Bopack benefits from press flexibility

French label converter Bopack has installed a 10in Mark Andy 4150 flexo line at its facility in Lorient. The new 10 colour press, which is fitted with Honle cold mirror UV, joins four other multi colour Mark Andy machines at the company. All but one of these has a 10in web width, and all have full UV curing.

Bopack director of operations Frédéric Boehlen says: “The advantage of Mark Andy equipment is its ability to combine techniques to produce clever labels – something different that distinguishes customers’ products from their competitors. We have a reputation for creativity and innovation, so we find the flexible production capabilities of the presses invaluable.”

The Lorient plant currently produces 95 per cent of its labels for the food industry, notably dairy and meat products. Working almost exclusively with paper based substrates, it is looking to develop and improve double and triple layer work.

“We are working closely with our customers on new concepts in multi layer products that have good eye appeal as well as offering either promotional opportunities, like book or duo labels, or re-usable hygienic packaging for re-sealing food products,” remarks Frédéric Boehlen. “We offer ‘scratch-off’ panels and work with or without lamination on paper and filmic materials, so the options are many.”

Known for its skill with UV curing, Bopack was one of the first label converters in France to commit fully to the technique; it also claims to have pioneered the use of digital plate making.

Producing labels more for manufacturers than retailers has given the company an insight into the broader scope of packaging. Re-sealable food packs, booklets, and coupons stretch the concept of a label into new areas of the market. By selling the creative capacity of its Mark Andy presses, it has been successful in persuading customers to develop new applications. In particular, Frédéric Boehlen pays tribute to the Mark Andy auto register system for reverse side printing, which, he claims, guarantees quality from first to last.

Colours increase

While he predicts that paper based substrates will continue to dominate food industry requirements, varnish or laminating is commonly used to enhance the multi colours now being demanded. Typically, he says, sandwiches are now packaged using eight or nine colours, where three or four would previously have sufficed.

The Lorient plant achieved ISO 9001 (version 2000) last year, and the cumulative know-how within the Bopack Group, and the close co-operation between its production plants throughout France and the Benelux is a valuable sales tool, he asserts.

“We have a variety of equipment and techniques across the group that is probably second to none. In addition to acting as a source of expertise, it creates an environment of friendly but keen competition, which, I believe, benefits our customers and us. We have a young and highly motivated workforce in the group, and because each plant has its own culture, Bopack is able to stay healthy and vibrant.”

The Bopack Group has two divisions, employs over 700 people and enjoys an annual turnover in excess of €120M. Label production is effected at six plants, which together use 70 presses, and techniques from flexo (UV and water based) to letterpress, rotary and flat screen, digital and hot foil.


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