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Flexo Print promotes the digital model for label printing

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Press release from the issuing company

For Flexo Print SA de CV, of Guadalajara, Mexico, evolution is part of the business. Established in 1995 with a single, small conventional flexo label press in a 55m2 (180ft2) facility, Flexo Print produced labels for pharmaceutical customers.

Today, founder and owner Fernando Aranguren presides over a team of 155 people in a 9500m2 (31,160ft2) plant with a variety of flexographic, offset litho, rotogravure and digital presses with a wide range of other capabilities, including a combination screen, embossing and hot foil press. Flexo Print also has a 100 percent inspection system and a full range of finishing equipment.

"We now operate in five major markets: food and beverage; home and healthcare; pharmaceuticals; wine and spirits, and industrial," Aranguren explained.

In each of these categories, Flexo Print is working with high-profile national and international companies that continuously strive to ensure quality, image and presence of their brands.

"Our first digital experience was six years ago with a toner-based press. Subsequently, we were impressed with the HP Indigo press ws4000 and installed one, later trading it for a six-colour ws4500 press," said Aranguren. "It was very successful and we liked the quality and the opportunities the digital capability brought, and not long after we installed a second one."

In May 2009, Flexo Print dramatically increased its digital capacity when it replaced one of the ws4500 presses with a seven-colour HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press. The new press is capable of speeds up to 30m/ min., an increase of 16m/min. over the HP Indigo press ws4500. The new press also has a larger image area of 317 x 980mm enabling it to support a wider variety of work.

Defining the digital model
"The strengths of digital printing are in handling shorter runs, on-demand, and carrying out fast job change-overs," explained Aranguren. "There are other advantages, like the ability to run a large number of different substrates, and print jobs that couldn't be run profitably on conventional equipment."

One of Flexo Print's customers that exemplifies the new, digital printing business model that Aranguren speaks about is BioScents, SC de RL de CV, also of Guadalajara. The company produces cosmetics and personal care products that use natural fruits and flowers. BioScents operates a chain of retail shops that showcase the products and enhance its image by displaying its wide product offering, making product labels a particularly important part of its high impact.

"We have worked with BioScents for a year, and collaborated with them to develop the labels and packaging," Aranguren said. "For example, we were able to advise BioScents on the best substrates to use for labelling its product tubes. We print these on plastic because not only does it present the branding and colours well, but it has the right flexibility so that when the tube is squeezed, the label is not immediately damaged. Plastic labels are also easier to keep clean during use."

Flexo Print prints on a variety of plastic substrates including PP, PE, PP White and polycarbonate with matt and gloss finishes as well as on transparent materials. "BioScents is the perfect company to enjoy the benefits of digital printing," Aranguren continued. "It has more than 100 products, and orders labels from us every 15 - 20 days in runs of 10,000 to 20,000 labels. This is an ideal situation for digital label printing."

Commitment to the market
The label market in Mexico shows the same signs of vitality as in other parts of the world. Trends towards shorter runs, just-in-time deliveries, trace and track data and high-quality colour are present in Mexico just as elsewhere, and a rise in private ("own brand") labels in the food and drink sectors contribute to the development.

"It is good that support for digital printing is now extending into markets," Aranguren said. "Now that infrastructures for service and support are maturing in Europe and North America, the technologies can be more extensively promoted in places like Mexico."

Flexo Print continues to explore new market opportunities. Among the projects under discussion are web-to-print, variable data printing - especially for security labels, which Aranguren believes have a big future - digital shrink sleeve and flexible packaging printing.

"The speed and format of the HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press makes it possible to address new markets," said Aranguren. "It's more geared to the industrial market and can compete with industrial volumes. It alters the supply chain and facilitates lower lot sizes, with faster production, smaller quantities and just-in-time fulfilment - all with high-quality print.

"Working with the HP Indigo WS6000 Digital Press is a big step up," concluded Aranguren. "There have been many improvements: it's more user-friendly, the uptime is better, and it's faster.

"Like Flexo Print, HP Indigo digital presses continue to evolve."




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