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Ethiopia’s QuaLabels Invests in BOBST Gravure Press

Ethiopia’s QuaLabels Manufacturers PLC has installed the country’s first BOBST shaftless gravure printing press as part of its business expansion of delivering high-quality labels and packaging to local and global brand owners in the beverages and snacks, personal care, and home care markets. The company’s machine is the first of its kind from any European manufacturer.

Market leader in beverage labels

The Ethiopian market leader in beverage labels, QuaLabels was founded in 2016 by Brook Worku, Chairman and CEO. The company operates a modern, food-certified plant in Lege Tafo, a town located 19 kilometres north east of Addis Ababa, and specializes in primary and secondary packaging mainly for the food and beverages, detergent, and confectionery markets. Some of QuaLabels’ major customers include The Coca-Cola Company, Heineken N.V., PepsiCo, Inc., and Unilever PLC.

“We have worked very hard over the years, establishing a reputation for exceptional quality, while building customer confidence with time-honoured commitments,” says Worku. “Besides this, our company has also had a positive impact among the local communities by building schools for children.”

Boosting print capabilities with BOBST

It was during Worku’s visit to Europe in 2018 in search of market opportunities that got him acquainted with BOBST. Further meetings and discussions prompted QuaLabels to invest in a BOBST gravure printing press as the right choice for flexible materials.

“We are a dynamic company with strong ambitions, focused on long-term success, so we need to make investment decisions that offer sustainable growth with reliable support systems. It was evident that BOBST is the market leader with decades of experience in gravure printing. The current discussions about our expansion plans with new BOBST machines are a true testimony of a satisfied customer,” explains Worku.

Installed during the coronavirus crisis, the shaftless gravure printing press has been designed specifically with sleeve print cylinders for fast and efficient operation. The gravure press also features very precise web tension control, high-performance dual technology dryers, and Registron register control. The machine also features the unique TAPS fully automatic pre-register function, streamlining the setup process. The leading-edge technologies enable QuaLabels to produce both short and long runs on a wide range of materials with less waste.

BOBST shaftless gravure printing press

Additional investments in the pipeline to ramp up production

There are numerous challenges facing converters in today’s packaging market, such as shorter runs, faster time-to-market, availability of raw materials, and high energy costs, to name a few. With the new gravure printing press in place, QuaLabels is well-equipped to tackle these, as it ramps up production to capture a larger share of the market. Furthermore, there are additional investments in new machinery planned for the next couple of years.

“Putting the BOBST gravure press into operation means we are in the perfect position to accelerate our output with new high-quality solutions that meet our customers’ needs and comply with all legal requirements,” says Worku. “Our motto is ‘Packaging at its Best’ and we are using the power of our new investment to live up to that as we continue to expand into new markets.”

Angelo Cavallo, Sales Manager, BOBST Web-Fed BU, comments, “We are very proud to partner with QuaLabels, which is a very progressive and dedicated company. I have personally worked closely with the team and seen how the new BOBST gravure press has taken the business to the next level, both in terms of quality, types of applications, and productivity, allowing it to dream big.”

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