At the four-day Propak Africa taking place in Johannesburg in the framework of Print Expo 2013, Muller Martini presented at the stand of Thunderbolt Solutions, its South African agency, the diverse opportunities available in the flexible packaging segment, which is also growing strongly in Southern Africa. The trade fair visitors showed great interest not only in the stand, but also in the talk given by Jules Dietz, Muller Martini’s Sales Manager for Africa, about the VSOP (Variable Sleeve Offset Printing) and Alprinta web printing presses and their numerous benefits for package printing.
In the full lecture hall, Dietz emphasized in particular the advantages of web offset printing compared to traditional rotogravure and flexo printing in the fields of self-adhesive labels, shrink sleeves, wrap-arounds, flexible packaging, cardboard printing and folding boxes. “Offset printing is so attractive for packaging for four reasons,” Dietz said. “First, because you can print on a wide range of substrates from ultra-thin to very thick plastic films and cardboard boxes. Second, because it gives you a very short preparation time for the plates (five to ten minutes) and short changeover times (15 to 30 minutes for a seven-color job). Third, because the printing quality is very high. And fourth, because the pre-press costs per square meter of printing plate are significantly lower at EUR 15 compared to EUR 130 for flexo printing and EUR 250 for rotogravure printing.”
In his detailed presentation of two VSOP installations, Dietz also emphasized the combination of offset printing with flexo and/or rotogravure printing on the Muller Martini printing presses and the inline punching options. “All these features provide a high degree of flexibility when printing food packaging,” said the Muller Martini expert.
After the talk, several visitors allowed themselves to be initiated further into the secrets of web offset printing by Dietz himself, Karl-Heinz Thiele, Product Manager at Muller Martini Printing Presses, and specialists from Thunderbolt Solutions – proof that this topic is also highly relevant in South Africa today. Print samples enabled the package printers to see the high printing quality of the VSOP from Muller Martini for themselves.
Pat Lacy, CEO of the Printing Industries Federation of South Africa (PIFSA) and one of the most prominent guests at the stand of Thunderbird Solutions, was not surprised by the great interest: “Like everywhere in the world, package printing, especially for the food industry, is the segment of the graphic arts industry that is really booming in South Africa too. That’s why Propak Africa attracted so many visitors.”