and to avoid ‘miracle bargains’ and ‘lurid ways to make a quick buck.’

This was the message delivered by Karol Bielecki, a former legendary Polish handball player, triple World Championship medalist and European Champions League winner. He won most of these trophies after the accident that totally changed his personal and sport life. In 2010, an accident during a friendly match caused him to lose sight in one of his eyes, which could have brought about an early end tohis sporting career.

However, just a few days later, despite negative medical opinions, he announced his intention to return to the sport after a period of rehab. Equipped with a prosthetic eye and special glasses, he made his comeback to regular sport after a couple of months and became a huge support for the Polish national team as well as his club teammates in further international successes. Karol Bielecki mentioned in his coaching speech not only the years full of successes but also about tougher times in both his personal and sporting life. His message, however, was very clear: ‘don’t give up’, even when the most difficult problems and challenges appear – and this holds true in business too!

Wrapping up the event, Przemyslaw Polkowski concluded: “We sincerely hope our new approach to business meetings with customers will get a positive response and feedback from the participants, a kind of ‘fresh air’ from typical industry events filled with equipment demos and technology presentations. However, for those interested in seeing our presses in action and understanding the technology that supports the theory, we invite you to visit our Warsaw-based demo room. Our dedicated team of sales managers, print instructors and service technicians is at your disposal.”

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