South African self-adhesive label specialist sees sustainability and quick platemaking benefits as key to the success of the investment
Based in the Western Cape province of South Africa, Multi-Color Corporation (MCC) Paarl is a global leader in premium label solutions. The MCC brand is one of the world’s largest and most awarded label printers, and its Paarl division, with 140 staff at the heart of its business, delivers high quality adhesive labels to customers from a range of industries, including wine and spirits, personal care, and food and beverage. Since December 2020, MCC Paarl has been utilising Fujifilm’s Flenex FW and C-Touch plate processor as part of its label production, with immediately impressive results.
“Given the stature of our brand, we are always dealing with high levels of demand for our products,” says Michelle Coetzee, Pre-Press Manager at MCC Paarl. “Predominantly, we are producing low volume, short runs with a fast turnaround time to market – this includes premium quality wine and spirit labels, with innovative embellishments and finishes.”
Alongside its reliable and highly regarded products, MCC is also known for its dedication to sustainability. The company is striving to reduce its energy and water usage, as well as the waste it sends to landfill. “With our desire as a business to unearth innovations that meet today’s sustainability needs, we know that our own production facilities must reflect that,” continues Coetzee. “We became aware of Fujifilm’s Flenex FW plates last year and the water-wash credentials really appealed to us. We tested Flenex FW alongside plates from another producer at our factory and decided to introduce the Flenex FW product into our daily operations. We spoke with the sales team at Fujifilm, who were great to deal with, and they offered us an equipment deal as well, which included the C-Touch processor. Overall, it was a very attractive package.”
Coetzee has been impressed with the performance of Flenex FW since its arrival at MCC Paarl in December 2020. “We’re using Flenex FW for self-adhesive label production on a range of flexo presses and different substrates. Since using Fujifilm’s water-wash plates as an alternative to solvent when re-making plates that are damaged on press, we’ve seen dramatic time savings in platemaking – previously, it could take up to two-and-a-half hours to produce plates with our solvent system, but with Fujifilm’s Flenex FW and C-Touch water-wash system, we’re getting plates produced in forty minutes. This means the downtime on Press when waiting for a plate re-make is drastically reduced.”
“We’re also seeing a greener solution working effectively, which is important to our ethos as a business, but as an added bonus, we are also seeing that the softer Flenex FW plate for solid laydowns on our older presses has allowed us to eliminate gear marks in a lot of cases.”
“Thanks to Flenex FW and the C-Touch processor, we’re seeing a quicker turnaround on getting our high-quality products to market, and less downtime on our presses, which has increased our capacity and enabled us to print more labels in a shorter space of time. All in all, we’ve got a green plate alternative for re-make plates that allows us to work much more efficiently with no compromise on quality.”
Ian Isherwood, Label and Packaging Business Manager at Fujifilm Graphic Systems EMEA says: “MCC Paarl is part of a major global brand and they have recognised that incorporating more sustainable methods is vital to staying relevant as a company, and to protect the earth. We’re delighted they have seen such immediate production benefits through Flenex FW, and we’re looking forward to continuing to help them to grow their business into the future.”