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Benson Group moves into pharma labels sector

Folding carton specialist Benson Group, UK packaging company of the year, has announced details of its first move into the pharmaceutical labels sector with the purchase of a Gallus EM340S printing press with a Scantech VisionTrack rewind and inspection machine for its pharmaceutical-focused Medica Packaging business in Crewe, Cheshire.

The company cites customer demand as being the key driving factor behind the move. "We are now able to offer pharmaceutical customers the creation of cartons, leaflets and labels all from one production site. We do not believe that any other business in the UK is able to offer this single site production focus for pharma customers," said Mark Kerridge, Benson Group Managing Director. "Single site production helps to ensure consistency of print quality across all three elements, as well as offering customers the facility to purchase a complete packaging "kit". For many pharmaceutical companies a single site audit also offers significant benefits."

The seven-color Gallus EM340S UV-Flexographic press, is capable of a wide range of pharmaceutical label production formats, including reverse printing, printing on adhesive, edge slit, in-line die cutting, as well as printing onto a wide range of substrates, from paper to unsupported film, with weights from 25 microns through to 400 microns. The flexibility of the machine means that other printing processes and label formats such as silk screen, foil blocking and "peel 'n' read", can be added to the machine at anytime. Print production will use Benzophenone free, low-odor printing inks, suited for both food and pharmaceutical packaging requirements. Anticipated average production speed of the machine is in the region of 80 meters per minute.

Quality assurance is very much to the fore with the new machine, and the production system that is being put in place around it. Medica has installed a press comparator system in order to compare the "first off" print production pass to a customer approved PDF - a move that the company believes is a first in the pharmaceutical label market. A camera system on the press then allows a live visual check of every printed label for the machine operator during the production run.

The Scantech rewind machine will also be equipped with the latest 100% vision inspection technology, inspecting all pharmaceutical labels 100% of the time. Another innovation of this machine is the re-inspection of labels through the vision system, to ensure that all waste is removed. As well as the vision system, the machine will have the capability to verify barcodes and consecutively number each label all in one pass. "Accuracy and quality of the finished product are critical in pharmaceutical work," explains Mark Kerridge. "This press provides a quality control system for label production that is second-to-none."

The creation of the pharmaceutical labeling department at Medica is being overseen by Charlie McGrath, who brings his 25 years of label production experience to the role of Labels and Leaflets Manager at the 100% pharmaceutical plant. Charlie's industry experience includes time spent in the production of pharmaceutical labels at MY Healthcare and Field Boxmore.

Source: Benson Group

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