Find out what Andy has been up to in Linerless labelling and how he is coping during lockdown!
Name: Andy Clark
Company Role: Sales Manager - Linerless
Favourite quote: Measure twice, cut once.
How is ProPrint handling the current Covid-19 crisis, and how has this affected Linerless?
ProPrint have prioritised working together with all staff. We have implemented safe working protocols, including hygiene and social distancing measures. As Linerless labelling is mostly used for commodity food items, we have seen the huge spike in demand for retail products that is well publicised. We have handled high demand by sourcing raw materials in advance in a responsible manner. This has allowed us to meet customer needs very efficiently, retaining agility and delivering packaging against very short lead-times - often within 48 hours. We know we are supplying a highly important sector in the current crisis, playing our part in helping to feed the nation. Our shop floor staff have been FANTASTIC - working flexible shift patterns to hit customer requirements on time and in full.
Can you tell us more about your role at ProPrint Group?
The first phase of introducing linerless was to carefully train staff on specific production and application. I worked closely with our studio team to provide thorough training on the detailed cutter key-lines required. We mapped a clear process within ProPrint Group’s lean manufacturing framework on the presentation of linerless artwork files.
Following the successful installation and full testing of the Ravenwood equipment, my role become a lot more customer-focused. I was let loose in the marketplace to gather honest feedback, and have spent a lot of time speaking to linerless users about their needs.
I work closely with our proactive team, joining updates with customers. ProPrint Group has a really cohesive and enjoyable culture, so we collaborate to ensure all our customers have full technical support.
It is also extremely important that we work very closely with the team at Ravenwood Packaging. Printing linerless labels successfully really is all about knowledge sharing with every stakeholder to make sure our customers get the absolute best service.
How did you get involved with Linerless and what is your experience in the industry?
I’ve worked in print for almost 20 years and have helped to introduce many new Linerless users into the market. Having experience helps this transition to run as smoothly as possible. My involvement with linerless began early on when a previous employer invested heavily in Linerless printing. This gave me the opportunity to learn a lot more about production in detail, as well as the application and suitability of the process.
"As General Manager I gained experience in everything from procurement, specifications, team training as well as sales. Mostly, I learnt what clients really needed."
It gave me a great understanding of all the components required to make Linerless work as smoothly as possible for customers. I still work hard to continue to study all the finest details of the process, as well as testing new inventive ways to implement Linerless packaging technology.
Why do you think there is such a lot of growth in Linerless labels?
The amount of products in retail chillers using Linerless labels has really expanded. This packaging application has now become a norm, as well as having developed in many instances into a more premium finish. Companies now realise they can use this label/pack type to match their competitors aesthetically on shelf.
It is cost effective...
Normally there is a cost saving on labels by making the switch. This is because we buy raw materials direct and no siliconised glassine liner is needed in the production process.
It is sustainable...
This is such a key topic in packaging. Using linerless eliminates unrecyclable liner waste going into landfill. Even better, the absence of the liner reduces packaging weights and so the carbon footprint.
Application is faster...
Running speeds are vastly improved, whether it’s switching from a self-adhesive label or a standard Litho sleeve. (Up to 150 packs per minute for some applications.)
It improves automation.
Lots of standard sleeves are still applied by hand, requiring many people on each line. The Ravenwood applicator can automate this process whilst also date coding inline.
Is the cost of switching to Linerless really worth it and why?
The “Pay Back” time on the investment into Linerless in most cases is short, due the savings made on label costs and labour savings.
When comparing linerless labels to sleeves, there is no need to manually predate any sleeves ready for that day’s production. This is because the Nobac linerless label applicators print date codes inline. All Linerless packaging is printed inline on demand. It hugely reduces any sleeve waste by having to dispose of unusable predated sleeves at the end of the day.
What do you like about working for ProPrint Group?
When I was first introduced to ProPrint Group I was really impressed by the team ethic and the systems they already had in place. The overall mentality of the company is very forward-thinking. Proprint Group always put customers first, which has always been my main driver. Its great to work for a company who have the same high levels of expectation when it comes to customer service. It really does help to achieve overall job satisfaction. I know that I can confidently say YES to a customer with the assurance that our promises will be kept, and deadlines taken seriously.
Why is the relationship between ProPrint Group and Ravenwood Packaging so important?
The relationship between Ravenwood Packaging and Proprint Group is extremely important. Collectively we offer a reliable, seamless system to the customer. We need to work very closely to make the process work as smoothly as possible. Ravenwood bring their expertise on the machinery and likewise, we provide knowledge of print and application. If a customer brings an opportunity or even an issue to us, we all sit around a table and discuss how we can help. It’s a very short loop and we are able to get answers and solutions in place very quickly.
Why buy linerless labels from ProPrint Group specifically?
The key benefit of working with Proprint in the linerless market is the service level that we offer. We predominantly return quotes in 30 minutes and send order confirmations 15 minutes from order placement. PDF’s are usually sent back out for approval same day. We deliver final printed goods to suit customer’s needs. Whether this is in a few days or several weeks, we can take care of it.
ProPrint Group are also signed up to the Ravenwood “circle of linerless”. This means we promise to only ever use Ravenwood approved materials. End users have complete assurance that our linerless labels will perform consistently to recommended speeds.
What do you get up to in your spare time when not answering questions about Linerless?!
I have two little girls (3 and 2 years old) so any spare time is at a premium! Despite our customers needing extra support at present, it has also been great to spend more time at home with the girls. They’ve been learning about colours so keeping the theme consistent!
On the rare occasion I’m allowed, I like the to follow the Tigers (Hull City) as well as being a keen Hull Fc Rugby league supporter, so I’ll be happy to see some sport again once this situation has passed.
We also have family living in Cornwall, so when not on lockdown we enjoy taking regular trips to that part of the country. We will really look forward to being able to visit our family as soon as we can.