With over 20 years' experience in the packaging market, PakMarkas has often been responsible for generating the latest labelling technology. Packaging & Converting Intelligence sat down with general manager Virginijus Gumbaragis to discuss recent developments in its production line and industry-wide trends.
Virginijus Gumbaragis: PakMarkas started in Lithuania 20 years ago, and we are now one of the largest cutting-edge label producers in the Baltic states. The company has over 200 employees, all of whom are specialists in their fields. Most of our clients hail from the food, beverage, chemical and other industries. We understand the needs of clients and are able to offer the integrated solution. We grow when our clients win.
As well as coming from the industries mentioned, our employees have backgrounds in polygraphy, printing technology and engineering, so we are always ready for the quick and creative delivery of non-standard solutions to our clients.
In addition to label printing, we also offer label gluing equipment, and work across the installation of various production lines. If a client needs to change the labelling method, as well as design, we have the knowledge and skills to do so.
We are always innovating new concepts and recently created "wash-off" labels. One of our clients, a beer producer, was looking for a company that could not only print labels, but also replace the necessary label-pasting units and make slight changes to the bottling line in production. We took the responsibility for the smooth implementation of the new label project, and met the expectations of the client with the new wash-off labels.
Due to the water-impermeable plastic found in ordinary transparent sticky labels, it can be impossible to wash them off using traditional machinery and techniques. By using materials that change form when exposed to heat, it is now much easier to wash off the glue, and help avoid water pollution. Several companies already produce such materials, used to achieve the "no-label look" effect. That's why wash-off technology is the new opportunity for packaging designers. Wash-off labels also create additional value
to the trademark, and provide an opportunity for us to contribute to the creation of a sustainable environment.
We are making constant investments into the update of printing equipment and advanced technologies. We have recently started to use high-definition pre-printing technology HD Flexo, so the labels have become more attractive. We also started the production of two-ply labels, which display considerable amounts of information or multiple languages.
In addition, we are currently working on several projects, including a technology called the Adhesleeve, which allows an increase in the productivity and convenience of the labelling process. It is usually installed when the productivity is relatively high and makes it possible to achieve labels that are twice as thin as standard. When less energy is used - and a lower generation of waste - the process is far more ecological.
Most of the clients want the production of their small orders to also be fast and of high quality, so the average run of printed labels is shorter, as producers are more inclined to launch products in small batches. They are also trying to use all the newly available technological advancements, including printing technologies, environmentally friendly solutions, and non-standard and qualitative packages.
Our activity is influenced by the beverage manufacturers and companies who need to bottle liquid. These companies traditionally use a high volume of labelling for their products. Just one of these can significantly affect our production volumes.
We are currently exploring potential clients from Germany, Ireland, Scandinavia and the UK. It is too early to indicate, though, whether any of these countries will become an important export market for our company in the future. Our aim is to help the clients to develop their business by growing together. If they are successful, we win.