Xsys outlines commitment to the North American flexo industry

It has added in-house production of rotec offset plate sleeves and blanket sleeves

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Xsys outlines commitment to the North American flexo industry
(L-R) Dan Rosen, sales director of National Accounts, Xsys North America, Eric Gibbs, managing director for plates at Xsys, and Joe Czaplewski, newly appointed sales director for rotec products at Xsys.

As a leading prepress specialist for the North American flexographic market, Xsys continues to support its customers in the packaging industry with innovative solutions that enable them to print solid and stay flexible.

Following the separation from Flint Group, Xsys is sharpening its focus and proactively streamlining its offering for packaging print production as a standalone entity. The global company has a unique advantage in the market as a supplier of solutions for the entire breadth of the prepress process, taking Xsys from imaging and screening through plates and platemaking right into the pressroom with adapters and sleeves. 

Firmly positioned as number 1 or 2 in each segment, Xsys serves customers with products and brands that include nyloflex flexographic solvent and thermal plates and equipment, nyloprint letterpress plates and equipment, nylosolv washout solvent, rotec sleeves and adapters, ThermoFlexX TfxX Imagers, ThermoFlexX Catena Plate Processing equipment, and Woodpecker surface screening solutions.

“With increasing cost pressures and supply difficulties experienced across the market, it is more important than ever to highlight our strong commitment to helping customers in everything they do,” said Dan Rosen, sales director of National Accounts, North America. “Converters are challenged by demands for lower costs and better sustainability while struggling to retain skilled staff and maintain high quality. We have best-in-class solutions for every segment of the packaging market that allow converters to be brilliant, deliver for their customers, and stay competitive in tough times.”

Team experience and expertise at Xsys

Backing up by the extensive product portfolio and the global Xsys network, customers can rely on the decades of experience that the North America Xsys management and service team have under their collective belts. This group of print and prepress experts work closely together to ensure profitable outcomes for customers in tag and label, flexible packaging, and corrugated markets.

Managing director for plates, Eric Gibbs, who has been with Flint Group (now Xsys) since 2013, has more than 35 years of industry knowledge to leverage. He began his career working in repro before moving to the supplier side. He works closely with industry stalwarts Dan Rosen, who has over three decades of experience in flexo plate technology, and Joe Czaplewski, newly appointed sales director for rotec products, who has spent over 32 years in print with 10 years of production and management experience and 22 years in direct sales. In addition, the management team includes James Van Buskirk, who was recently promoted to technical director of Plates and Prepress Equipment. He succeeds Rich Emmerling, who retired after leading the technical team for 17 years.

“As Xsys, we are a stronger and more focused unit that can respond quickly to our customers and any market changes,” said Gibbs. “And because we design, engineer and manufacture all our plates, sleeves, adapters and platemaking equipment ourselves, we can guarantee that we deliver best-in-class solutions that work seamlessly throughout the prepress process and in the pressroom.”

Market trends and solutions by Xsys

Dan Rosen spoke about the current trends affecting North American customers, such as rising costs and inflation, raw materials shortages, and supply chain issues. He said, “We understand that converters are in a tough spot right now trying to balance all these challenges against the ongoing demands from brand owners for just-in-time delivery, shorter runs, and more sustainability. There is a lot of insecurity about materials supply, which is not helped by the difficulties in retaining and recruiting staff for the shop floor. So more than ever, converters need our expertise and solid product portfolio to keep their business profitable going forward.” 

Supporting the core Xsys team is the main reseller and distributor, Anderson and Vreeland, an independent agent with over 60 years of experience in the flexographic industry. As a supplier of the most advanced and innovative technologies on the market, the company has multiple highly skilled teams of experts that work closely with customers to maximize their flexo operations by implementing Xsys solutions in prepress, plate rooms and pressrooms across the country.

Xsys itself recently added in-house production of rotec offset plate sleeves and rotec offset blanket sleeves to the plant’s capabilities in Asheville, NC, to secure a more reliable supply to customers in North America. This means that the site now manufactures the complete portfolio of rotec sleeves and adapters for narrow, mid and wide web flexo and offset printing presses. Asheville has also seen considerable investment put into new purpose-built offices, a new site entrance and enhanced parking facilities. 

“Local production and support present a huge advantage for our customers, particularly with the supply issues that the market is experiencing at the moment,” said Czaplewski. “The rotec offering is now the strongest in the North American market, and customers know that they can put their trust in us because they see that we are putting a lot of investment into this sector to guarantee a fast and reliable supply of sleeves and adapters.” 

The road ahead

As Xsys gears up to increase its market presence with more staff and investments, Gibbs talked about how the North American market is shaping up for the future. He said that the US and Canadian teams are seeing strong demand for Xsys imaging technology and platemaking equipment due to the high levels of automation they deliver, not only on quality but also alleviating staffing issues and taking out any waste in the process. 

“Customers are investing and reinvesting with Xsys, buying new, more automated equipment so that they can maintain their productivity despite serious staffing problems and shortage of skilled workers,” said Gibbs. “This, in turn, adds to their green targets because there is less waste and energy consumption is lower and increases cost savings. What they get is simply high-quality, consistent plates that will produce great flexo print for their customers.” 

He concluded, “We are now growing our dedicated team committed to providing the best possible sales and service offering in the market. Our customers keep coming back to us because we can provide everything they need for their prepress processes and products to be successful and to future-proof their business.”

“Our customers know and trust us, and their feedback regarding the organizational changes has been entirely positive,” added Rosen. “Their focus is purely on the technology, and our solid proposition and dedication to the flexo industry are why they choose Xsys as their partner for the future.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

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