Colorado Etiquettes, the Rouen based family business that has been supplying the French label industry since 1973, has installed the first Mark Andy Evolution flexo press in Europe. At a ceremony to commemorate the occasion, Tom Cavalco, Executive Vice President of Sales for the American manufacturer said: “I am delighted to see that our latest flexo technology is applicable to and affordable by the smaller label converters who are looking to improve their productivity and extend their market opportunities. I congratulate Colorado on being the first label converter in France to benefit from what the Evolution has to offer.”
The new Evolution line, which was launched at Labelexpo in Brussels in 2019, is a perfect complement to Mark Andy’s award-winning Performance Series. Built around the all-servo P7E platform, the Evolution is a build-up press that can be tailored to any configuration to suit current work and modified at a later date as demand changes. The Evolution installed at Colorado is a six-color full UV press with a 13” (330mm) web width. It is fitted with turn bars, a double die station, closed-loop tension control, auto and pre-register features and servo unwind and rewind. The new press joins existing Mark Andy 830 and 2200 lines at the Rouen facility.
Speaking for Colorado, Laurent Fenot, grandson of the founder, who has run the business for the past 35 years with his wife Christelle, commented: “We chose the Evolution because we believed it was the ideal press to allow us to fulfil our existing demand and offer the flexibility to explore new markets. We have a reputation for solving difficult problems here, so it is vital that the equipment complements our technical skills and knowhow. The Evolution will help us to develop products for niche markets, and as it’s our first 330mm press, it offers added capacity too.”
Renowned for its high level of customer care, the domain of Christelle, Colorado undertakes work that many other label converters pass by. Prototyping and short test runs are all part of daily life at the company, which is neither set up nor interested in competing in the volume label markets. She believes the Mark Andy technology gives the company a distinct edge over its competitors, and explained: “We are seen as a craft business and our customers appreciate the fact that our size makes us approachable – they like dealing directly with the people who have the skills and knowhow. There is no such thing as a typical job here – each day and each shift is different, and that’s our strength.”
Being such a discerning and skilled user, print trials for Colorado are no easy matter, according to Jean Louis Pecarelo of Atypic, Mark Andy’s agent in France: “This is a clear case where the Mark Andy brand alone is not enough. The technology has to prove itself fully capable of coping with very difficult work, and answer all questions asked of it – there is no room for complacency with this customer!” Although an existing Mark Andy user, the Evolution had to prove its worth before Colorado committed to the order.
A compact business that employs five staff, including Laurent and Christelle, and occupies a packed 600sqm production unit, Colorado Etiquettes has carved a niche for itself in the French market. Based on knowhow and customer service as opposed to price, it occasionally loses customers – but they frequently return for the skill offered to cope with complex work. When quizzed about the next move being into digital print, Laurent Fenot largely dismissed the possibility, saying: “The type of short run work that yields profit is not that which can be done by any company with a digital press – that’s our USP.”