In a strategic move that substantiates Mark Andy as a preferred supplier, All4Labels Global Packaging Group, the newly created global group that includes Baumgarten, RAKO, and X-Label, has installed two high specification Performance Series P7 presses in Witzhave (Germany) and Hangzhou (China). The timing of the two installations coincides with the creation of the world’s third largest label converting group, which now has 26 production facilities across four continents employing 3000 people. This giant enterprise currently boasts 2000 customers, produces 60 billion labels annually, and generates sales in excess of $500 million.
The dual-servo model P7 represents the top of the Performance Series range, and the two RAKO installations are all but identical in specification. At the headquarters in Witzhave (near Hamburg), the 430mm (17 inch) press is fitted with 12 UV-flexo print units, a double unwind, corona treater, delam/relam, cold foil, turn bars, and the award-winning QCDC die cutting system. Supplied with four screen printing heads, the Mark Andy gives All4Labels the opportunity to pursue the market for high quality cosmetic labels and especially those requiring multi-layers, for which the two-web facility was specified. The press in China is similarly specified and also has hot air drying.
Speaking for RAKO, Production Manager in Witzhave Arne Bir commented: “We needed additional flexibility in label production and the Mark Andy P7 appeared to fit our requirements. We carried out extensive testing of our work over a sustained period, and found that the press actually exceeded our expectations. It is by far the best all round press we have, and its capability to produce up to four-layer labels has added significant value to our product portfolio.”
Praising the quality of technical sales and support service, both in Germany and China, ALL4Labels is currently running a mix of 40 - 100micron PP, PE and self adhesive stocks through the P7, at speeds up to 150m/min (500ft/min). Indicative of its versatility is the fact that, while average run lengths in the German plant are around 1500 linear metres, the average on the Mark Andy is less 1000. “It is easy to make ready, so job changes are quick with minimal waste, thanks to the short web path. This is an especially important cost saving on the multi-layer jobs. Register adjustment is also quick, and the print quality is maintained by the AVT system. With the market demanding more added value, the flexibility of the Mark Andy makes it the front runner,” he added.
The merger of the three independent companies into All4Labels Global Packaging Group is designed to strengthen their individual market positions and bring a degree of synergy across the regions they serve. Each is retained and managed by its owners, with the fusion taking place at ‘Holding’ level. By extending the group’s global presence and product portfolio, customers are guaranteed a more secure source of supply, wherever they are located.
The power to innovate is also seen as a major bonus in the drive for new business. Already offering self-adhesive labels, smart and secure labels, tubes and flexible packaging, the group structure allows local entities to be supported and developed, which secures jobs and provides a more solid financial backbone. With Baumgarten, which dates back to 1881, providing a platform for growth in central and south America, and X-Label already covering eastern Europe including Romania and Russia, RAKO can bring its 17 production plants, that include those in China and South Africa, to bear on the European scene.
The next move, once the consolidation process has taken place, will be to evaluate group technology requirements going forward. “We are looking to grow our multi-layer label business because the facility to produce in a single pass gives us the edge in a market where companies are moving to multi-language labels and fewer types. This is where the Mark Andy is so cost effective,” said Bir.
All4Labels is the latest in a global rationalisation of converting capability and highlights the changes in how suppliers have to respond to the changing demands of their global brand owning customers. Speaking for Mark Andy, CEO Kevin Wilken concluded: “In today’s global market, converters rightly demand the same total commitment from their suppliers as the brand owners demand from them. As the world’s leading manufacturer of narrow web technology, Mark Andy is proud and delighted to be supporting All4Labels at this critical time in its history.”