Graeme is very excited at UFI’s appointment as the sub-Saharan distributor for API’s foils. ‘Many of the foil products I sold in the 1980s still form part of the greater API range and are still going strong,‘ he comments. ‘This is testament to products that offer versatility and proven reliability, two features that have established API as a prestigious, premium foil brand internationally,’ he adds.
All of this was spelt out to prominent ‘movers and shakers’ among local converters and brand owners at a recent function at UVP’s Epping, Cape Town, premises. The event was hosted by group CEO, Werner Weber, plus other UVP directors, as well as Graeme Aitken and his co-director Victor Erasmus, and executives from API in the UK – Simon Moorhouse (sales manager, UK and export), and Andy Kerr (international technical support).
API – with a worldwide reputation for quality and technical excellence – supplies a range of specialised foil products. It all started in the 1920s, when Associated Paper Industries (API) was established in an age of industrial pioneering. Since then API has acquired a number of businesses with strong products and a wealth of experience so that today it counts as one of the top two producers of specialised foiling products used for packaging premium branded goods.
Simon Moorhouse, expressing pleasant surprise at the level of interest at the launch events, explained to guests that, although proud of its heritage, API constantly strives to improve and develop innovative foil products for the print finishing world. ‘As a leader in foil printing technology with a global presence we invest heavily in people, technology and equipment which enables us to stay one step ahead of our competitors,’ he remarked.
His colleague, Andy Kerr, went on to emphasise that when it comes to foiling, versatility is the key. ‘No machine minder wants to have to experiment with numerous foils before finding a suitable foil for an application. Our success in producing foils with maximum versatility is largely due to the fact that we have listened to these experts – for nobody understands foiling better than an experienced machine minder!’ he insisted.
‘API’s philosophy has always been to look, listen, learn, develop, experiment and fine tune; and when we get the machine minder’s “stamp of approval” we know we have produced a foil that will meet the demands of experienced minders in the industry,’ he told guests.
Andy went on to present some highlights of what’s now available in South Africa through UFI – including MetaFOIL (metallic foil) for decorative purposes, particularly for packaging where functionality and productivity are essential; ColdFOIL (cold foil) an alternative to hot stamping foil, creating new opportunities for foiling a range of different packaging media; HoloFOIL (decorative holographic foil) to enhance visual effects when shelf appeal is a vital element of product positioning; and ColoFOIL (pigment foil) for functional purposes such as date coding, where durability is key.
According to Graeme Aiken, many of API’s products are already industry standards in South Africa. ‘Grade 595001 has established itself as a first choice favourite in the bookbinding industry; MV plus is a magnificently versatile general purpose graphics foil; and GT is simply the best coding foil on the market for “best before” and batch coding,’ he maintains. In addition, API was a pioneer of cold foiling technology, used extensively worldwide and locally in the narrow-web label printing sector.
‘We’re very positive about our future in South Africa. The launch proved to be a great success, and the general feeling was that the market had been dominated by two main players for too long and that it’s time for some “new blood” in the industry,’ Graeme concludes.
United Foils International