Students in Mark Andy Demo Room during Students Open House in April 2022
One of the many events scheduled by Mark Andy Europe for the first half of 2022 was an Open House for print students held at its Warsaw showroom and demo facility on 22nd April. The students, who came from the Printing Technologies Unit of the Faculty of Production Engineering at the Warsaw Technical University, took part in live demos of three Mark Andy presses: an Evolution Series E3 flexo line, a Digital Series iQ inkjet/flexo hybrid and a Digital Pro 3 toner/flexo hybrid. The sessions also included all the relevant prepress file preparation processes. Photos taken during the event were used to print labels to demonstrate the speed and flexibility of the whole digital-based solution. The day concluded with lunch and informal discussions between the students, their tutors, and Mark Andy personnel.
“We were delighted to host the print-oriented students and their teachers in our Demo Room after three-year gap,” says Lena Chmielewska-Bontron, European Marketing Manager Mark Andy. “It’s symbolic that a group of young people, who are the future of our industry, were the first to attend the Open Houses we have scheduled for this year. We were pleased with the attendance and interest levels in the presentations we gave.”
After demonstrating each press, Mark Andy operators were quizzed on the specific details of each model, with three students enquiring about work opportunities at the Warsaw offices, which was encouraging for a press manufacturer committed to supporting the development of human resources in print. “We’re increasingly active in this area, and recently began co-operating with the Technical & Electronic College in Kalisz, which was represented by a Teacher at the Open House,” she added.
Before the presentations, Przemyslaw Polkowski, Director Mark Andy Poland, welcomed the students and their tutors, underlining Mark Andy’s long history as a press manufacturer and pointing out that the company celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2021. He also highlighted the growing importance of digital technology in the printing industry. The presses installed in Warsaw, which included two hybrids, are confirmation of this. He encouraged the students to pursue their chosen profession and stay in the printing industry. As he said: “The development of digital technology and its implementation in printing solutions is an area that is increasingly innovative and future-oriented, especially in packaging and label printing.”
Lukasz Chruslinski, Sales Manager Mark Andy Europe, then demonstrated the three label presses installed at Demo Room. He was accompanied by print instructors and service technicians who are involved in Mark Andy’s installations around the world. Beginning with the Evolution Series E3 flexo press, which was launched at Labelexpo Europe 2019, he said that the press has attracted huge interest from label printers worldwide. “Many label converters said they had been waiting for a press that offers flexibility, modularity, and compactness. It features servo drive, and its construction offers flexo print units as well as additional options like foil stamping or die-cutting.” The initial interest at Labelexpo was very quickly confirmed by sales, and Mark Andy has since installed Evolution Series presses in many printing companies around the world.
The next presentation was devoted to the Digital Series iQ hybrid press. This newest member of Mark Andy’s digital family was launched last year and developed in a co-operation with Domino, who manufacture of the inkjet module implemented in the press. Chruslinski said that Digital Series iQ is a good example of Mark Andy’s hybrid concept: “The inkjet unit, which offers 7-colour printing (CMYKOV + W) is a central part of the whole solution. It is accompanied by typical elements of a flexo press, like printing units and finishing and embellishment options. The whole process is realised in one pass, shortening production time and delivery of the final product to the customer.”
He added that the benefits of the hybrid concept have been widely appreciated by many label printers worldwide: “The share of hybrid equipment in our total press sales continues to grow, and we anticipate it will be higher again in 2022 as many new contracts are currently being processed, with many installations scheduled before the end of the year.”
While the Digital Series iQ is a newcomer, another hybrid press presented by Mark Andy during the Open House, Digital Pro 3, has been on the market for three years. Also launched at Labelexpo Europe 2019, it is the next-generation of toner-based printing. “It has a very compact footprint and can be equipped with many additional options for the manufacture of highly processed labels,” said Chruslinski. Numerous examples of these products were displayed with printed and finished rolls.
One of the biggest advantages of digital technology is the efficient production of short runs, including variable data printing (VDP). This was the next presentation at the Open House. Photos taken during the event were quickly processed and prepared using dedicated software by Agnieszka Rapacka, Prepress Specialist at Mark Andy Poland. She showed all the steps in the prepress process that delivers high quality label printing with no errors. The processed photos were then used to print labels on Digital Pro 3. Afterwards, the participants were able to stick them to bottles of water to take home as a special souvenir of the event.
Agnieszka Rusin, a member of the teaching staff at the Printing Technologies Unit commented: “We’d like to thank Mark Andy for arranging and hosting today’s event. We really appreciate the rich and content-full agenda that was enjoyed by our 2nd-year students who were making their first visit to Mark Andy’s Demo Room in Warsaw. Observing their reactions during the demos, I could see they were really interested in all technological aspects of label production, with some of them asking about opportunities or traineeships at Mark Andy. We’re more than happy to have a partner like Mark Andy because the company is deeply involved in supporting the academic community for print. This is very important as it allows our students to learn about the latest technology in both a theoretical and a practical way.”
Wrapping up for Mark Andy, Lena Chmielewska-Bontron stated: “We’d like to thank all the students and tutors for accepting our invitation and their active participation in this dedicated Open House. As a press manufacturer, we’re committed to sharing our knowledge and experience with young people studying print-oriented faculties. The Open House is a great form of communication as it enables us to present the equipment live and have direct conversation between participants and our own staff. We promise to continue this tradition and organise similar events in the future.”