UK tape and label converting specialist Prima has installed a 340mm Mark Andy Evolution Series E5 flexo press at its headquarters in Orpington, London. The new six-colour UV flexo line will provide extra print capacity to coincide with Prima’s newly attained BRCGS Grade A rating for food safety, achieved at the first attempt.

Established in 1966, Prima Tapes & Labels moved into label production following the installation of a Mark Andy 2200 press in 1994. That 254mm six-colour machine sits alongside two other 2200 flexo lines, one of which has both water-based and UV ink capability. According to the co-owner of the business, Julian Lee, the initial choice of a Mark Andy 2200 Series was made on its unmatched balance of price and performance, and this has been substantiated by the fact that it is still in daily operation.

Co-owner of Prima, David Lee, said that due to Mark Andy’s support over the years, and reliable success with its 2200 Series and 830 Series presses, when the company needed more capacity, Mark Andy was its first option. Installed in a newly created production area of the company’s fully self-sufficient 5000sqm facility, the new Evolution Series E5 is one of Mark Andy’s ‘scalable’ range of flexo presses for the label market.

Speaking for Mark Andy, UK sales manager Phil Baldwin, explained that the Evolution Series is designed to complement the workflow needs of label converters. It’s a versatile press, he added, capable of being upscaled as the need requires and will handle a range of products from prime labels to tags, tickets, filmics, in-mould labels, lids, and shrink sleeves.

The new E5 press at Prima is a full UV press, capable of 230m/min on substrates from 12 to 300 micron. It has a print repeat of 140 to 610mm and an unwind and rewind capacity of 1016mm. In addition, it has an overhead rail system to accommodate pressure sensitive lamination and foil wind-up for cold foil application. The Evolution Series E5 is fitted with a vertical die station, a sheeting die station, and a dual rewind.

The newly acquired BRC rating and added capacity will allow growth of the company’s business within the UK’s supermarket supply chain, it said.

Currently, Prima’s annual output is split 50:50 tapes and labels, but David Lee says the label side has more potential for growth, while the company’s knowledge in tape manufacture and adhesives will continue to provide a strong financial base for this.