UK-based converter Daymark Labels claims to have experienced major growth in both output and profitability in the 12 months since it installed two Mark Andy narrow web presses

The family-run business invested in a Mark Andy Evolution Series E5 flexo press and a Digital Pro 3 toner-based press back in the spring of 2022. Since then, it has not looked back according to Jon Bird, who founded the company in 1974.

He said the decision to invest in Mark Andy technology was relatively straightforward. ‘We’d been looking to upgrade our flexo capacity and knew that we needed to add digital capability and wanted to source both from the same manufacturer. Mark Andy has the broadest portfolio of all narrow web manufacturers, so the choice was easy, and I’m pleased to say it’s worked out well.’

The Evolution E5 features the latest Mark Andy servo platform for flexo. It has 330mm (13in) web width, eight flexo print units, and was the first to be installed in the UK fitted with GEW’s LeoLED/UV curing technology. The specification also includes a web cleaner, overhead rail with turn bar unit, delam/relam, double die stations and a sheeter/conveyor. 

‘I’m so glad we opted for LED/UV,’ said Jon Bird (junior), son of the founder. ‘It’s so efficient and with energy costs rising, it has made a real difference.’ 

Daymark is looking to add inline lamination capability that will facilitate more efficient production of labels for hazardous products, which it is looking to do in one-pass. ‘The Evolution Series E5 allows us to win jobs we just couldn’t handle before – it’s such a confidence booster for our operators and our customers because they know we can deliver reliable quality.’

Turning to the Digital Pro 3, both Jons agree that they couldn’t be without it. ‘It has a learning curve for those new to digital, but it’s an easy press to operate and has allowed us to improve our customer service by having digital in-house and being able to colour-match it with the flexo press. This gives us the freedom to choose how we produce each job, and the facility to switch from one to the other without any loss of quality,’ explained the younger Mr Bird. 

‘A typical job might be 1000 labels of five types, which the digital machine can handle equally well on porous or textured substrates – it’s a great all-rounder,’ he added. Having become something of a short run specialist, Daymark has spent time growing its web-to-print business, and the Digital Pro 3 is ideal for this.

Phil Baldwin, Mark Andy UK’s sales manager explained why the printer is so capable. ‘It’s the second-generation of our hybrid that combines a toner-based digital engine for 1200dpi CMYK with flexo printing before and after the digital module, as well as laminating, cold foiling, rotary or semi-rotary die-cutting, slitting and rewinding, or sheeting and stacking, all in one pass. It is capable of printing on a variety of stocks, from tags to pressure-sensitive and Tyvek materials, typically self-adhesive stocks, wine label substrates, and PP, without any need for primer.’

Since installing the new presses, Daymark claims to have enjoyed a 15% hike in sales with no additional staffing costs or change in shift pattern.