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Locally-built flexo presses make an impression

A South African-built flexographic press from Pacom offers a cost-effective alternative to buying an imported machine, reports GILL LOUBSER.

IN a noteworthy reversal of the usual trading pattern for capital goods, Pacom’s South African-built narrow-web flexographic presses have been found increasingly on international markets (notably sold to Russia Federation and Western European countries). They have also been installed at a number of local printing houses.


However, in the face of the strengthening rand, they’re again proving highly competitive on the local market, and are being sold in ever-higher numbers to South Africa’s flexo printers (both flexible packaging and label printers), where they’re gaining a solid reputation for being as efficient and technologically advanced as any of their imported counterparts.
To go back to the beginning of the story, Pacom was founded in 1983 by Manfred Stadler; and today, some 27 years later, this family-owned business is managed by father-and-son team of Manfred and Eric Stadler, who, assisted by 15 employees, operate from a well-equipped factory in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal. The management team is complemented by Eddie Duckworth, national sales manager.


Conscious of the ever-changing needs of a highly-competitive market, the Stadlers have remained firmly abreast of technology breakthroughs during the intervening decades, mainly by regular attendance at international exhibitions.
‘We’ve built a solid reputation,’ remarks Eric Stadler. ‘Our customers are invariably impressed with the solid structure and durable nature of our presses. Compared with imported presses – which are much more expensive than ours – we offer local flexo printers enormous value for money.’
Local customers include Ferroprint, Dynamic Labels, Interflex, Starke Ayres and Elite Labels.


From basic to sophisticated
Pacom’s flexo presses are capable of printing on any substrate from 6µm unsupported film right through to 440g/m2 board – and can handle widths up to 620mm.
‘Our machines are designed to international standards but we have kept their operation and maintenance as simple as possible, with minimal changeover times needed for new jobs,’ Eric explains. ‘They’re designed to meet the primary need of any modern printing operation – the production of top-quality, world-class flexo printing at high speed,’ he adds.


‘Everyone is amazed at their ease of operation and simple maintenance – all of which helps to save money and to keep printers ahead of their competitors,’ Eric maintains.
Models range from basic presses through to sophisticated, gearless machines, with all the bells and whistles, such as automatic register control, label counting, fault finding, and much more.
In addition, quality materials are used throughout Pacom’s manufacturing programme, with main frames of solid steel, and nickel chromed plates for durability and easy cleaning.


Helical gearing ensures smooth operation, while ceramic anilox rollers with reverse-angle doctor blade systems, ink rollers and slide-out ink trays guarantee rapid job changes.
Machines can also be customised to meet customers’ specific needs, while an added advantage is that standard electrical components are used throughout.


Some components are sourced from leading global manufacturers. In addition, Pacom boasts a dynamic R&D department that keeps it abreast of the latest flexo printing technologies and market trends.
All presses are equipped with the latest PLCs to allow for fault finding and label counting, while user-friendly operator controls, easy visual trouble shooting, and precise and safe machine control are all part of the deal. Simple-to-operate digital parameters match the drive to the machine, while full monitoring and diagnostics enable optimum operation and control.


‘At Pacom we’re committed to supplying quality products at competitive prices. We’re also committed to the pursuit of excellence through our workmanship and first-class service,’ Eric remarks.
As part of its endeavour to offer competitive solutions to label printers, Pacom has obtained the agency for the Sohn range of printing presses. ‘We’re very excited about this development, as it adds to our ability to offer a range
of presses at affordable prices,’ explains Eric. ‘Based in the US, Sohn has 45 years’ experience and offers presses to help smaller printers get started in label printing,’ he continues. ‘They’re small, reliable and very powerful.’


It’s fair to say that Pacom’s most noteworthy endorsement comes from the solid reputation the company has already gained in a highly competitive market.
Asked about his view of Pacom’s future, Eric replies: ‘We aim to take Pacom to the highest level by building on past successes to increase sales and service, and by expanding our range of machines to suit our customers’
ever-changing markets.’

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