The guests participated in three demonstrations, one with a flexo Evolution Series E5 press, and two with hybrid models – the toner based Digital Pro 3 or the inkjet base Digital Series HD. All three print techniques were shown doing live production, manufacturing different kinds of labels, including POD with participants’ pictures taken during the open house. Mark Andy Poland staff were available to answer questions about the presses, their technical aspects and career opportunities in the label and package markets.
“This was the first time we had hosted such a large group of students at our open house,” says Lena Chmielewska-Bontron, European marketing manager, Mark Andy. “It was also the first visit of students from the technical colleges – previously we had only university students. We were delighted with such a big attendance as we’ve been committed to educational aspects for many years. As a manufacturer with more than 75 years of market experience, it’s a key part of our mission and legacy to share our knowledge with the people willing to join our industry in the years to come. The shortage of qualified employees in the industry makes these events even more important. Considering everything, we’re happy with the involvement of our guests in the technology and equipment we demonstrated. We answered lots of questions, and difficult ones too, so we’re very encouraged with the success of the open house.”
Lukasz Chruslinski gave a brief opening speech before the demos. He stressed that the printing industry, particularly in the labelling and packaging market, is huge and has many job opportunities. He used market research to highlight the technologies which have been increasingly popular over the past few years, such as RFID. “As a manufacturer of printing presses, we’re involved in RFID and the many projects it incorporates,” says Chruslinski. “This technology has been available for many years, but its popularity only started to grow recently because of the way it supports the entire supply chain, in terms of sales, warehousing, and logistics.”
Chruslinski explains that many printers, converters, and other service providers have been modifying their business activities in the last few years. “They are changing from being a simple print house to a one-stop-shop, offering many other services, including data management, design, fulfillment, and distribution. It’s an important change in attitude especially in terms of more advanced projects like ‘intelligent labels,’ and RFID tags. It’s not enough to be a simple printer anymore, you must be a technology partner and advisor, with the printing press being a part of the entire manufacturing line. We’re pleased to see so many cases of this in Poland because it relates to our customers, too.”
Chruslinski demonstrated the presses, along with Michal Mokokrzycki from Mark Andy. The toner-based Digital Pro 3 was first, and Chruslinski explained how easy it is to enhance its capability with additional finishing and embellishment options, like a multi-purpose flexo unit and either rotary or semi-rotary die-cutting. Mark Andy has positioned Digital Pro 3 by Mark Andy to be an entry-level, dedicated to short runs.
The next demonstration was dedicated to the Evolution Series E5 flexo presses, which are servo driven and equipped with a hybrid drying system, which incorporates different drying technologies. “An easy-to-use cassette system enables a quick changeover from one drying technology to another,” he explains. “It enables the use and drying of different kinds of inks, such as UV, LED and water based.”
The third demo session was devoted to Digital Series HD, Mark Andy’s flagship hybrid based on inkjet technology. “It’s our best seller, and is extremely popular with our European customers,” says Chruslinski. Digital Series HD was designed for longer runs compared to the toner-based DPro 3 solution. It can also reproduce 96% of CMYK colours thanks to its extended color gamut. Its ability to print a highly pigmented, white ink offers results that are comparable to screen printing. Digital Series HD is also upgradeable with a wide range of embellishment and finishing options. “Its modularity is highly appreciated by our customers,” adds Chruslinski, “and many of them upgrade their original configuration as the demand from print buyers changes.”
The students were given the opportunity to speak with Mark Andy representatives individually after the demonstration sessions. They were interested in all the print samples. This included the labels that were printed on Digital Pro 3 using the photos of Open House participants taken in real time during the meeting.
“We’d like to thank all the students and their teachers for taking part and showing such a huge interest in our technology. We hope our press demonstrations and expert discussions will inspire and inform them. It’s worth mentioning that several participants of the open house asked about the opportunity of an internship at Mark Andy, as well as help with thesis they are preparing. All these signs are very positive and encourage us to initiate and support other educational opportunities,” concludes Chmielewska-Bontron.