All4Labels South Africa is making a move into flexible packaging and placing a strong focus on food-safe UV flexo printing as it seeks to improve its efficiency and diversify into new markets.
In some ways, it has been a year of consolidation since the formation of the global All4Labels group, but in other ways the Cape Town subsidiary has seen notable developments and changes. Uwe Bögl, managing director of All4Labels South Africa, is undaunted by the present economic environment and has reported double-digit sales growth.
‘It’s good to be part of a blue-chip global organization,’ said Bögl. ‘And we're seeing considerable benefits from that, but here in South Africa our key focus is on improving efficiency and diversifying into new markets – specifically flexible packaging – using our digital capabilities to tackle short runs and our flexographic printing excellence for medium runs.’
As was evident at Labelexpo Europe 2017 in Brussels, there’s an ongoing blurring of lines between packaging industry sectors: yesterday's narrow web label printer is fast becoming today's medium web flexible packaging printer. All4Labels is an example of this.
Bögl added: ‘We’re now servicing brand owners and retailers, as well as traditional players in the flexible packaging industry, who don’t have facilities to manufacture short runs and promotional runs cost efficiently.’
With growing business in shorter runs of food packaging such as wrappers for bar lines, food safety becomes paramount. On the HP Indigo WS6800 digital press, All4Labels is using the latest Michelman primers and varnishes to encapsulate the ink and eliminate any possibility of migration.
For longer runs on the company’s Gallus ECS 340 press, All4Labels South Africa is following the trend of its German mother company and has Flint’s Nestlé-approved Ancora UV inks.
With the assistance of the local Flint team, this has involved staff training and a complete change of workflow throughout the plant to eliminate any chance of cross contamination. ‘It is a completely new process, from using separate sets of tools such as ducts and anilox rollers to the latest methods for cleaning such as laser technology,’ said Bögl.
‘Supplying food packaging carries high responsibilities and requires tremendous care. We're taking all possible care and, with the help of Flint Group, are making excellent progress in the use of low-migration UV flexo inks. We have satisfied and loyal customers throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and we’ll continue to grow our business by providing a more complete and competitive product portfolio of self-adhesive labels, wraparound labels, shrink sleeves, flexible and rigid packaging, using both our flexo and digital capabilities.’