PBM Graphics turns to Mark Andy for packaging, label and trading card printing

By David Ward, San Diego, Monday 02 April 2012

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Durham, NC-based PBM Graphics announced the install of a Mark Andy Performance Series P7 flexographic press as it looks to build on its packaging, labeling and collectible trading card business.

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PBM, which is part of Consolidated Graphics, said the new flexo press is the first Mark Andy P7 to be custom-engineered outside of standard press specifications with a larger 30" pattern repeat, and is the only unit with Electron Beam (EB) adhesive curing technology on a flexo footprint.

"We looked at quite a few different manufacturers and Mark Andy was the company we chose, mostly for reputation, but also for a willingness to re-engineer a press to our specifications," David Eastwood, PBM's Director of Technology and Innovation, told PrintWeek, adding that the new press will not be replacing any existing equipment on the production floor.

The Mark Andy P7 is said to provide several advantages over traditional flexo presses, including minimal ink usage and reduced waste. It is also designed to handle very thin film substrates, including overwraps on collectible trading cards using fin seals, specialized packaging applications, prime labels and unsupported films for bottle wraps.

Its EB curing technology provides clarity in plastic-to-plastic lamination and scuff resistance to labels, and the press modification permits graphical effects with foil, all improving the aesthetic effects and appeal.

Eastwood suggested the new press will enable PBM to better serve the evolving needs of its customers, especially on the packaging side. "What you're seeing in packaging is a demand for more unique items, with better finishes, some unique designs and more eye-catching product pieces," he added.

PBM operates both packaging and fulfillment operations out of a 600,000sq ft facility while also producing educational products, publications, and sales materials for the healthcare industry as well as general commercial print.

It has also carved out a strong niche in the trading cards associated with the entertainment and sports industries and while Eastwood would not comment on any trends in trading cards sales in the US, he did note: "For PBM it's an important part of our business - it's definitely one of our higher end lines."

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