QLM adds three Mark Andy presses

QLM adds three Mark Andy presses
Common width presses add efficiencies in Australia, HP Indigo platform upgraded, older presses moving to Malaysia, Vietnam

QLM Label Makers has completed a $2.5m investment, including three new Mark Andy flexo presses.


The presses will add to its existing Mark Andy P5 for the company’s Brisbane, Australia facility, while QLM has also upgraded the finishing equipment for its HP Indigo digital platform in Melbourne, Australia.


The Gallus presses the company are replacing will be redistributed within the QLM Group to more suitable sites in Malaysia and Vietnam, where the company says they will provide a common platform and additional production capacity to the already established lines.


Peter Woods, Chief Operating Office for Asia Pacific, says, “We are looking for opportunities for local growth and are proactively investing in streamlining our machinery platform across all our sites.”  


Simon Pugh, CEO, QLM Group says that that investment in their local plants is all about greater efficiency and productivity.


He says, “This investment provides us with presses that are a common width, allowing us to alternate jobs and get better efficiencies. What we have now is the flexibility to switch jobs between presses and this has delivered improved lead times.”


“This installation provides an additional 33 per cent capacity to the Brisbane Flexographic printing capability.


“This is achieved through one additional press and the streamlining of a common print platform.”


Andrew Siwicki, general manager, Australia QLM, says, “The decision to go with a complete Mark Andy suite of presses for Brisbane was made because we wanted a platform that would propel us to be in the higher section of what can be achieved in the industry. Before the upgrade we were struggling to improve the performance of our presses in Brisbane.  The prior success of the P5 was critical in choosing machinery.


The market is highly competitive and to compete your machinery needs to be current, efficient and relevant.


For us, that relevance was switching to common width presses, which has allowed us to get more consistency and efficiency. The ability to move jobs across a common platform has increased our speed to market because we are not feeling pressure on any one press, and we have seen a dramatic improvement in lead times.”


Siwicki confirms that all machinery is now in and operating.  


“The factory remained operational throughout the installation process, and with minimal impact on customer lead times. As one press was installed or replaced, the next began. Without doubt, it was the smoothest commissioning of any machine in the QLM Group's history.


“Naturally you expect to face some hurdles, but the reaction time and how quickly Mark Andy personnel responded made everything very straight forward. We have had more disruption in the past installing just one machine, than commissioning our entire platform change,” says Siwicki.


The Melbourne Indigo site has added an upgraded in-line coating unit for one of the HP Indigo Label presses, alongside an in-line digital finishing system with offering foil, raised-screen varnish, embossing and die-cutting.


Siwicki says it was a good decision for the business and that QLM always invests heavily back into print technology and people, to ensure the company continues to be one step ahead.


“For Melbourne, the addition of the Bro-Tech Finishing system consolidates disparate finishing systems with a single pass in-line varnish, foil, raised screen and die-cutting solution, providing much greater productivity and reducing down-time for the two HP Indigo digital presses.


“The investment strategy of QLM reflects its commitment to increasing productivity and reducing down-time,” he says.


QLM Label Makers is an Australian company with headquarters in Brisbane. It employs 92 locally and has a total of 560 staff across seven plants in six countries around the Asia Pacific.


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