Time flies. We are entering the 4th year of MPS Systems Asia, since it was established in 2018.
We have strengthened our team, built a strong network of agents throughout the Asia Pacific region, increased our market share and number of installations in the region.
It has not all been smooth. Certainly, the COVID-19 pandemic gave us some additional challenges to deal with. We had to quickly build up our online capabilities, and improve our communication and explanations around installations and troubleshooting via online support.
Here a few highlights of 2020.
New agent appointment and John Beltman's trip to South Korea
2020 began strong with the appointment of Müller Korea as our new local agent in South Korea. With Müller Korea’s expertise in label and packaging printing and highly responsive sales and service support, our current and new customers that choose MPS printing presses are in good hands.
NY Cho, Managing Director of Müller Korea and Tim Klappe, MPS Systems Asia Managing Director at Labelexpo Europe 2019
To maintain warm partnerships in South Korea, Project Manager John Beltman from the Netherlands visited two main customers. He first visited Fine Webtech for the preparation of a life-extending machine overhaul. Secondly, Dongil Printing Services (DPS) to discuss the machine operation and additional after sales service programs that MPS can provide.
MPS Project Manager John Beltman (left) with Mr. Lee, President of DPS
Covid-19 didn't stop MPS Systems Asia
COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March 2020. It was considered a tough year to almost all industries. Many countries implemented lockdowns, restricted travelling and people are advised to stay at home/work from home. But lockdowns do not stop MPS Asia!
Thanks to today’s technology, we can use different resources to provide the best support to our clients. This is the new way of working!
Every one of us at MPS Asia are in constant communication with all parties through online applications (including agents, customers, prospects, and internal colleagues) to make sure everything is taken care of. Our engineers are on call 24/7 for backup support and prepare for the next service requirement.
Growing the MPS Asia team
We expanded our Asia team with the addition of Kane Marsh as Regional Printing Instructor in June. Kane is very well-versed in the label print industry. He brings direct print experience on multiple presses in a range of printing technologies including flexo, gravure, offset, screen and a variety of applications.
Kane also turns his 18 years’ experience in the industry into written articles. We call them ‘Label Printing Snippets’. In these snippets, you’ll find useful and practical tips, guidance, his experiences and much more!
More than 20 practical articles have been written - Check out Kane’s Label Printing Snippets here!
First remote installation in Japan
Along with our exclusive distributor in Japan, T&K Toka, we completed the remote installation of a 9+1 color EFA+ 340 press at label converter Takara Pac, based in Yokohama, Japan that included connection to their new press through our remote diagnostic system.
The remote installation was necessary due to travel and social distancing measures in place during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. The general manager at Takara Pac was very happy with the installation and processes that followed.
Virtually meeting the printing industry
Before COVID-19, we never imagined exhibitions could be organized virtually.
Last year we experienced our first virtual exhibition when we met the printing industry at PackImpressions. This gave MPS good exposure into the new virtual exhibition world.
During the event, I spoke about how connectivity will disrupt and transform label print production and answered these key questions:
- What is Press Mirroring?
- What benefits does it provide in label printing production?
- How does connectivity bring label print production to the next level of productivity & profitability?
If you missed the session, watch this video of my presentation.
What the future holds
Trends I foresee shaking up the print industry in Asia Pacific 2021 and beyond are connectivity and the growth towards Industry 4.0 – Rise of the Smart Factory (Source: from the Print Innovation Asia).
Sensor technology developments and the internet of things (IoT) is growing extremely fast. Data collection of a press that is now possible gives a full transparent environment. It shows print management what is really happening, without having to rely on subjective input from operators. Efficiencies and inefficiencies are easily detected.
Currently, the actual usage of a narrow web label press is exceptionally low. Based on our own analysis, machines in the market are not running on average 30% of the time. With sensor technology - connected machines - all functions of a press are transparent and analysed.
For example, you can easily detect that a roll change is five or 10 minutes longer than the market benchmark. Saving these five minutes for every roll change by improving the process can add hours of extra capacity for the press each week.
The result is a lower cost per label, more jobs, and therefore more profit per year for the printing company.
The industry shake-up will be caused by label printing companies who fully embrace these technologies & workflows and adjust their ways of working that maximize their efficiencies on a continuous basis. These companies will quickly experience lower costs, higher profits, and give better services to their customers.
Label printers who will not get on ‘this train’ will eventually lose out or will have to make a huge jump to catch up.
So, my recommendation and wish is for all label printers to read about these industry 4.0 trends, about the path towards the smart factory, and make step-by-step investments and organizational changes towards implementing these new technologies.
MPS Systems is pleased to support you!
You might be interested in reading more about the smart factory:
- MPS Systems – The Performance Supplier
- The smart label factory of tomorrow
- Connectivity will disrupt and transform label print production
- Let the work flow
- What does Big Data really mean to the Label Printing Industry?
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Tim Klappe is Managing Director Asia Pacific at MPS and based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.