Etirama’s Schröter sees flexo and digital as key to today’s labels

In early September 2015, Coimbatore-based Sree Labeltech gave a go-ahead for the despatch of the six-colour Etirama FIT modular flexo press, which it had ordered. The press is expected to arrive in India in the last week of November. Etirama has 10 machines installed in India, but this one at Sree Labeltech will be the first modular flexo press in India.

16 Nov 2015 | By Noel D'Cunha

The self-adhesive label specialist Sree Labetech’s owner Rajapandian inspected the press at Etirama’s site in Brazil, says, the press prints extremely sophisticated labels for the liquour, food and cosmetic industries in special substrates, an area in which we hope to strengthen our position.

The Etirama FIT is a 250mm (10in-wide), all UV press runs can print at a maximum speed of 100m/min.

During Labelexpo Europe 2015, PrintWeek India caught up with Ronnie Schröter, director for commercial and marketing at Etirama and N Abu, director and business head for M-Tech Print Solution, the Indian representative for Etirama, to find out about the company Etirama and the new FIT modular flexo press.

PrintWeek India (PWI): How has the previous two years, since the last Labelexpo Europe 2015 been for your company? And how was your growth?
Ronnie Schröter (RS): The Etirama is a company that is growing every year. But in the last two years we had a very strong growth.

Etirama manufactures nearly 80 presses every year. Modular presses comprise 83% of Etirama’s total production today.

Our sales and revenue, rose 62% in the last two years. This growth is due to the expansion of our sales worldwide. Our sales were 80% concentrated in the Brazilian market and now we have 50% for sales outside Brazil.

N Abu: M-Tech was established in December 2014. We entered into an agreement with Etirama in March 2015, and the first machine was booked in May 2015. There are two more in the pipeline and many strong leads.

M-Tech also represents LEMORAU, the Portuguese-based converting equipment manufacturer, Italy-based UV Ray and Lausanne-based Fag Graphic System.

We have set a sales target of USD 10 million in 2016.

PWI: Can you tell us more about your tie-up with Nilpeter?
RS: Etirama and Nilpeter tie-up is about the exchange of technical knowledge, pre- and post-sales support, and development of new machines at Etirama’s plant in Sorocaba. The first FBR 3300 flexo press post the tie-up was shown at the Label Latin America 2015, the show held in Sao Paulo in August.

PWI: Within the graphical industry, the two technologies, digital and flexo seem to be growing the fastest?
RS: Yes. Hence, we see many smaller companies in the offset segment are seeking flexography as a new business.

PWI: Why do you think Etirama presses are an option for them?
RS: The Etirama machines are ideal because we have a machine whose investment to purchase is smaller than a machine manufactured in Europe or the United States. Most of our machine components come from Europe, a reason we are also to maintain the same quality offered by our European counterparts.

PWI: Which is your star product? Can you explain what its unique features and how will it benefit the customers?
RS: I will not call it our star product, but we are excited about our most outstanding international product, FIT machine. The Etirama FIT is an all UV station built press; has a hot air dryer as optional and is available in two versions, one in DC motor control and the other full servo version. It’s an entry-level press for labels and flexible packaging.

We also have the Etirama Superprint in three sizes – 250mm, 360mm and 420mm modular press, mid-entry and high-end presses; and the Superprint Evolution, the UV flexographic printing press that allows for transmission between colours through servo motors and control panel via touch-screen, ideal for production of auto labels and stickers and printing film with UV ink, especially the shrink sleeve

PWI: In terms of functionality, the label has evolved isn’t it?
RS: The label is part of the product. It helps sell the product on the supermarket shelf. A beautiful sticker can be responsible for choosing a product in the supermarket. And identify the label is an important marketing tool.

The form of labeling has always evolved, such as the shrinkable labels. But each product has a profile. A wine label, for example, is still well regarded with a self-adhesive paper.

PWI: Short-run work and just-in-time delivery are fast becoming the norm. And to remain a competitive supplier and meet these changing demands, what should the Indian label printers do to improve their production methods?
RS: For a more immediate production, printers ideas are digital. I see as very important the union of two technologies - flexo and digital. I believe they are not competitors. The two technologies complement each other.

I would like to impress that flexography today can do short-run jobs with interesting costs. I believe labels manufactured by flexo are the best solution in the market, and must be completed with a digital, to meet some special requests.