First Company for Industrial Development is a one billion Egyptian pound establishment that has witnessed a staggering growth in a short span of time. First’s CEO, Louai Abd El Wahed says the secret to company’s success is customer oriented approach and state-of-the-art equipment.
A fully integrated packaging company
First Company for Industrial Development in Cairo is a perfect example of an enterprise doing right investment in the right time. The Egyptian stockholding company is specialized in paper and packaging industries.
With more than one billion Egyptian pound in capital and 3500 employees First is one the leading packaging operation in Cairo. The company is now a fully integrated packaging group where the whole packaging production line from production of corrugated sheets to printing is done within group premises in Cairo’s Obour city industrial zone.
The company started the production of corrugated board under name of Pack Line in year 2000 and within span of 6 years the production capacity increased to 45000 tonnes per year.
In year 2006 another corrugation line plus converting, printing and box making equipment was added to the existing arsenal of equipment. The new converting facility which was built next to Pack line has been dubbed as First Carton.
First Carton boasts a wide range of prepress, press and finishing equipment including CTP, flat and rotary die forms making, modern 2.45 meters corrugator line, 4 colour and 5 colour flexo printing machines, in line and off line box making and forming machines, die cutting and creasing machines, folding and gluing machines, stapling machines ( automatic /semi-automatic and manual), stacking and shrink wrapping automatic machines. First Carton produces 120000 tonnes of corrugated board per year.
In 2007 First established First Paper. This division is equipped with 5meter wide paper production machines. First Paper produces 80 thousand tonnes of flute paper and high quality test liner. The division’s capacity is set to increase with the new 2.5 meter line to 160 thousand tonnes by the end of 2013.
State-of-the-art equipment from top manufacturers
In order to complete the packaging production cycle in 2009 First Print was opened as the offset printing arm of the group. First Print boasts a range of KBA presses including KBA 105 size 72x105cm (6colours + UV), KBA 162 size 120×162 cm (5colours + varnish), and KBA 162 size 120×162 cm (6colours + varnish).
A wide range of other equipment such as 3 sheet to sheet lamination machines plus a spot lamination machine, 5 BOBST die cutting and creasing machines, one hot foil stamping machine, 2 Box forming and erecting machine (H&S), 2 window patching machine (H&S), 6 BOBST folding and gluing machines(with daily capacity of 5 million box/day) and stapling machines ( Automatic and semi- automatic). First Print is a major producer of offset printed laminated corrugated packages and offset printed duplex packages.
Louai Abdul Wahid CEO of the group says the secret behind rapid growth and expansion of company is constant improvement in production processes, staying close to the customers and investing in state-of –the – art- equipment, “we are a customer oriented company. At the same time we constantly fine tune our operations and processes and invest in modern technology. Our policy is based on offering highest quality using hi tech machinery, well-educated employees, sorting and collecting hi quality raw material and developing our own approach to production. All these factors have helped us to achieve a healthy growth. We are also following the global standards and guidelines for best practices. We have already obtained a well-known quality certificates through a very tough and rigorous audits,” comments Abdul Wahid and adds,” we have solid relationship with top equipment manufacturers such as BOBST. We have been dealing with BOBST since 2007 and at the moment 12 BOBST machines for different applications are up and running in our premises.”
The high demand for special effects
Khalid Abdul Rahman, group’s Commercial Director says that First is a leading producer of paper and packaging in Egypt. “We are an environmentally conscience company. We are using our own mills for recycling purposes”, maintains Abdul Rahman.
According to Abdul Rahman the demand for packaging especially for laminated board and special effects such as hot foil stamping in Egypt is on the rise. “Most of our customers are looking for attractive packaging. That’s why there is a huge demand for hot foil stamping, embossing, coating and laminated metalized board, window patching, spot lamination, spot and full flood UV coating. We are also specialized in erecting (8 corner gluing) and tear tap gluing,” explains Abdul Rahman.
He believes printing and packaging industries have gone through a rapid transformation during last two decades. “The packaging markets have evolved and now FMCG and cosmetics products are creating substantial demand for high quality and eye catching packaging.” Abdul Rahman recognizes that unrest and political instability in Egypt have affected Company’s businesses across the board but he also stresses that the marketing team is well equipped and has the skill and experience to face the challenges. “We have a long list of faithful customers and we have learned to ride out the economic crisis. We have also decided to operate at 60% percent of our capacity utilization to be able to respond to the unexpected and urgent orders,” concludes Abdul Rahman.