MPS installs first hybrid press at EDNN
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Premier launch at Etikettendrukkerij Noord-Nederland (EDNN) as it became the first printer in The Netherlands to expand its range of printing machines with a hybrid label press. MPS installed the EF SYMJET in the production hall at the beginning of this year, and the first orders have already started coming in. This is a great step for EDNN, who only had flexo print technology available in-house before this. We asked Director Gert Talen and General Director Vincent Belksma about the new possibilities available to them with the hybrid press.
EDNN was founded in April 2005 by Gert Talen, who had been working in the sector for several years at various printing companies. At first, he only had one 8-colour press in a smaller building down the road. In 2009 they moved to the current premises at Siemensstraat in Hoogeveen, where a second flexo press was added soon afterwards. In 2014, EDNN started looking into new possibilities to expand the activities of the printing business. Gert: "Back then we already started looking for a combination of digital and flexo, but the technology was not yet available in a single machine at the time. This is why we opted for a flexo press, our third machine."
Gert and his team discover the possibilities of the press ©Pakkracht
Good investment in hybrid
Up until the start of this year, the machinery at EDNN only included Mark Andy flexo machines, but EDNN wanted to make a transition to a combination between flexo and digital printing technology. "At some point we started considering where we want to be in a few years from now," continued Gert. "The market demands ad hoc delivery times, smaller print runs and variable printing. Customers are also increasingly demanding that you have the technology that they need available in-house. So we also wanted to limit outsourcing as far as possible in future and we therefore decided to take the step towards digital printing. It would be ideal for us to combine digital technology with some flexo applications that are frequently requested (blackmark, PMS colours, metallic gold and silver, etc.). But the combination that we had in mind was not possible in a single run until now. We had discussions with various stakeholders to see what possibilities were available. This ultimately led to us getting in touch with MPS and Domino, who joined forces to develop a hybrid press. This is exactly what we were looking for. A decision was quickly made and the papers were signed at Labelexpo 2017 in Brussels to make everything official, where the machine was also presented."
The MPS EF SYMJET is a rotary label press that combines two printing techniques: flexo printing and inkjet technology. The proven MPS flexo platform has been expanded with a Domino N601i uv inkjet. Inline finishing has also been added to the press. Vincent: "The combined technology is unique, but we also believe that this is the way forward for the label sector. We have now become even more flexible and the machine can reach speeds of up to 70 metres per minute. The MPS EF SYMJET combines the best of both technologies and we no longer need a separate finish line."
Service close at hand
After years of using machines from a different manufacturer, EDNN has now opted for a new supplier. We asked Gert and Vincent what was the reason behind this decision. "Even though the hybrid press has been the most significant investment for us, our decision was also based on the people behind it all. Service has been an important aspect in our considerations. The presence of MPS and Domino in the Netherlands was already a plus, we respect the Dutch roots of MPS, and we know that the company produces reliable flexo machines. The switch to digital was also a conscious decision, which had nothing to do with the fact that we would become the first to use this specific machine. We attached great value to Domino's years of experience with inkjet technology, as this British company already has many machines in the market and they embody confidence. When you have a new machine you often tend to run into problems in the beginning, so it is important that we have the people who can help us close at hand."
EDNN has become very prominent. They are not only the first to use a digital press, they are also the first in the Benelux to combine flexo and digital printing in the form of a hybrid press. It goes without saying that this has gained considerable attention in the label printing world. "We went to regular customers to show them the results of the new press. They were all very positive about the quality and consider it an improvement in the range we have available. This press allows us to create even more beautiful labels. While the machine was being installed, we were already dealing with the first prospective customer. The new technology that we now have available in-house has been decisive for him. This customer wanted transparent labels with a blackmark on the back. At present we are the only ones in the market that can print both the back and the front in a single run. We are still in the phase where we need to get to know the press, but we also have to deliver orders every week. This pressure actually allows us to get to know the machine much faster. It is a different way of working, but we are already well on our way. During the day we produce orders, and in the evening we often try different things to see what the machine is capable of."
The pressure at EDNN has reached peak level now that the new press is operational, but the team is taking it all in its stride, in keeping with the down-to-earth philosophy that is in place at the company. "We are a small and flexible team, so we can switch quickly when it is necessary," declared Vincent. "It is very nice to be able to fall back on that during times like this." Gert added: "We will not allow ourselves to be easily affected. We are also one of the few printing companies that still work with day services. But the new machine has brought opportunities as well as challenges with it, so now it's only a matter of getting going." All in all, EDNN has now added a large USP since the machine has been installed. "This is an important step, especially as a small player in the market. We have also noted that we get a lot of questions from the market about the machine and we have become a sort of 'demo house' for customers of MPS and Domino. So yes, everyone is watching us, even though we are only a small business in Drenthe," Gert concluded with a smile.
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