Another key person in the new Gauteng operation is Ben Muller, who has gained more than ten years’ experience in all aspects of operations, administration and customer service within the narrow-web ink industry.
Providing some background to these exciting expansion plans, Ian Trethowan explains that the company’s vision is to be the preferred local supplier of narrow-web inks – not just in South Africa, but throughout Africa.
But as there are any number of ink manufacturers active in the printing market, the next obvious question is what sets Millian Inks apart? ‘Quality is the foundation of our business, and we pride ourselves on offering personal and friendly service. But our key differentiator is local formulation and manufacture,’ Ian insists. ‘In addition, we carefully pick our suppliers and the customers we want to serve, and equally carefully choose the people who work for us, the equipment we use and the products we make. The excellence of our quality is proven by the number of times our inks are mentioned as a prime component for winning entries in the FTASA’s Print Excellence Awards,’ he adds proudly.
Also important to note is that Millian Inks doesn’t operate in a vacuum, but has the support of some key partners, such as Classiq Colors, Mirage Inks in the UK, Brancher in France, and Resino in Denmark – all producing specialised inks for niche applications.
Through these connections, Millian offers the narrow-web sector a variety of complementary products, including solvent-based, water-based, vegetable oil-based and UV-cured inks, varnishes and adhesives for a range of printing processes, including; flexographic, silkscreen, letterpress and offset.
This comprehensive product range – now also available in Gauteng through the newly-established branch – encompasses locally-manufactured flexo water-based inks (AquaMill range) and free radical UV inks, varnishes and adhesives (MilliCure range). Millian also supplies additives and wash-ups for UV and water-based technologies – and here again the locally-produced MilliCure and AquaCure ranges are leading products.
The technical team at Millian continues to lead the way in an in-depth understanding of products that meet evolving European safety legislation when it comes to printing of food packaging, selling and supporting both cationic and free radical inks supplied by Mirage Inks in the UK (see PPM, Festive10, p100). A more recent addition to the line-up is imported low-odour and low-migration conventional and UV paste inks from Brancher in France.
Special effect inks now made locally
The Millian team has also invested five years into gaining a true understanding of the way that special effect inks and coatings for flexo and silkscreen applications can be quickly and effectively produced. ‘Previously,’ claims Ian, ‘a lack of local resources and expertise made special effect inks and coatings too difficult and costly to produce. But we’re now working closely with designers to ensure that the right design is used to ensure that costs and technical capabilities are taken into account in order to get the desired effect,’ he adds.
In Ian’s view, two key reasons for Millian Inks’ ongoing success are, firstly, its status as an owner managed business and, secondly, its ability to innovate using both local and international resources.
‘With our modern manufacturing methods, our qualified and experienced technical staff, our state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, plus our carefully chosen business partners, we’re able to maintain product integrity while being able to tailor-make inks and coatings to meet our customers’ specific requirements, and to deliver highly innovative solutions in a dynamic printing environment,’ he concludes.
Millian Inks/Ian Trethowan
T +27 083 4629229