Bristol-based Kingfisher Labels has installed a Mark Andy Digital Pro 3 press at its production facility in Yate, Bristol, as the company looks to adapt its production capabilities through ‘ongoing investment in new technology,’ adhering to its customer’s needs.  

Established in 1996 by Martin Jackson and Stan Gladwin with two Mark Andy 830 presses, the company is now run by Karl Jackson and Andy Watts in a 22,000sq/ft industrial unit that houses three flexo lines and the new hybrid Mark Andy Digital Pro 3.

With both water-based and UV ink capacity in up to 10 colours and finishing techniques including reverse side printing, multiple varnishing options, spot coating and cold foil, the company was already set-up to meet a range of jobs. The exception to this was a digital printing option.

Following demand for digital print from its customers, the company decided to install the Digital Pro 3 to provide a different capability to its flexo presses. ‘We have many micro-breweries locally whose requirements typify the artisan product market and highlight the need for digital capability. It’s not unusual to be asked for 10,000 labels of 12 or 13 different designs,’ said Mr Jackson.

Once the decision to invest in a digital press was made, with a need to streamline production as far as possible, Kingfisher reasoned that a hybrid offering inline finishing would best suit its requirements. The Digital Pro 3 is Mark Andy’s second version of its Digital One press, that combines a toner-based CMYK engine with the option of flexo print stations, along with die-cutting, waste-stripping and slitting for single-pass production.

Speaking for Mark Andy, sales manager Phil Baldwin explained, ‘The Digital Pro 3 offers the best of both worlds because it utilises well-proven technology that is supported by Mark Andy’s technical expertise. We have now installed more than 350 worldwide.’

Designed as a low cost-to-print press, the Digital Pro series is said to offer a 1200dpi resolution at 23.4m/min across substrates from paper to BOPP, PET and PP films and vinyl, without the need for priming or coating. The flexo units can be used for spot colour or varnish, as well as cold foil, and an onboard air-cooled LED/UV unit gives it a small overall footprint, with no need for a clean-room environment.

‘We are looking to grow our digital business with the Digital Pro 3, but just as important is that it will give us the opportunity to free-up space on our flexo presses for longer run work.  What we especially like is the colour quality that matches our flexo and allows us to switch jobs from one to the other as needed,’ concluded Mr Watts.