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James Quirk: All eyes on Latin America

Label Summit Latin America begins tomorrow in Guadalajara, Mexico. With some 70 industry suppliers exhibiting, the event will provide further evidence of the investment and growth taking place in the region.

Indeed, there has been a plethora of recent announcements from leading international suppliers acquiring local companies, appointing distributors in the region or installing high-tech equipment. 

The news is not only coming from the usual suspects. While press manufacturers such as Nilpeter, Mark Andy and Gallus have long had strong customer bases in the area – and HP Indigo has a firm grip on digital press installations – they are being joined by companies that have traditionally had a smaller presence in the region, but who are seeing increasing numbers of installations of their equipment among converters seeking advanced technology that would more usually find a home in the more developed markets of Europe and North America.

Omet and MPS have both found recent success in Argentina – where Artes Gráficas Modernas and Adhepel, two of the country’s leading label converters, have respectively installed machines, while Cartes sold its first laser die-cutting machine in the country to Multilabel.  

Xeikon has appointed a number of distributors throughout Latin America over the last two years and has reported a series of installations, including three for heat transfer labels in Brazil. A further installation will shortly be announced by two Mexican converters who have jointly purchased a Xeikon 3300 digital press.

Codimag recently installed its first Aniflo offset press in the region, at Brazilian converter Degrafica Impressos, while Agfa Graphics sold its first Dotrix modular digital press in that country last year, with three companies coming together in an innovative joint venture to house the machine.

GM has opened an office in Santiago, Chile, while Allen Datagraph has appointed Argentine label converter Artes Gráficas Raal as a distributor.

EFI – aware of the growing potential in the region for its management information software – has acquired Brazil-based software supplier Metrics, while there has also been much recent activity in the materials sector. Mexico has witnessed the arrival of a new labelstock manufacturer, IPVenus; UPM Raflatac has opened a slitting and distribution facility in Buenos Aires; and Colombia-based Arclad has nearly doubled its capacity with the opening of a new plant in Cartagena. With a free trade agreement about to come into force between Colombia and the USA, the company sees potential for its materials in the North American market and will make its Labelexpo Americas debut in September.

It is not only industry suppliers who are ramping up their presence in Latin America – international converting groups, too, are taking advantage of the region’s growth. Label converting giant CCL has formed a joint venture in Chile, where US group Multi-Color Corporation already has a presence. Austrian group CTI Invest – under its Viappiani brand – now has operations in Colombia and Brazil, and expects to announce two further acquisitions in the region over the coming months. Sato America, meanwhile, recently acquired Argentine converter Archenar.

You can read about many of these developments not already covered in L&L in upcoming issues the magazine, while no doubt more interesting news will surface over the next couple of days during the Summit in Guadalajara. In the meantime, click here for news from the region; and click here for feature articles about the Latin American market.

James Quirk, Latin America editor, L&L

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James Quirk is outgoing editor of Labels & Labeling.

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