How to save ink the Inkmaker way - The Noel D'Cunha Sunday Column

Inkmaker Worldwide is a dispensing systems specialist for automating the process of ink, paint and chemical dispensing and mixing. The company last year acquired businesses of Rexson and Vale-tech, more recently, Tecnopails. “More are planned for this year. We are on route to becoming the leading supplier of ink dispensers,” says Andrea Villa, the company’s area sales manager for India.

This Sunday Column looks at what the company has been doing in India

09 Feb 2020 | By Noel D'Cunha

Andrea Villa of Inkmaker

Italy-headquartered Inkmaker, the dispensing systems specialist for automating the process of ink, paint and chemical dispensing and mixing, has started off the new year with the acquisition of Tecnopails, another Italy-based company, which specialises in the planning, projection and production of plant systems and equipment to dose, label, seal and palletise pails, buckets and cans for various chemical or alimentary products.

The Tecnopails acquisition follows Inkmaker’s acquisition of Rexson and Vale-Tech last October. The Rexson buy included the company’s colour dispensing system business with offices in Europe, North America and the Netherlands, its software developed in-house, and Vale-Tech, which Rexson acquired three years ago. Vale-Tech principally supplies dispensing equipment in the offset, paste and UV liquid and narrow-web sectors.

Christophe Rizzo, CEO of the Inkmaker Group, EMEA and Americas, said, “Tecnopails is a successful filling, sealing and labelling corporation with major clients, its contribution to the Inkmaker Group of companies will prove indispensable in achieving our mission of being a total process engineering consultant and provider.”

Tecnopails will continue its focus on filling, sealing and labelling for the ink, paint and coatings industry as well as for the cosmetics, food, oils, pharmaceuticals and speciality chemicals from its base in Piacenza, in Italy’s Emilia Romagna region and will continue to support its existing customers.

In India, Inkmaker has been present since 2005. The company has more than 2,000 systems deployed worldwide, many of them in India. It collaborates with major ink companies such as Siegwerk India, Flint Group, DIC India, and Uflex, among others.

PrintWeek spoke to Andrea Villa, the company’s area sales manager for India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and ASEAN national, to find out the company’s India plans.

PrintWeek (PW): What does Inkmaker offer to the Indian market?
Andrea Villa (AV): The Inkmaker Group’s core business is in the paint, coatings and ink industry, offering design and manufacturing through to complete engineering studies and turnkey solutions. It includes customised plant engineering and software design, automated dispensing, process equipment from bulk handling to filling lines, point-of-service (POS) equipment, and other related services.

The group's proprietary software and systems are manufactured in three continents.

PW: Were there any product which was shipped to a customer site in India wherein systems were pre-built to reduce installation time and associated costs? For example, a system which went from crate to dispensing in as little as four or six hours.
AV: Generally, our systems come with ready-to-be-installed or in knockdown easy-to-be-assembled form depending on how big the dispenser. Machine commissioning and on-site installation take between five to 30 days, depending on the size of projects.

 Inkmaker - P series dispenser - P32

PW: What is the Inkmaker system’s role in cutting down waste?
AV: There are many. There’s accurate chromatic reproduction of colour with higher consistency and reproducibility. This means, our customers get right-first-time inks. There is no re-shading. You get the colour you need, when you need. So there’s just-in-time, just-enough ink mixing. The systems reduce ink returns from the press, and allow re-use press returns into new mixing and matching. There’s flexibility on colour demand, stock rationalisation (reduction in stock and waste); full costing report for print jobs to keep strict control over cost; plant management and control by a single operator to save the cost of manpower, and reduction in production time compared to traditional systems.

These are some of the main benefits of Inkmaker dispensing systems.

PW: What’s the difference between the European and Indian market?
AV: As far as automatic ink dispensers are concerned, in Europe, it has become normal practice to have dispensers in ink kitchens, whereas in India, which is a price-conscious market manual mixing is still a common practice in ink kitchens. The Indian print companies also get the spot colour directly from the ink supplier.

PW: What steps has Inkmaker taken to bring a change in the practices that the Indian market follows?
AV: Our aim is to educate the market on the benefits of our dispensers and on how to use them to the best of their abilities in reducing press downtime, increasing productivity and efficiency.

PW: Are there customers in offset printing (for example, newspapers, who require a central supply from large containers of up to 20,000 litres) and packaging converters? 
AV: Yes, of course. Wherever spot colour and frequent changeovers are required, dispensing systems are required, be it offset printing or flexo or gravure.

In India we have supplied a few dispensers in offset printing industry.

PW: What about dispensing system which can target shorter runs?
AV: Today, label converters face an increasing number of short-run print jobs. Shorter production runs, high running costs and stringent quality demands are driving flexo printers to take greater control of their processes.

This is where our dispensing systems and ink management software play a major role by providing on-the-spot, just-in-time, just-enough ink preparation, shorter delivery to press, use of press return inks to slim down the flexo operation, and saving resources, time and energy.

PW: Inkmaker’s plans and forecast for India in 2020?
AV: Inkmaker is already a global industry leader. With Inkmaker Worldwide’s recent acquisition of the businesses of Rexson and Vale-tech, more recently, Tecnopails, and more planned for this year, we are on route to becoming the leading supplier of ink dispensers in India too.

We will be announcing some major news, for the brand, at the end of the first quarter this year at Eurocoat in Paris. So we welcome all our clients to stay tuned.

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