Moscow based label converter Firma Sigma has installed a Mark Andy Performance Series P4 at its production facility in the Russian capital. It is the first P4 to be installed in the country and will complement Sigma’s existing four Mark Andy 2200 presses with its compatible tooling.
Owner Gennady Uzlov, who established the business back in 1995, explained his decision to invest in the P4 press: “We have had nine Mark Andy presses over the years and all have been extremely reliable – in fact our first 2200 is still running 24/7, and this gave us the confidence to stay with the brand and invest in one of its new P4 machines. It is well priced and is a very productive press – best of all it allows us to use the large inventory of 2200 tooling that we have built up over the years.
Leonid Chmikhalov operating the Mark Andy P4 at Firma Sigma in Moscow
Mark Andy describes the P4 as a press that offers modern efficiency with enhanced flexibility. With a 60% faster changeover time than conventional inline presses, the modular design of the P4 offers responsive technology while the unique rail system allows each converter to customise applications. Available in three web widths from 280 to 430mm and capable of converting substrates from 50 to 305-micron at speeds up to 230m/min, the P4 offers repeat lengths from 140 to 610mm.
With Sigma employing around 100 people to serve its customer list of some 350 companies, the company is operating in a very price-sensitive market where competition is fierce. Substrates used include paper, foil and film, with only the latter seeing any growth, and while the market is relatively stable, like everywhere, runs lengths have declined in recent years to a typical job today of 100,000 linear metres. Sigma predominantly supplies the food industry and specialises in products for the dairy sector. It has the capability of printing up to 10 colours and uses exclusively solvent-based inks.
Speaking for VIP-Systems, Mark Andy’s distributor in Russia, Sales Team Leader Maxim Aleksashenko commented: “Sigma is one of three label converters serving this sector of the market in Moscow, and all are Mark Andy users. Present Packaging have 2200 and 4150 presses and TT Print have two P5s, so there is a strong belief in the productivity and efficiency of Mark Andy technology here – the presses allow their owners to make money in what is a very competitive marketplace.”
Looking ahead, VIP sees good potential growth for Mark Andy technology in the Russian flexible packaging sector, where the high-quality demanded is well suited to the capability of the latest Performance Series presses. Questioned on the prospects for digital printing technology in the Russian label market, both Aleksashenko and Gennady Uzlov were in agreement – ‘yes, it will come, but not yet’ – the market conditions and demand are not sufficiently developed to justify it. For the time being, flexo still rules, and Mark Andy technology is at the leading-edge as far as price and productivity are concerned.