Świat Poligrafii sat down with Tom Cavalco, Managing Director for Mark Andy EU, to discuss the company’s recent open house and success in the Polish market.
Interview originally published by Świat Poligrafii. Polish version can be found here.
In April, Mark Andy's Open House took place in Warsaw. The famous manufacturer of flexographic presses presented their latest solutions dedicated to label production. Nearly 500 guests from all over Europe came to the event, including 200 attendees from Poland.
The Mark Andy brand is one of the most recognizable manufacturers of narrow printing presses in Poland. It was no surprise that the Open House encouraged converters to visit the Warsaw facility and get acquainted with the latest Mark Andy innovations. Four demo presses in total are featured in the demo center, two of which are the company’s digital hybrid printing presses. Three Rotoflex finishing technologies are also on display.
Visitors at Polish Open House admire labels printed on the Mark Andy P7
An improved 9-color Performance Series P7 press was introduced apart from the traditional solution, which premiered in 2016 at Labelexpo Americas in Chicago. Something that is worth noting is the precision of execution of this Performance Series asset. The model presented during the Open House was built and evaluated on the highest possible scale of precision and workmanship. Currently, Mark Andy presses are fully manufactured in the United States using the latest industrial production equipment, such as cutters and lathes.
This model is equipped with new Mitsubishi servo motors, which allow the machine to accelerate up to 306 meters per minute in a true production environment. A solvent-free lamination system is available in this model.
During the demo of the P7, we managed to talk to Tom Cavalco, responsible for the sales and development of Mark Andy in Europe.
Tom Cavalco is Managing Director for Mark Andy EU, headquartered in Warsaw, Poland
How was it decided that the Mark Andy office would be established in Poland?
We started nearly 30 years ago in Switzerland. As I remember, and I had been working with Mark Andy for 17 years and there were many reasons for the move. One of them was certainly the position of the Polish market and its dynamic development. The second, a more pragmatic reason of course, was cost. Lastly, in the European region where we are located, we can contact our customers more quickly for sales and service matters. Today, we now have two locations in Europe, one in the UK and one here in Poland.
How large is the Polish service department?
We currently have 11 people who are employed to handle service within this market. With such growth dynamics, we need to be more and more prepared for a fast and fully professional operation.
How many installations do you have in Poland?
Recently, our team attempted to count the number of installations in Poland. We have adopted the year 2008 as our starting point. In our calculations, we have installed 128 flexo machines. Of course, Mark Andy has been known for many years prior to 2008 and there are even more used presses on the market that have come to Poland in different ways. Especially the 2200 model which beats the popularity records. As I recall, about 50% of sales were based on this machine model. Today it is around 5%. We currently sell about 140 Performance models annually.
What does your digital space look like?
It’s no question that digital is a new market for us. Our digital presses are only 6 years old. Of course, our digital hybrid presses are solutions that we have completely developed. The components that we use to produce our hybrid presses like heads, are supplied by companies specializing in digital printing components. By contrast, the mechanics and the entire web handling system are entirely the work of Mark Andy from beginning to end. What is most important, after the installation work (beta) it was time for full installation in our customers.
One must admit that there is probably no other way of development to meet demands of short and medium runs. Of course, traditional technology will not disappear. It will certainly be used in the highest output production, while digital solutions will allow you to adapt to local markets and short-run demand.
Behind us, we have a great amount of experience with the knowledge of the market, our customers, their needs, and perhaps most importantly, we have knowledge of label production technology. How to adjust it, cut, gild, or distinguish it from others. This is our experience with flexo. However, returning to digital presses, it is worth noting the production possibilities. Speeds of 70-80 meters per minute using 4 colors and digital white color. It's an extremely unique solution for the industry.
Tim Brasher, Director of Business Development, Mark Andy introduces attendees to Digital One
This way we can realize unique, decorative labels. The entry-level model (Digital One) presented during the Open House cannot print digital white, but has the capability to print a white spot color. Digital Series can print highly-opaque digital white.
The larger flexo model, the P7, is a version of the press that has been in production for 4 months. In this solution we used UV LED and over 100 details improved from previous models of this machine. It's a lot of innovation and improvement. In addition, we increased the P7’s speed to 306 m per minute. This is a specially dedicated model for those who produce on materials like aluminum. We have the opportunity to print with low UV LED paints and then seal them with two protective materials. This way, we can prepare a product ready for contact with food. Currently, we are the only manufacturer offering this type of solution.
This has become possible thanks to the use of modern ink and varnish technology. During the demos at the Open House we used product manufactured by Flint Group.
Can the market in Poland still absorb new plant installations?
As I mentioned, Poland is a unique market. The dynamics of production growth is highest in Europe and our analysis shows that there is still plenty of room for Mark Andy technology users. Just compare two markets, Great Britain with 500 installations and Poland with 128 presses of our brand. In the UK we sell up to 20 new presses a year. Last year, we sold 12 machines in Poland and predict this year our sales will continue to grow.
What differentiates Mark Andy?
First and foremost, the ergonomics of the press construction and its simplicity. Each press is customizable. After all, we have brought to market over 200 options. What makes our brand the winning option is the service in Poland and Europe, which reacts in our country on the same day. It is important to note that at the turn of April and May we opened our company in Germany, and it is already announcing further expansion into the European markets.
Among the guests visiting the demo center of Mark Andy in Poland, the presented printers of the digital series also attracted great interest. However, more about them will be published in the next edition of the Świat Poligrafii.
Source: Świat Poligrafii
About the Author
Lena Chmielewska, Sales and Marketing Senior Assistant at the Mark Andy Poland office, is focused on finding solutions and providing success to label customers. With extensive flexo printing experience, she’s knowledge in the label and packaging market and understands the ever-evolving demands. You can also find Lena on LinkedIn.