Same Press, Separate Routes
Three European printers show the diverse usage avenues one versatile pressthe Arsoma EM 410can take.
By Susan Friedman
Landscapes, languages, driving on M-roads vs. the autobahnall are differences one would expect to encounter when visiting England and Switzerland.
But three label printers operating in these countries reveal further contrasts. On the surface, they are like-minded: Each is wrestling with constrictive price pressures, and none want to get so caught up in productivity that they lose sight of quality level goals. Contrasts crop up in their growth strategies, which may involve new or existing customers, specialization or diversification, innovation or investment.
The Arsoma EM 410 press from Gallus has proven flexible enough to be the common denominator in these varying market approaches. The 16", 500 fpm EM 410 offers flexo and UV flexo printing, rotary screen printing, rotary hot foil stamping, rotary and flatbed diecutting and reverse side printing, as well as options in varnishing, laminating and structure embossinga versatile platform that becomes a springboard for diverse usage avenues.
Flexibility to follow opportunity
At Polestar Hannibal, the self-adhesive (or pressure-sensitive) label sector of the Polestar Group in Thurmaston, Leicester, England, the Arsoma EM 410 illustrates an open willingness to take the business in whichever direction core customersprimarily in the food, household and confectionary goods marketslead.
Describing competition for customers as so intense "you have to put barriers around them," Managing Director Bob Blow stresses printers can't afford to be rigid and miss opportunities within a customer's total requirements. For longtime client Nestlé, for example, Polestar Hannibal recently expanded its services beyond printing self-adhesive labels to include printing laminates and converting plain labels.
"The label business is changing in that lots of work run on a label press is not labels," Blow says. "Label presses are becoming general narrow-web machines."
Up until this spring, Polestar Hannibal's fleet of seven pressesoffering flexo, letterpress and rotary screen printingincluded one Arsoma EM 410 running both water-based and UV flexo.