ProPrint Group based in Wellingborough, has responded to a surge in demand with the installation of Martin Automatic technology on its Edale FL3 narrow web press. 

The FL3, which joins eight other Edale lines at the company, is a 430mm 10-colour flexo press devoted entirely to the production of linerless labels and is currently working a double-day shift pattern.

Operations manager for ProPrint Group, Bob Green, said, ‘In the short time since the machinery was installed we have found it easy to use, reliable and very efficient.  I estimate that the Martin equipment is saving us around 30% of the time it took to change a roll manually and has also cut make ready waste significantly by between 50 – 100m per change. Overall, I’d say the Martins have boosted output by at least 20%, and that’s being conservative.’

The MBS automatically shears and tapes the running web to the new reel while the press continues running at full production speed, which at ProPrint is typically around 140m/min.  It makes a butt splice, with no overlap, and ‘irons’ the tape across the web to ensure good bonding. Other features include web tension control and automatic web alignment with an ultrasonic sensor. The LRD rewinds and unloads the finished rolls also at full production speed without the operator needing to be present.  Unlike a conventional turret rewinder, the LRD has a short transition between winding positions that reduces the risk of web movement and changes in web tension.

Speaking for ProPrint, director Nigel Tollman commented, ‘Our continued focus on improving service levels and cutting down on waste, raw materials and time, means we are always looking at ways to streamline and improve our efficiencies. At ProPrint we believe in spending time ensuring we have the right supplier partners – partners we can work with to make sure our business is always evolving and improving. The team at Martin Automatic were helpful, supportive and worked hard to give us the peace of mind that comes with certainty.’

The investment package, which also included a Lundberg waste extraction system, is part of a larger programme to widen the Group’s range of printed packaging. Currently operating from modern facilities across two sites – one for cartons the other for labels, ProPrint offers digital and offset printing capability in addition to its narrow web flexo. Design and pre-press are both handled in-house, and the company has invested heavily in streamlining all of its management and production processes to support and develop its staff.