MPS open house marks sale of first EB press
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The sale of the first EB press from MPS Systems was celebrated with an open house held at the company’s UK headquarters in Wigan, where a detailed demonstration of the key features were shown to guests. Michal Lodej of FlexoTech reports.
Hank Arnold, owner of Limbus Labels and the very first EB customer, was in attendance at the two-day event in March. He bought the press for its efficiency and reliability, and said that the new purchase has already transformed the way his company runs. ‘The presses we ran before we invested in the EB were very old and continually needed repairs to keep them going. The difference we get with this press is that we will no longer have to work over the weekend, and can actually have a nine to five working day.’
The daily demonstrations of the press showed two different jobs being printed, with a focus on the ease of use for the operator. Every part of the press that needs to be changed between jobs is easily removable for quick changeovers.
Mr Arnold, who has been in the industry for many years and set up Limbus Labels three years ago, commented, ‘We do a lot of very short run very high quality work and the fast turnaround features on that machine are basically designed for the type of work that we do. And MPS has a reputation for quality which was also something that we were actively looking for when choosing a new press.’
A second customer, based in Northern Ireland, has also decided to invest in the EB press but could not be named at the time of writing.
MPS owner Eric Hoendervangers was on site in Wigan conducting the demos each day. He said, ‘Our new EB press is all about quality, productivity and ease of operation. For quality we have incorporated our well known crisp.dot technology; for productivity we have several features which increase speed and ensure that changeover waste is decreased dramatically; and for ease of operation, there are many aspects which really give the operator a machine that is extremely easy to work with.’
Nick Tyrer, MPS UK sales director, added, ‘In essence the machine will produce excellent quality self adhesive labels at the lowest cost price per thousand. It has been developed primarily for the label market and will inevitably be compared to our competitors’ offerings, but what we are hoping to achieve is for this press to distinguish itself on the market by being more cost effective in terms of the amount of waste that it produces, giving a lower cost of price per label.’
‘Many customers wanted a press with a lower investment level but with the same high MPS quality, and the EB press is that solution. The crisp.dot technology incorporated into the machine means that there is no connection at all between the impression cylinder and the substrate giving a frictionless print momentum,’ explained Mr Hoendervangers.
Impression control is configured using just one adjustment control handle, which includes a click function. This simple feature gives the operator another way by which to control the impression rather than just relying on sight. With iSet technology, not only the left and right pressure settings of the plate cylinder/anilox roller can be set, but also the parallel pressure settings.
The press also features the company’s latest digital servo-drive technology to allow the operator to set up jobs without automatic register control while a converting rail stretched across the length of the press means that rail units can be positioned anywhere on the press.
During the live demonstrations, the label design was changed. The first job ran with a cold foil application used inline with five colours, the second with just the four process colours, and the changeover was completed in just a few minutes before the press was up and running again.
The printing cylinders have a lightweight design, which makes job changeovers easier, and with iStop technology, the print cylinder and anilox roller will remain in print position while the press is stopped. Therefore once the press has stopped, for example after a roll change, and re-starts, the print units resume printing without any waste. When it comes to cleaning a print station, the doctor blades, anilox rollers and ink pans are all fitted with handles for easy removal.
With a configuration of up to 10 print stations, the EB press can also be equipped with a double die station suitable for front and reverse side die-cutting, sheeting and slitting. Various converting applications, such as web turner bar, de-lam/relam, and laminating solutions, including cold foil, can be implemented at any location along the press using its flexible positioning rail system.
Another feature in focus during the demo was the iStrip Matrix technology, which allows the press to die-cut and strip matrix at very high press speeds, which again helps to increase productivity.
MPS’ partners Avery Dennison, tesa, Paragon Inks, Cheshire Anilox Technology, Spilker, Prime Solutions and Reproflex3 were also on site to present information about their various press-related products and technologies.
Cheshire Anilox explained the benefits of its anilox rollers being used on the press. The company was showcasing its latest engraving technology which has been specially designed to improve print quality and overcome long standing flexo printing problems, such as UV spitting, pin holing and coverage.
Paragon Inks’ Ultra Low Migration (ULM) inks were part of the demonstration. The ULM series has a number of properties that make it ideal for use in food packaging and labels. The inks have a low migration compliancy of 10 ppb, are ISEGA tested, have a low odour and give an optimum print and on-press performance without the use of solvents.
After the event Mr Tyrer concluded, ‘We were enormously pleased to see such an enthusiastic turnout for the launch of the EB press at our open house event in Wigan, including printers who attended from as far as Jordan. Visitors’ reactions were very positive, especially with the cost-saving iStop technology which optimises stops and starts during printing, leaving zero waste.’