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Featured:     European Coverage     Production Inkjet Analysis

Omet Scores Sales Hit In United Arab Emirates

Monday, August 03, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

“The advantage of the Omet is its excellent print quality coupled with a lower staffing requirement than a comparable sheet fed offset press using offline converting,” commented Mr Ken Safaya, Managing Director of Rockwood International, the company that represents Omet in the Middle East, and which has successfully installed two of the Italian built narrow web flexo printing lines in Dubai.

Mr Safaya’s words will ring a sombre note amongst printing companies in Dubai, which because of its continuing boom is now finding quality staff both difficult to recruit and expensive to keep.  With housing costs tripling in as many years, many who came from abroad to seek their fortunes in the Emirate can no longer afford to live there, and this is having a knock-on effect on printing margins, and asking cost effectiveness questions of traditional printing methods.

For those printing companies with an open mind to investment, an Omet offers an innovative solution to a real problem throughout its range from simple Flexy to sophisticated VaryFlex, and one company, ABC International, has capitalised on this by installing one of the Italian presses in its production facility in the Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone.  Part of the SAS Group of companies that was established in the UAE in the 1960s, the Packaging Division of ABC still largely serves the company’s in-house requirement for print, but its new six-colour UV flexo capacity offered by the Omet, is designed to capture new work from outside the Group.

Speaking for ABC International, CEO Mr Arif Pardesi, commented: “I first saw the Omet at Drupa 2004 and was impressed with its flexible capacity to print and convert in one pass.  It offered us the capability to produce labels, filmic wraps, and cartons, and we saw it as the ideal machine for our run lengths, which are relatively short.”  To date, ABC has produced few cartons on the Omet, partly because the cost of new rotary dies for such short runs makes the jobs uneconomic, but mostly because the demand for flexible packaging continues to fill the VaryFlex with work.

According to Mr Naeem Gafur, Manager of the Packaging Division at ABC:
“Our carton work is purely for in-house consumption in the form of tissue boxes as well as certain formats of cosmetic and cigarette packets.  There is a lot of competition in the Dubai carton market from offset and offline processes, but the margins are not good, so we prefer to stay in flexibles where the Omet makes us money.”

Technically speaking, the Omet VaryFlex is a sophisticated production tool.  It has a 520mm web width, and is fitted with six UV-flex printing units, a 1000mm unwinder, register control, two die stations, and Omet’s own ‘Twin Cut’ device.  This innovative die cutting system uses two pairs of magnetic cylinders to process a variety of formats, thereby saving on the cost of expensive rotary dies.  The Twin Cut unit has register control and constant tension waste removal as standard.  Also fitted, is a shingling table for delivery of die cut blanks, and the press is modem linked to the factory for 24-hour online support.

Mr Gafur explained how the Omet’s capabilities allow him to sell ABC’s production capacity: “We believe it offers quality that compares with gravure, but because it is easy and quick to set up, it is far more cost effective on shorter run work.  UV-flexo prints an excellent dot, so images are sharp and colours consistently vibrant throughout the run.  It also offers good rub and chemical resistance, and a high gloss level too.”

Currently, ABC’s work is split evenly between labels, flexible packaging and bottle wraps, but the company is keen to move into the fast growing market for shrink sleeves.  This will require another machine according to Mr Arif, who is planning to use Drupa 2008 as a research platform for a wider web, solvent/water base press, with automatic unwind and rewind for continuous high speed operation.

Two other production divisions operate at ABC’s Jebel Ali plant, which is currently in the process of being enlarged to match growing output.  The Converting Division produces a range of personal care items, facial tissues, wet wipes, and high quality printed knapkins and hand towels, using its own brand name of ‘Cool & Cool’ to market the products worldwide.

The Digital Printing Division produces loyalty cards, telephone cards, ID cards, and hotel key cards etc, as well as short run brochures and leaflets in high colour and with the option of personalisation.  The company always stresses the importance of high quality colourful graphics as the best way of making an impression.

Concluding, Mr Pardesi said: “We have always had a policy of investing in the best technology the market can offer, and we will grow our business into shrink sleeves with this principle in mind.”




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