MPS updates EF label press

MPS Systems has updated its EF narrow web flexo press, now into its seventh generation, with a new version that promises better connectivity as well as a number of overall improvements.

MPS has updated its EF narrow web flexo label press, now in its seventh generation.

The press is available in four sizes: 340mm, 430mm, 530mm and a new 580mm that should cater for those also looking to expand into packaging. It runs at 200mpm and takes substrates from 15 to 450 microns and is suitable for the usual applications such as self adhesive labels, shrink sleeves, multi-layer labels and blister lidding. 

MPS has made some overall improvements to the press, such as a new slide-out ink drawer for faster changeovers, which is standard on all machines. There’s a new MPS E-sleeve with quick release, essentially a full aluminium sleeve and mandrel that’s said to deliver predictable print quality, easier and faster job changeovers, and longer lifetime for the tooling. The press also boasts advanced job memory, M2M Mark-to-Mark register, more robust rail units, standard finger bar safety protection, and ergonomic improvements.

However, the main new feature is MPSConnect, which monitors the printing press performance through hundreds of sensors. These process information such as web speed, web tension, power usage, register & pressure settings, alarm messaging, humidity and environmental temperature. The system is connected back to MPS via the Internet, with MPS offering customers tailored advice based on the data collected from their press on things such as how to cut down on waste and how improve on production speed and uptime. 

This will almost certainly require an ongoing subscription cost and fits in with a general trend of press manufacturers looking to squeeze extra revenue from each press following on from the difficult sales of the last two years during the pandemic. In my view, this sort of service makes most sense on a press running ECG inks, since reducing the number of job changeovers is still the most effective way to improve productivity. That said, there is an argument that this kind of service makes a converter less dependent on the skills of individual operators.

The press also gains a new operator monitor and operator dashboards, which allow operators to log in individually, and to set the machine up for their own tastes, and to store those settings for different jobs. This dashboard promises to give the operator easy access to information such as press performance, manuals, and videos about best practices. There’s also a management dashboard that can show items such as press performance trends, analytics, and benchmarking. 

As standard it comes with a number of MPS technologies, including Crisp.Dot, iStop and Quick Change Die Station. In addition, it uses MPS’ Ultra-flex rail system so that it’s relatively easy to add additional units, for example, for screen printing, foiling, die cutting and so on, all of which can be positioned at any position along the rail.

In addition, there’s an advanced Automation option which gives full servo drive automation for all print pressure settings. This will be particularly useful for anyone planning on running filmic materials and should allow the press to run faster even with the thinner stocks.

Atze Bosma, CEO of MPS Systems, commented: “Having a state-of-the-art printing press in your production is great. However, this press alone doesn’t make you win the race. To be even more successful in the future, connectivity is key.” He added: “The MPS EF next generation press puts printers in pole position. The new and improved features of the EF plus the collection and analysis of performance data through MPSConnect and Performance Programs will drive their success formula for profit.”

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