JMB Labels widens its scope

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The arrival of a new MPS press and RotoControl slitter-rewinder has boosted production and service efficiencies at JMB Labels, reports KAREN STRETCH.

IT was at Labelexpo Europe some ten years ago that Aslam Monia, co-owner of JMB Labels, first laid eyes on an MPS servo-driven narrow-web press. To say he was impressed is an understatement: ‘From the moment I saw the MPS in action, I knew we had to have one!’ he declares. ‘It was the first of its kind in the global market and epitomised precision engineering and print excellence. At that time we were a small enterprise but I never lost sight of the dream – one day to be the proud owner of an MPS press.’ Fast forward ten years and Aslam’s dream has finally come true. JMB Labels is now the proud owner of an MPS 410mm narrow-web press, taking pride of place in the company’s 1 500m2 Amalgam, Johannesburg, factory.

JMB Labels Widens Its Scope

In addition, the business boasts an all-new RotoControl RSC 440 slitter-rewinder to handle its diverse finishing requirements. Both technologies are represented in South Africa by Rotocon, headed by Patrick and Pascal Aengenvoort, based in Gauteng and the Cape respectively, and Akhmuth Sayed in KwaZulu-Natal. ‘I couldn’t be happier,’ states Aslam. ‘This heralds a significant shift in our business model and I’m confident that both machines are going to spur new opportunities for JMB Labels in South Africa and beyond.’

Enduring business relationships
Founded in 1987 by Yousuf Monia, Aslam and Ahmed’s father, JMB Labels started life with one Mark Andy 2200 flexographic press. Early success was built on supplying plain and printed self-adhesive labels for the FMCG and retail markets and they soon invested in a second press, a Mark Andy LP 3000, to handle growing requirements. ‘We’ve built strong relationships with our customers, most of whom we’ve looked after for several years,’ Aslam explains. ‘As they’ve grown, so have we. Market trends have also evolved. Many products traditionally bearing self-adhesive labels are now presented in BOPP wraparound or shrink sleeve labels and, as a result, we’ve had to make changes to our business model to keep one step ahead and meet brand owners’ requirements.’

Aslam is quick to point out that he and Ahmed researched several presses that they considered had the potential to meet their needs. However, it was more than just technology that won MPS the deciding vote. ‘We visited MPS in Holland and were blown away by the press’s ultra-modern features and by the people who make it all happen. Just like JMB Labels, the company’s owners are involved in the day-to-day running of the business and driven by passion and pride. They made us feel at home and explained every aspect of their manufacturing and service philosophy. Our press operator, Ebrahim Mullah, spent three days training at the factory and was made to feel part of the family,’ recounts Aslam.  The new MPS has multi-substrate capabilities and can handle material thicknesses from 12µm to 450µm. A 410mm web width makes it ideal for the production of self-adhesive and shrink sleeve labels at speeds up to 200m/min.

Standard features include eight UV ink stations and two hot air driers for water-based ink, double die station, delam-relam and web turner bar, laminating and cold foil station and a film package for unsupported films. It’s also fitted with MPS lean inking technology, a single chamber inking system with auto-ink level control. Benefits of this system include low ink make ready and quick ink colour changes, as well as swift wash-up times. It also helps eliminate ink spitting or misting, even at very high speeds. Inks are mixed and supplied by Flint Group Narrow Web.

A fine finish
Super-fast and accurate finishing is also a reality at JMB Labels with the introduction of a RotoControl RSC 440 slitter-rewinder with servo drive technology, which can run self-adhesive labels and unsupported film for shrink sleeves.  Rotocon has had acclaimed success in South Africa with RotoControl machines and, says Aslam, he took heed of the many positive comments from his industry peers. ‘There are several excellent slitting and rewinding machines on the market, so we did our research before making our final decision. There were so many recommendations on RotoControl, our choice was very easy,’ he continues. ‘It’s designed to suit all labelling substrates, each with ease and speed. It was easy to install and has worked perfectly since day one. Our customers have definitely noticed significant improvements in the accuracy of our slits and our faster job turnarounds.’

Service and support goes hand in hand with new and existing printing equipment and ancillary materials and, once again, Aslam reiterates the importance of strong, long-standing and trusted business relationships. ‘We’ve built enduring alliances with all our suppliers, including the entire team at Rotocon. We trust their products and industry expertise and we know we’re getting the best for our business and, ultimately, for our customers,’ he concludes.

JMB Labels