Today managed by Brett Leppington, son of the founder, PrintEquip started life with an emphasis on security printing but has since moved into the supply of market-leading consumables for sheet-fed litho printing, just one example, among many, being PCO Printing Chemicals.
As reported last year (PPM March 2019), PrintEquip has now added Eagle Systems to its growing armoury of world-leading principals. This US-based company is owned and managed by Mike King, who has been involved in the foiling business for more than four decades, and has achieved celebrity status as ‘The Foil Expert’. While his experience was originally in the field of hot foiling, the focus has increasing turned to cold foiling, since the launch of his revolutionary Eco-Eagle inline press-top system.
Brett Leppington first made contact with Mike King at drupa 2016, where he witnessed the wonders of inline cold foiling for the first time, subsequently becoming Eagle Systems’ South African representative. As Brett points out, Eagle has been at the forefront of cold foiling’s acceptance as a viable production option, and commercial and packaging printers on every continent are now prospering from its impact.
In fact, Eagle has clocked up 103 installations worldwide since the development of its Eco-Eagle system, and now the first system has been installed in Africa, at Printafoil in Cape Town, where it’s producing eye-catching print for this award-winning packaging printer.
However, as Mike King points out, while Printafoil has the first Eco-Eagle cold foiling system in this country, the Eagle name is not new to the South African market. ‘We have sold many of our hot foiling systems into the Southern African region since 1994,’ Mike explains.
While it’s safe to say that print isn’t going to disappear anytime soon, it’s also clear that it’s an increasingly competitive business. Printing costs continue to be scrutinised and each printer’s mission is to produce something that stands out from the competition – something eye-catching, something that creates engagement and loyalty, while driving increased business and reducing costs.
That’s a tall order, especially in offset printing. With the continued advancement of digital print enhancement, it’s critical to ensure every possible advantage for offset printing.
Offset has a natural competitive edge when it comes to range and depth of colour, affordable long runs and durability. With advances in ink technology, many printers are leveraging UV inks and plate processes to reduce hazardous waste, speed up make-ready and provide high-quality print while offering short runs. All this is keeping offset relevant as a critical part of the print value chain.
But is it enough?
‘Eagle’s cold foil technology helps printers to stand out from the crowd,’ Brett Leppington maintains. ‘It really is a most cost-effective, flexible and easy-to-use process, and using cold foil adds a different texture and sheen to any printed product (commercial or packaging). It promotes consumer engagement and gives a high-end, luxurious feel,’ he adds.
Printafoil is well known among brand owners for producing packaging that helps to increase sales, and provides a diverse and innovative packaging menu for local and international companies across many markets.
This reputation for quality and reliability has been built up over three generations of the founding Sherman family, and the company has walked away with numerous Gold Pack Awards over the years.
‘We’re really excited about this latest investment!’ says director, Brett Sherman.
‘Using state-of-the-art printing and converting technology has positioned us as a reliable and capable partner for our customers,’ he notes. ‘The Eagle system builds on this strategy by delivering the best cold foiling option for our customers’ packaging projects. From day one, we’ve appreciated how fast and efficiently this foiling facility enhances our jobs.’
Efficiency and uptime is critical to any litho printing business, and the Eco-Eagle is helping Printafoil to improve both profitability and production quality. Make-ready is accelerated, as is turnaround time. ‘These factors are translating into improved customer satisfaction,’ Brett adds.
In choosing Eagle, Printafoil relied on industry research. ‘We discovered that Eagle has a long-standing and proven name for both reliability and quality, and so does local representative, PrintEquip. We’re glad to have Eagle Systems and PrintEquip helping us to provide better cold foil options for our customers,’ Brett continues.
‘When we help brand managers to take packaging awareness to new levels, this is another promotional advantage we can use. The result is a production tool that supports our customers’ marketing goals, especially the foil’s 100% recyclability. To our knowledge, no other packaging printer in South Africa can offer this,’ Brett sums up.