OEM Mark Andy (St. Louis, Missouri) has released new features for its digital press line, Digital Pro, launched in August of 2019 with Digital Pro 1 (a roll-to-roll solution) and Digital Pro 3 (an inline digital hybrid press with a single flexo station and die cutting). The product line was originally built to accommodate short-run work, but is now capable of additional converting functions. First to market was a second optional print station, available before the print engine, on both the Digital Pro 3 and Digital Pro 1 models.
“Digital Pro’s base hybrid configuration supports over 80% of prime label applications. However, the ability to reverse print or lay flexo inks and coatings prior to digital, opens up a lot of opportunities,” said Chandler Davis, Market Manager-Digital at Mark Andy. “This especially rings true when you look at the added opacity on clear and metallized films, or jobs that may use multiple spot colours in a single run.” The print station adds 30 inches of machine footprint and uses UV LED curing technology. A private-label ink, performance-certified by Mark Andy and powered by Siegwerk, ProWhite is currently available through Mark Andy’s Print Products Division.
Alongside the print station, three unique conveyor packages were released to Digital Pro customers and are backwards-compatible with over 140 Digital One machines in operation globally. The conveyors perform basic to advanced roll-to-sheet applications, which Mark Andy reports a surge in demand for, from end users. Operators can cut 2” – 14” sheets, convey into an output receptacle or shingling table, and batch sheets into set quantities.
Label manufacturers also now have the option to outfit a bypass module to their Digital Pro 3. With this feature, printers can web the press to bypass the digital engine, and use the machine as a standalone finishing device in addition to a digital label press. The bypass boosts press speeds by 35% to 110 fpm (33.5 mpm) and reduces cost of operation and consumable wear when the digital module is not printing. The final update was a crush-knife assembly for slitting. Crush knives are ideal for many applications – and the primary benefit is faster set-up times and cleaner edge-slitting. The system supports up to 8 knives in the cartridge and achieves a minimum lane size of ½ inch (12.7 mm). All features are available on future press builds, and can be added to existing machines in the field, said the company. “When we said this platform was future-proof, we meant it,” Davis added. “Our team is constantly listening, learning, and pushing the limits of what Digital Pro can tackle. We’ve done a lot in the last 8 months of product commercialization, and have much more on our roadmap into the future.”