Gulf Print & Pack 2013 – ME Printer Special Coverage
Part One – Industry On The Rebound
Part Two – A Solid Show From Digital Printing Suppliers
Part Three – Packaging is King
Part Four – The Devil is in The Detail
Part Five – Consumables Abound
Bobst Sees Better Future For Packaging in Region
Bobst is a regular exhibitor in Gulf print. The company believes that the show is a good meeting point and offers many networking opportunities. Moez Jebali, Bobst’s sales manager says they have achieved what they set out for prior to the show. “We received expected number of visitors, and most of them travelled from outside UAE, mostly from KSA. Gulf Print and Pack 2013 once again proved that it enjoys a regional profile. For the first time we hosted many visitors from African countries and this time with prior arrangement. The show time more focused on package printing. There were no sign of filling or food processing machines, which is a nice change. We had very fruitful discussions with our customers, and also met very few new customers albeit small ones.”
“Bobst offers a wide range of products and the customers who visited us were mostly involved in the production of folding cartons as well as flexible packaging and corrugated cartons. However as the Sinocorrugated exhibition in China was held concurrently with Gulf Print and Pack, many preferred to visit that show. That’s why we didn’t meet many customers within the corrugated sector.”
Bobst also has a factory in China since 1995. Bobst’s Chinese factory manufactures entry level diecutters and hot foil stampers for international markets. Other than China, Bobst has built factories in India and Brazil. Most of the equipment sold in Middle East is assembled in India, where they also manufacture folder gluers.
The highly technical and sensitive parts are made in Switzerland and sent to factories in China, India and Brazil for final assembly. In Brazil factory they make mid-range die cutters. All the top range equipment of Bobst are still made in Switzerland.
In 2010 Bobst Group also purchased Shanghai Eternal Machinery Co., Ltd which is specialized in manufacturing automatic/semi-automatic flat bed diecutting & creasing machine, foil stamping machine, folding & gluing machine, along with corrugated paper board peripheral equipment and stitching machine. However Moez Jebali says the Eternal Machinery products are not sold through traditional Bobst sales channel in the Middle East.
“Eternal machinery has its own sales structure throughout the world. While Bobst Group is a major shareholder of Eternal machinery Co. its products are not sold through our office in Dubai. The reason Bobst bought the company other than being a sound investment was to improve the penetration into the lucrative Chinese markets for entry level folder gluer and hot stampers,” explains Jebali.
Jebali says the UAE market is on the rebound and Saudi is also a good but steady market. Last two years Bobst also enjoyed healthy sales in Kuwait. According to Jebali there is still little movement in Iraq’s packaging market. Iraq has been importing consumer products from other counties including Syria and Jordan. However the current crisis in Syria is forcing Iraqis to rely on their resources.
“Unfortunately two of the best markets in the Middle East are gripped with political problems. The instability in Pakistan was a major cause for the slowdown in our business during last few years. However we are confident that once the stability returns, Pakistan has huge potential for growth. We recently sold an Expertcut 106 PE with advanced registration system to Package Limited in Lahore which is the biggest package printing Company in the Middle East. With an arsenal of packaging equipment including 12 Bobst diecutters the company boasts an impressive package production capability. There are many exciting activities in Iranian market as well, however due to the tough sanctions the prospect of any significant deal is next to impossible for the time being,” concludes Jebali.
Manugraph Solutions Offer Value For Money
The Manugraph and Mercongraphic stand at Gulf Print and Pack had on display the Autoprint VDP 65 for variable data printing and also solutions from the Chinese firm Masterwork.
Pradeep Shah, Managing Director of Manugraph observed that the visitor turnout was quite satisfactory and that they received customers from regions like Africa this time. “At Gulf Print and Pack we are promoting the diecutting, foil stamping and other solutions of Masterwork along with the solutions of Manugraph. Our focus is to penetrate more into the packaging segments and we think that by participating in shows like this we could reach to a wider customer base.”
Explaining about the competency of Masterwork, he said, “Masterwork is a well known brand and it competes with some of the top European manufacturers in this segment. I think with this partnership we could cater to the market demands in this region. “
Detailing about their business strategy, he said, “We plan to reach out to our customers mainly through trade shows, both big and small. Manugraph has over 15 years experience in the Middle East and we have been successfully providing service to our customers during these years. To succeed in the market first you have to understand the market, know what’s going on and find solutions that you can offer the market. Your solutions should offer value for money.”
Digimatrix Believes in Providing Total Solutions
Digimatrix Technologies exhibited 4 major machines at this Gulf Print and Pack. It included a Dilli UV hybrid printer with white and varnish options, CNC router completely automated and with a scanner and knife to cut soft materials and a creasing wheel, 60w CO2 laser with camera and 130w CO2 laser with up and down table and an optional rotary system.
Mousa Joudeh, Sales Manager of Digimatrix Technologies said to ME Printer, “We had displayed solutions that catered to the entire printing, graphics and packaging industry at Gulf Print and Pack. Packaging is not just about putting your product in a box. Consumers perceive product packaging as part of the product. A nice packaging that leaves a lasting impression on the consumer will not only make the product stand out from shelves and boost sales but it will also enhance the consumers’ impression of the company’s image. Our focus enabled customers to see the bigger picture and the business opportunities each of these machines presents, especially in growth areas such as cross media communications.”
Explaining more on the solutions offered by Digimatrix, Mousa said, “During the exhibition we emphasized the use of corrugated boards, PVCs and plastics to create ideal packaging through customization and how to manufacture packaging according to specifications and needs of the end product, especially using our flatbed.”
“Some of the customized packaging solutions that you can achieve using our solutions are printed and cut corrugated cartons, CD/DVD cases, display boxes, gift boxes, pharmaceutical boxes, cosmetic boxes, food and pastry boxes and wine boxes,” added Mousa.
Talking about the recent trends in the market, he said, “In the print and pack industries, labels have the greatest penetration, followed by corrugated printing, especially on the point of sale displays. Our two high selling machines make it completely possible to make unique customized stands with the printing done on the flatbed and the cutting and creasing done on the CNC router. There is a significant use of digital production in the label sector and UV flatbed printers have now largely replaced screen in visual communications and is now aiming the packaging sector.”
Mentioning the company’s performance at the show, he said, “We had a good turn up of visitors and carried out many business deals, especially with customers from Africa and the Middle East region. It was a very successful expo and our customers could get acquainted with our machines’ capabilities and during the show we also emphasized more about our ‘go green’ campaign in support of the future generations.”
TCS Offers a Gamut of Solutions
Techno Converting Service Company (TCS) has over 18 years experience in the field of flexible packaging supplies and they serve industries in printing, converting, flexographic, rotogravure and packaging sectors. The company operates from UAE, Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia and is planning to expand its services further into the Middle East region. TCS represents many multinational companies and distributes their products and services to its customers. They are partners with Windmoller & Holscher for flexo and rotogravure printing machines, the Italian company Nordmeccancia for laminating machines, D.W. Renzmann for solvent distillation units, cleaning machines for rotogravure, Heliograph Holding, J.M. Heaford based in England for plate mounting and proofing machines, Zecher based in Germany, Recyl in France, Biessse in Italy, Esterlam and Rogers Corporation among others.
TCS team was at the Gulf Print and Pack ’13 show exhibiting their latest products and services. Talking to ME Printer, Hatem Hamed, Marketing Manager of the company’s Riyadh office said, “Though the number of visitors was limited, we met some quality crowd at GPP. Our company, Techno Converting Services caters to flexographic and rotogravure printers, lamination and coating industries as well as film printers, foil printers, shopping bag printers, label printers etc.”
Eng. Khaled Rashed from TCS explained more about their presence in the region, “Both flexo and gravure presses have a market in this region. We are well represented in this area and have done installations in various companies here. Apart from flexible packaging solutions, we also offer consumables to our customers.”
Iran Stages Bigger Presence At GPP
The Iranian pavilion was bigger than ever, which is odd considering the sanctions imposed on the country. Ten Iranian companies, which included manufacturers, printers, trading companies as well as representatives from Iran Print Industry Exporters Union and Iran’s Ministry of culture and Islamic Guidance participated in the show.
Following China, Iran had the biggest pavilion in the exhibition. The Iranian exhibitors received visitors from different GCC nations as well as from Africa. Bobak Abedin, vice chairman of Iran’s Print Industry Exporters Union said, “This year we have added 3 more companies to our pavilion. Following China we had the biggest pavilion in the exhibition.
The loss of Iran’s currency has created lot of problem for all industries however the silver lining here is that Iranian companies can offer their products and services at a much lower price. Iranian printers are also able to deliver printed products for a fraction of the price available elsewhere. Iranian exhibitors received lots of interest from visitors. One of our exhibitors Sultan Chap, who happens to be one of the biggest package printers in Iran, registered more than 90 enquiries. We are also planning to participate in Label Expo, which is to be held in Brussels.”