This strategy, as previously reported, has been to focus on the high-end of the flexible market, especially targeting blue-chip customers in the snack food and confectionery sectors.
‘The new press is performing at the highest levels of cost-effectiveness and profitability,’ Gary confirms, ‘and for the last three months both existing and potential customers have been amazed at the enormous strides in the quality of our output.’
He’s proud to demonstrate this claim by tabling samples of confectionery wrapping material printed flexographically on the new F&K alongside gravure-printed samples from a competitor. There’s simply no doubt that the flexo printing is far superior to the gravure printing! As just one example of this contention, the reverse type is crisp and clear and totally legible on CTP’s sample, while on the gravure-printed sample it’s totally illegible. It’s not surprising to learn that this particular customer has jumped ship!
Strong emphasis on investment The strong emphasis that the company has placed on investment during the last year – since Gary Seale was head-hunted and given a mandate to revitalise the business (at the behest of CTP/Caxton’s legendary Terry Moolman) – has enabled the company to grow steadily, to employ people with dedicated skills, and to expand the operation to include an increasingly wide array of high-technology converting equipment, including two new Titan slitters (PPM, Sept 10, p115) to match the width and speed output of the F&K press.
Today, CTP flexibles’ business includes almost every aspect of converting – from plain and flexo printed films and lamination to slitting, rewinding and bagmaking. And now cold seal in register has been added to the list.
‘As a growing portion of our business is for South Africa’s leading confectionery lines, cold seal was an imperative,’ Gary explains.
He’s opted for a Schiavi cold seal unit. Worth a cool R2-million, it’s been installed on the company’s existing Schiavi laminator, and he’s delighted to confirm that cold seal registration is within 0,1mm.
‘Within two weeks of commissioning the cold seal unit, we received our first orders from a major confectionery manufacturer,’ Gary reports. ‘The investment is already paying off.’
It’s interesting to record that all CTP flexibles’ recent capex has been channelled through Beswick Machinery – as local agent for the Bobst group, which includes Fischer & Krecke, Atlas/Titan and Schiavi equipment. And Gary remarks that all these major assets worked perfectly ‘from day one’. That’s a great endorsement for the Bobst/Beswick teams.
The new cold seal unit includes Bobst Registron system – said to be the fastest control technique on the market by a factor of four to eight times. Explains Bruce Beswick, ‘As Rotomec only uses Bobst Registron on its gravure presses, these presses operate with a lot less waste than others. This was proven by Rotomec prior to its acquisition by Bobst. Having run performance trials with major suppliers of register control systems, Registron came out tops, so Rotomec decided to standardise with Bobst.’
His colleague, Wynand van Staden takes up the story: ‘The cold seal upgrade implemented on the Schiavi CL600 laminator is a synthesis of accurate machine controls and ultimate Bobst register generation. The machine automatically sequences and the user-friendly Registron interface achieves significant waste reduction during start-up. The adhesive tank and the inking pan are equipped with a special anti-foam system which limits adhesive deterioration into skins – a typical defect on cold seal production.’
A hidden advantage of the upgrade, he adds, was improved web handling performance, as well as final product quality.
And the last, positive remark comes from Gary Seale: ‘CTP flexibles came through a very difficult trading year really smartly and is now poised perfectly to strike hard in 2011. It’s going to be a fun year!’
Ed’s note: Atlas Converting (Atlas and Titan brands) has since been the subject of an MBO from the Bobst group, but continues to be represented locally by Beswick Machinery (PPM, Festive 10, p7).