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Sunimprof Rottaprint invests in more Mark Andy technology

Any label converter that carries more than €750,000’s worth of stock, which equates to one month’s supply, may be considered a major player – when that company is in Romania, with its relatively small and undeveloped market, it makes an even larger statement. Nick Coombes reports from Cluj-Napoca.

As one of Romania’s flexo pioneers back in the early 1990s, Sunimprof Rottaprint has relied heavily on Mark Andy technology to build its narrow web business to a position of pre-eminence in the Romanian market. Now enjoying monthly sales of €1.7m and with a staff of 235 at its base in Cluj-Napoca, the company has more recently added a flexible packaging capability to its label business, and to help develop the skills of its workforce, it has the only Flexo Training School in the country.

Working triple shifts six days per week, the company, which built its reputation in the Romanian market, has now spread its wings to Hungary and Germany, and has sales offices in Bucharest, Brasov, Timisoara, and Moldavia. Claiming a 35% share of the domestic self-adhesive label market, General Manager Cristi Nechita Rotta said: “We anticipate that our export sales will rise from 25% of our business to 30% by the end of the year,” pointing to the company’s own distribution fleet of trucks which cover Europe on a daily basis and form a major element of the company’s customer commitment.

The production floor at Cluj is vast and crowded, with seven narrow web flexo presses, and a mid-web offset line. Moving up from the 280mm width Mark Andy LP3000, installed in 2005 and still producing top quality labels, the company opted for the 330mm size with its first Mark Andy Performance Series P5 in 2012, and has recently added two similarly specified eight-colour P5s.

Now one of Romania’s leading label converters, the company, which was established in 1991 by Arnella Rotta and her mother, provides a variety of printed labels and packaging items as well as automated labelling machines, thermal printers, ribbons, and label applicators to the Romanian packaging market. Other products available include PS and PP trays, stretch and sealing films, absorbent pads, and tray thermo sealing machines.

Over the years, print production has been carried out on a variety of narrow web presses, but of all manufacturers, Mark Andy has become the preferred choice, which has led to four of its presses being installed in the past 10 years. All have eight UV-flexo print units and a 330mm (13”) web width, and are fitted with delam/relam, web turn bars and chill drums, which are key to the company’s production of diary lids and dairy product wrappers. One of the presses also has Mark Andy’s Web Translator for the production of coupon labels.

The commitment to Mark Andy includes a service and maintenance contract with a built-in plan for press renewal. According to Sebastian Boureanu, of Mark Andy’s Romanian distributor GOS: “We have developed a very close relationship with Sunimprof Rottaprint over the years and supplied much of the technology in their production plant. When they first started, flexo was virtually unknown in Romania and there was little support for new ventures. Over the years our two companies have grown together through mutual respect and cooperation – and both are now successful.”

The Mark Andy Performance Series presses were chosen for the ease and speed with which they can be made ready for a new job, and the company is complimentary about the P5’s capabilities to maintain tight register at high speed across a range of substrates. With run lengths reducing and more added value required, the P5s are seen as efficient all-round production lines.

As Sunimprof Rottaprint grew in size, it took the decision to embrace the Kaizen strategic management technique and over a period of years instigated a programme to educate its personnel in this controlled working environment. Based on five pillars: quality and sustainability in partnership with customers and suppliers; performance compliant technology; efficient and effective operational flow; sustainable development projects; competent personnel devoted to company values; and safety, the system monitors and measures performance criteria, recording progress with management charts.

The aim is standardisation with a target of Total Quality Management. The results have been striking – a productivity boost of 38% in year 1, which resulted in an additional €190,000 sales, with 4,750 fewer hours worked, and sustained progress since. With the latest technology and a quantifiable management structure in place, Sunimprof Rottaprint seems set for continued growth in the market it serves.