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Dragon Printing ignites 2nd Labelfire

Wednesday, 06 June 2018
By Patrick Howard
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Paul McCullum, (centre) pictured with Chiara Prati and James Rodden earlier this year at the Dragon Printing factory.

A massive remake of the Mascot-based company’s printing hall is transforming the well-known trade label converter ahead of the installation of its new Gallus Labelfire 340 hybrid digital press.

One of the best kept secrets in the closely-knit label converting industry is out in the open with Dragon Printing owners Paul McCullum and Fareydun Pourshasb revealing they are the buyers of the 2nd Gallus Labelfire 340 press in Australia and the 1st in Sydney. (The initial press went into Rapid Labels in Victoria last year.) Putting an end to months of speculation as to their identity, McCullum laughs about the level of interest and questions he’s fielded in recent times.

“People were calling me up all the time. I told them it had nothing to do with me. But now that the engineers are actually here installing the press, it’s time to come clean,” he said.

The installation is the final stage of a major revamp of the company’s production facility, with the entire press hall remade. New water, air and power supplies are now in place in the climate-controlled factory as the Gallus-Heidelberg installation personnel get to it. McCullum expects the new press to be in production by the end of the month.

“We’ve been looking at digital for a long long time, but I’ve never been happy before about the quality or the speed. We knew we had to move, to make the change to digital sometime,’ said McCullum.

“There’s always been work we’ve avoided. Short runs and other jobs we’ll be able to do now. Some job preparations are complex and can run into the thousand of dollars. The Labelfire will extend our offering to customers.”

McCullum is convinced he’s made the right choice with the inkjet hybrid press after travelling extensively to Europe and beyond to observe different digital presses in operation. Quality and speed were main factors in his decision.

“The output from the LabelFire is just astronomical. I first saw it three or so years ago and I’ve been keeping a close watch on it ever since. I’ve seen it in action at numerous sites in Europe, especially in Strasburg. We’ve waited ‘til they ironed out the bugs. I didn’t want to be the first.”

The Gallus Labelfire 340 is the digital flagship of Heidelberg in the label sector and is the latest in a long line of Gallus presses for Dragon Printing. Its arrival makes sense of some aspects of the earlier ECS press already in production here.

“We had the ECS 340 here and there were certain parts of that that didn’t make sense to me. I asked myself, ‘why the hell have they done that?’ Now I know. They’ve been working towards this for a long time.

“Look, it just fits in with what we do. It’s a hybrid machine and there are finished products coming off the end. I always said we’d never consider digital unless it had inline converting.

“I believe it’s got higher quality than any other technology on the market. The output is not too bad at 50 metres per minute no matter how many colours you’re running.”

Once the press is in place, there’ll be some weeks of training from the Swiss instructors to bring Dragon Printing people up to speed. After that, there’s likely to be an Open House for customers.

McCullum is looking forward to powering up the new press and getting back to business. “It’s a lot of work but we know it’s going to be worth it,” he said.

 

 

 

 

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