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Germark chooses BOBST inkjet and flexo printing technology to boost quality and capacity

Germark has optimized its production floor with the investment in a BOBST Mouvent LB702-UV digital inkjet press and a BOBST MASTER M5 inline flexo press. These strategic investments will give the leading Spanish label specialist more flexibility to address the widest range of applications and offer faster delivery times for customers in the health & beauty, pharma, and industrial sectors.

Located in Barcelona, Germark S.A. employs 115 staff and posted a turnover for 2021 of almost €14mio across its Labels and Systems divisions. Labels account for 70% of the business; the remaining 30% is made up from the design and development of its own brand of labelling systems. The main client base, over 50%, is found in the highly demanding cosmetics market.

The family-owned company was founded in 1958 and today has representatives in 20 countries around the world, with 27% of production going to export. Having been instrumental in pioneering premium self-adhesive label production in Spain, Germark was among the first label converters in the country to adopt digital printing technology more than 20 years ago, when it installed an early model toner press. More digital technology has been implemented over the years, including the first foray into inkjet in 2019.

More than just manufacturing labels, Germark operates as a packaging consultant supporting customers right from the initial design stage through to the final product to achieve their goals at minimum cost. A strong sustainability focus underpins its mission to invest in best-in-class technology that helps minimize waste and reduce the carbon footprint of print production.

Trailblazer in label production

Continually investing and expanding, Germark currently runs nine printing presses and four finishing lines at its 7000 sqm large facility in Cornellà de Llobregat, on the outskirts of Barcelona. With ISO 9001 and 14001 certifications, as well as BRCGS for packaging materials, it is the only label converter in Spain to comply with the AuditOne Packaging Standard, which allows the company to work with the biggest cosmetics brand owners in the world, including P&G, Unilever, L’Oréal, and Johnson & Johnson.

“We have a long and proven expertise in the label industry, and we are always investing heavily in R&D to drive innovation, so we need the right technology to match our ambition,” said Germark’s Managing Director, Iban Cid, who took over from his father nearly 25 years ago. “We started our partnership with BOBST with an LB702-UV inkjet press, which we saw as the next step in our digital evolution, and it has been extremely successful. Now we have also invested in BOBST’s highly digitalized flexo technology, which fits perfectly with our strategy and sustainability objectives.”

More inkjet and flexo power

The highly productive seven-color LB702-UV inkjet press at Germark prints in CMYKOV+W at up to 100 m/min (45 m/min with digital white for 70% opacity) with low setup times, giving the company the extra digital capacity and faster turnaround they needed. Quality has also been boosted with BOBST’s proprietary inkjet technology which delivers a resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi to guarantee sharp images, vibrant colors, fine lines, and smooth gradients. Another important benefit is the ability to print on the clear and metallized materials used for label production for the cosmetics industry without the need for a digital primer.

Mr. Cid explained, “The main advantage of the new inkjet machine was moving from our existing 600 x 600 dpi capability to a higher level as it helps us meet the extremely high quality-demands from cosmetics brands. Being able to print at 1200 x 1200 dpi at a cost-efficient level also eradicates the difference between inkjet and toner. Add to that the high-speed digital white and the low waste and you have a real game-changer. In fact, the LB702-UV, another first for Spain, is the most profitable press on our production floor.”

While Germark has a strong focus on digital printing, Mr Cid is also still investing in the company’s fleet of conventional presses to accelerate opportunities. During a visit to the Bobst Firenze Competence Center, in Italy, to experience the full oneLABEL portfolio of flexo, digital and All-in-One technology in person, the MASTER M5 inline flexo press caught his eye and he quite quickly made the decision to buy one to replace an older machine.

Billed as the ultimate digitalized flexo press, the multi-process MASTER M5 offers unrivalled productivity due to its many automation features, which significantly reduce setups times and waste. Fitted with UV-LED curing, the 200 m/min press also saves Germark 60% in energy consumption for even better sustainability. In addition, the Combo Coupon feature was chosen, enabling multi-layer labels to be produced at 150 m/min in one pass.

“We’re already working towards maximizing automation in all our production processes, data management and energy consumption,” he said. “BOBST’s central strategy of digitalization, automation, connectivity, and sustainability is reflected in the MASTER M5, so there was no doubt in my mind that this machine was what we needed to update our flexo department.”

Value-sharing partnership

Germark has built its foundation on three pillars: quality, innovation, and service; values that are closely aligned with those of BOBST. Both companies are leaders in innovation, steering the label industry towards a profitable and sustainable future, with more automation and digitalization.

“BOBST is a well-known and trusted supplier across the world. Over the past three years, we have greatly benefitted from their innovative technology and will no doubt continue to do so,” said Mr. Cid. “Our close collaboration with FEIMAR, the authorized distributor agent in Spain, has also been crucial as they have guided us through the whole process from decision-making and specification to installation, ramp-up and stabilization of the press.”

“As a leader in label innovation, Germark has been setting the agenda in Spain for many years, and we are proud that they have chosen BOBST as their partner for the future,” said Carlos Santos, Iberia General Manager at BOBST. “BOBST label presses, whether they are digital, flexo or All-in-One, represent the best and most flexible options for any label printing company and Germark is clearly reaping the rewards.”