‘Leonhard Kurz dominates the foil business in labels and flexible packaging. High volume jobs are done using cold foil stamping which is very popular and a growing segment in Southeast Asian countries. The traditional hot foil stamping is a stable business,’ says Supreecha Muangsaen, managing director at Kurz Thailand. The company is focussed on increasing the market share and is witnessing a healthy year-on-year growth in the region.
Kurz has a manufacturing facility in Malaysia that manufactures and exports hot and cold foils for labels and packaging across the world. The company is currently expanding infrastructure and increasing production capacity in the country. ‘We have bought new land next door for expansion to better cater to the region. We are in the expanding phase and investing in high potential markets including China, Malaysia and the US,’ says KS Chan, Asian Pacific area director, Kurz. The company has another, much bigger, facility in China that caters to other industries as well including automobile, security, textile, amongst others.
Of the high growth markets in Southeast Asia, Chan indicates Indonesia as one of the fastest growing markets for labels and flexible packaging followed by Thailand. ‘Companies in Indonesia are getting bigger, are growing fast and investing in bigger machines. The country has a strategic location advantage for export to nearby countries. Thailand, on the other hand, has a strong local market and also a huge export market.’
‘Personal care, white goods and food markets are growing in all of Southeast Asia. Flexible packaging is growing tremendously because a lot of packed food is consumed in the region,’ Chan continues. ‘Smaller runs but multiple SKUs has also led to the growth of digital technology here.’
With increasing acceptance and usage of digital technology in the region, Kurz is optimistic about the success of its Digital Metal foil technology, which combines digital print with a metal transfer process, creating glossy, metalized surfaces. It can be used for short runs, as well as personalized and numbered prints.
Kurz offers the complete workflow to printers including machines, web-based software and foil. Digital Metal foil can be printed on both digital and conventional presses. It can either be used in-line on a printing press using a module provided by Kurz or as a standalone process where labels can be decorated and finished on a Kurz digital foiling machine after being printed on a press. ‘In addition to printing on a number of substrates including paper and PET, this process also allows overprinting, which gives printers flexibility to print on Digital Metal foil they are using without having to buy foils in many colors,’ explains Chan.
‘Digital is the new direction we are driving and we already see positive reaction for this product in the label and flexible packaging industries,’ continues Chan. ‘We tested this process with a Taiwanese printer and have received positive results. Now, we want to further explore the market with this product.’ Kurz and its Digital Metal process has also been recognized by HP Indigo as a partner for creating tangible added value using digital technology for printed products.
Kurz, therefore, sees high growth potential in the region and is aggressively driving the labels and packaging market. ‘We provide very strong technical expertise in this region to support different subsidiaries and agents. Our investment is in educating the market and telling them of new products we develop to further grow the industry,’ Chan concludes.