One of the UK’s leading converter of pharmaceutical, healthcare, and medical labels has chosen a Mark Andy Digital One press as part of a major investment programme in technology and a new extension at its headquarters in Irvine, Scotland. CV Labels, which was founded in 1989, moved into the pharma market in 2008, following a major decline in Scotland’s electronics sector, which moved manufacturing to Eastern Europe and Asia.
CV Labels, co-founder and owner Robert (Bob) Veitch commented: “While we were able to grow our business in the electronics field, the pharmaceutical industry is far more stable – but it does require strict process controls with a highly trained work force.” Veitch brings all of his 45 years of label industry experience to bear on running a successful business that currently employs 24 staff and generates around £2.5m sales each year.
“Our plan is to double our sales by 2022, which is why we have just added a new 7,000sq/ft production hall dedicated to digital print – it will complement the three flexo presses we have,” he added. With son Ross and daughter Susan (Sales Director), Veitch is future-proofing his considerable investment. He commented: “Moving into pharma requires strict GMP processes, where safety and security are paramount– that’s why we are certified to PS9000 with 100% inspection processes.”
The decision to move into digital print was largely prompted by the ever-shortening run lengths that CV Labels is experiencing, with some jobs requiring as few as 100 – 200 metres of substrate. With customers requiring quality digital labels for pharma, Veitch knew he needed to look closely at what the market had to offer. “We looked at four or five different manufacturers, but chose Mark Andy because of their history and commitment to the label industry. Everything about the Digital One press was already well proven, and we liked the fact that we could print and convert in one pass,” he explained.
The servo driven Digital One is a dry toner-based press, that is designed to offer high quality at an entry level investment. It has a 330mm web width and can handle a variety of substrates, without the need to use the full web width. It prints CMYK at 1200dpi at speeds up to 19m/min, while its flexo station can add spot colour, varnishing, laminating, or cold foil, before die cutting and slitting. It is fitted with an air-cooled LED-UV lamp, and requires only a single-phase power supply.
CV Labels carried out extensive print trials on existing jobs with all of the manufacturers under consideration. “But, it was the samples we produced in Mark Andy’s UK showroom that were by far the best, with the black being particularly sharp,” according to Bob Veitch. Mark Andy was also the only manufacturer to offer a guarantee on any width of substrate up to 330mm. On the basis of these results, CV Labels ordered a Digital One at Labelexpo 2017 in Brussels and it was installed in November.
To date the company has run PP, standard label papers and light card through the press on run lengths from 30 to 900m. Most recently, PP with a metallised backing has been in use. Two other factors were key to CV Labels choosing the Mark Andy – first, there is no click charge, and second, the dies from the company’s existing flexo presses were all compatible.
“We see the crossover point between flexo and digital at around 1000m, depending on the job, but the capability of going to 330mm wide on the Digital One from 280mm on our flexo lines means that we have an increased capability, and our MIS software gives us a hands-on view of costings, which takes all the guesswork out of job planning,” explained Veitch. With ambitious plans for the company and the next generation of family management already in place, Bob Veitch sees the new Mark Andy as the first in a series of digital investments.
The company holds all of the key industry accreditations for its work, including PS 9000:2016 from the Pharmaceutical Quality Group (PQG), ISO 9001:2015 from BSI for GMP, and UL Certification for safety in product manufacturing. To ensure security, CV Labels is self-sufficient from studio to delivery, and as well as having full on-press inspection, it has invested in an Eye-C Proofiler, which digitally compares scanned print samples against proofs. It appears that CV Labels is well-equipped to face the challenges posed by its ambitious growth plans.