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Labelco International Adopts Gallus Flexo Technology

Imran Hussein, director of Labelco International compares the Gallus ECS 340 to a Rolls Royce. The family owned business, which operates from Sharjah Airport Free Zone, has recently acquired the Gallus narrow web flexo label press from Heidelberg Gulf Establishment. The company, which started operation in 2004 as a woven & printed textile label manufacturer, is all praise for the label press and lauds the speed and quality delivered by the machine.

ME Printer visited the factory premises and talked to Imran Hussein about the Company, its mode of operation and the recent installation.  “The Gallus is a premium and expensive machine, which can be compared to a Rolls Royce car,” says Hussein.

Called as the rock star of printing by its manufacturers, the ECS 340 is indeed made of rock (granite).  The eight colour machine is capable of doing standard flexographic and cold foil printing, while the front load anilox sleeve systems in the machine helps in cutting down the material waste. The installation and service was carried out by Heidelberg Middle East and Labelco was ready to give a clean chit to the service provided by the company. Roger Nicodeme, General Manager – Sales in Heidelberg Gulf Est. commented, “We are here to provide comprehensive and reliable solutions for our customers. Since 1999, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG has held 30 per cent of the Gallus Group. When two market leaders work together, they produce top results. The two companies work together closely in the fields of marketing, sales, service and technology. The potential synergies benefit both parties – but also, and primarily, our customers across the globe.”

Prior to acquiring a Gallus, Labelco printed on a smaller label press and had restrictions in doing foiling and UV applications. As of now, the company plans to continue with its line of operations without any further expansion. “We want to focus on what we are currently doing and will think of future diversifications and expansion only when there is a real need.” On an average day, the company produces 3 million stickers (depending on the size), about half a million printed labels and 3000 to 4000 woven labels.

With competition increasing double fold, the label market has become quite saturated. Hussein opines, “Yes the market is saturated but I believe that there is still space for more. We can still take work and compete with others. It’s a big cake and there’s a lot more to be shared.”

He added, “At the moment we are concentrating on flexographic printing, as we see growing potentials in this segment. It’s a tough market out there and we have to remain updated in terms of technology to maintain our space.”

Labelco International has been in the industry for almost 3 decades now and had first started their business in UK, Hussein explains. “We started off with a rotary press that printed labels for the government, which we still continue to do. We also produced woven labels, which we did on offset and flexo presses. After recession picked up in UK, we ventured for profitable grounds and then in 2004 we started Labelco in the UAE. The initial venture, which began on an area of 2,000 square feet have now expanded into a 25,000 square feet facility.”

Talking about the latest trends in UAE, he said, “Labels tend to be quite basic unless it comes with a bit of foil or other effects. We are thinking of introducing screen printing into labels and thereby increase the oomph factor.”

The services provided by Labelco include heat transfer, decorative ribbons, woven labels, stickers and printed labels. Its products are mainly exported to countries like Africa, Egypt, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China and Jordan.  Apart from the new installation, the label manufacturer’s fleet of machines includes a 5 colour Heidelberg SM 52, a 4 colour GTO, a 2 colour GTO, a Heidelberg SM 52 – 4 colour, Polar guillotine machines, flexo presses and Muller weaving machines. Hussein was confident when he said, “We may not be bigger than any other flexographic company over here, but we strive to provide the best quality and service to our customers.”

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