New structure, new inspection systems, new markets and a commercial collaboration with I&C. Grafikontrol relaunches across the board, in Italy and abroad, at the service of the various packaging segments. Including digital printing.
Paolo De Grandis and Davide Filippi, entrepreneurs and members of the second generation of Grafikontrol SpA, never lost heart. Once they understood that the crisis of 2007 was onlly the beginning of a difficult period, they rolled up their sleeves and redesigned the structure, objectives and products of their company. The undertaking took time, effort and investment, and finally, close to its fortieth anniversary, the Milan-based company specializing in industrial print control systems presented itself not only with an optimized organization, but also with an offer refocused on packaging printing and, consequently, with a range of revamped products.
The range of Grafikontrol solutions was in fact enlarged and enriched to serve, in addition to editorial and commercial sectors of the origins, also the different packaging segments and related technologies, including digital.
And, in parallel, the commercial structure was strengthened, both since the recent agreement with I&C, which has the sales mandate for Italy for specific Grafikontrol products in the packaging printing sector, both with projects for the forthcoming opening of two new branches in Brazil and the US.
Keystone of complex operation, the investments in R&D: «a staff enhanced with three new engineers and 22 technical experts – said De Grandis during the press conference held in early December in the beautiful company premises – has worked hard to design and manufacture their state-of-the-art, high performance and competitive products, for quality control on the entire processing cycle and in all print applications: flexible packaging, gravure publishing, commercial and publishing web-offset, neutral materials, labeling».
Starting from the needs expressed by the manufacturers: «Our business model is based on listening to the customer – the entrepreneurs emphasize – because it is through the analysis of their work and their needs that we attain customized proposals and the continuous renewal of the products. But it is also based on cooperation with complementary realities, able to increase the added value of our offer: such as I&C on the commercial and service side, and SysChro, that has developed an innovative software to optimize ink consumption in publishing offset and gravure printing, of which we are the distributors».
Challenges, responses and new markets
To improve products and processes, minimizing waste and downtime, Grafikontrol has developed high-tech systems, which help address the many challenges of a market on the move.
«Even more than other sectors – explains De Grandis – packaging needs controls, given that it mostly fields reel-to-reel processes in which the operator has no way of carrying out the verification in real time, which though is necessary to intervene immediately to prevent damage and unwanted costs.
On top of that highly advanced printing machines are available today, that though, to ensure the highest quality results, require the control of many parameters. This is why we have come up with camera based equipment, with high levels of accuracy and reliability, capable of covering the whole process: not only the control of the color register, but also cameras for statistical type or 100% inspection of the web, in line color controls by means of a spectrophotometric sensor with feedback to the "kitchen" for the color matching, tracking of defects, up to the cutting process».
The orientation to maximize yield and performance is particularly evident in the new product (see shoulder), of which Grafikontrol emphasizes the Italian design and construction as a real and competitive added value.
Also from this point of view, the agreement with the I&C is a coherent step: «Our new business partner holds the necessary skills to adequately present our technology; as well as that their detailed knowledge of the flexographic and rotogravure sector will allow us to better cover the domestic market, where, in fact, we have already finalized several new orders», says De Grandis.
In turn Sante Conselvan, owner of I&C, points out that the agreement represents «a continuation in the direction we have taken as a distributor of quality oriented process control systems. The Grafikontrol solutions complete our offer, which includes color control, plate mounting, viscosity control, automation for internal logistics, material handling with LGVs and now also inspection systems. But there is more: with Grafikontrol’s owners and the management we share a passion for print and for the work that aims at customer satisfaction, fielding, in addition to products, know-how and engineering, consulting and assistance: combining our technologies and skills helps us to work better and attain our ends more easily».
Collaboration between companies fields synergies that stimulates the exploration of new applications and technologies that emerge from a market that is continuously on the move and continuously renewing itself. «Digital processes – De Grandis considers – have a great need for quality control, typically in textile printing, where color accuracy and consistency needs to be constantly verified, as well as ensure print uniformity over a series of different time intervals. Even metal decorating, which includes direct printing on cans, represents a promising outlet sector, as well as the processes of the pharmaceutical industry, where ensuring absolute compliance of products with standards is indeed a must».