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  • 12 Jun 2015

Armor’s global growth

The thermal transfer specialist has seen its global growth ambitions move towards becoming reality

Armor has made a number of investments across its business in recent times, with both corporate and product developments intended to position the thermal transfer ribbon manufacturer as the worldwide market leader. These developments and ambitions were outlined at the Armor Technical Club (ATC) in western France last summer, where customers, partners and its global leadership team – including representatives from its new subsidiary in India – gathered for an update on the global thermal transfer market.

As reported in Labels & Labeling issue 4 2014, ATC was a strong success for Armor, and attendees left the event enthused about the supplier’s work to support both the market’s growth and its own.

On a recent visit to the company’s corporate headquarters in Nantes, France, Labels & Labeling received an update on Armor’s progress over the weeks and months since that ATC, including establishing manufacturing footprints in additional locations. Four ATC events in 2015 are planned already at locations around the world.

One of these will take place at the company’s Indian subsidiary, registered as Armor India Coding and Imaging Supplies, which was formally established in May 2014, with Armor Africa following shortly after. These were its fifth and sixth slitting subsidiaries worldwide, joining facilities in Singapore, China, Brazil and the US. A further addition has now been made, with Armor Mexico coming on stream in February this year, and recently hosting a customer event to introduce the business to the region. All seven are served from France with coated jumbo reels.

The establishment of the facility in Africa made Armor the first ‘true designer and manufacturer of inked films to provide local thermal transfer ribbon slitting facilities’ on the continent, says the company.

Armor India has already moved to expand its own reach, with a further sales presence joining to cover the north of the country, with its Bangalore headquarters to predominantly provide coverage of the south.

Last year Armor was acquired in a management buy-out that saw Hubert de Boisredon and the management team take control of 52 percent of the shares and 68 percent of the voting rights in the group, with all employees offered the opportunity to acquire their own shares in the company. Around half of the workforce took up this opportunity, and are now invested in driving the company forward and achieving growth.

Armor’s production has hit new heights too, with the number of square meters of thermal transfer film sold in 2014 surpassing one billion, itself topping the one billion square meters that were produced in 2013.

Plans are in place for further expansion in 2015, including new products and resources to streamline production.

 

David Pittman

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David Pittman is former deputy editor of Labels & Labeling.

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