The press offers flexo capability before and after the 1200dpi CMYK toner engine with converting options including die cutting, stripping, and slitting


This modern equipment allowed BP to specialize in short run folding carton work, typically 500 to 100,000 sheets but often with 20 or more SKUs. (Credit: Mark Andy Inc.)

“For our kind of work, the Digital Pro 3 stands head and shoulders above anything else on the market,” said Scott Cotten, President of BP Solutions based in Asheville NC.  The new Mark Andy press, which was installed in October 2022 is the company’s first step into labels, so it’s worth looking at the background of what brought about the change.

BP Solutions Group (BP) began life as Biltmore Press in 1925 in Asheville’s historic Biltmore Village. Robert P Williams, the founder, began with a small letterpress shop serving the community with personal stationery and business products, later expanding, and moving the company into the heart of downtown Asheville.  In the 1970s, his son Bob Williams, took over the company exploring new markets including mail services, print-on-demand, and fulfillment.  In 1995, the business moved into its current home – a 40,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in West Asheville.  Today, under the leadership of Scott Cotten, who joined the company in 1992, BP has expanded into packaging, labels, and data management technologies.

He takes up the story: “The early 2000s saw a dramatic change in the commercial print market. The internet had a major effect on the music industry and educational establishments that had been important business sectors for us. There was a lot of what I would call ‘copycat’ capability in the local area, which made it clear we needed to up our game.”  Upping their game resulted in an investment in a flatbed die cutter, folder-gluer and a half-size 6-color + coater Heidelberg CD 74 offset press.  This modern equipment allowed BP to specialize in short run folding carton work, typically 500 to 100,000 sheets but often with 20 or more SKUs.

This new capability alerted Cotten to the package print market, and with the growth of local craft breweries in the Asheville area, prompted by the natural water quality, he began to research what technology was available for short run labels.  “At that stage, and after two years of careful research, I came close to ordering one of Mark Andy’s Digital One toner/flexo hybrids, only for the local breweries to switch from bottles to cans and from labels to pre-print and shrink sleeves.”  What he didn’t know was that his research would prove invaluable a few years later when one of the company’s carton customers asked BP if they could also supply labels.

By this stage, Mark Andy had developed Digital One technology and launched Digital Pro 3, which was an even better fit for what BP needed.  Digital Pro is Mark Andy’s entry to mid-market digital printing, combining flexo with digital toner capability along with inline finishing and converting capabilities for single-pass production.  The press offers flexo capability before and after the 1200dpi CMYK toner engine with converting options including die cutting, stripping, and slitting.  The second flexo unit can be used for applying a spot color or varnish, laminating or cold foiling, and is fitted with an LED/UV curing unit.  The press has a small footprint, making it ideal for small or crowded print shops,  no ‘click charge’, which means a low cost-to-print, and with its 77 ft/min running speed, the DPro 3 is a good all-round production tool.

Since installing the DPro 3, BP has seen demand for labels grow consistently from its other carton customers, who all like the opportunity of a single-source supply, as well as opening–up new opportunities.

Source: Company Press Release