From the start, they were committed to supplying outstanding quality products and excellent customer service, using their highly complementary skills and bringing a wealth of experience to their venture – Alan as a process engraver/photolithographer and André as a toolmaker.
Now, eight years on, Alan confidently describes Supreme Cylinders as ‘the southern hemisphere’s leading supplier’ when it comes to specialised tooling for foiling and embossing.
‘We have consolidated a very strong customer base, especially in the labelling and folding carton sectors,’ he explains, ‘and are increasingly focused on the supply of specialised and highly-innovative tooling for multilevel, 2D and 3D embossing. We’re also strong on prototyping innovative products and helping to bring new ideas to market.’
As just one example of such innovation in practice, he cites the high-quality foiling, embossing and debossing seen on BAT’s Vogue cigarette carton, a pack that won a Gold Medal in last year’s Gold Pack Awards, where the tooling was designed by Supreme Cylinders.
‘We’re also filling a niche market for in-line embossing kits. It’s a practice that’s becoming increasingly prominent among our customers in the printing industry as they push to save time and money,’ Alan remarks.
And it’s not only on the local market that Supreme is having such success with its products.
‘We recently despatched some tooling to a leading self-adhesive printer in China, and have exported three in-line embossing kits to the UK,’ Alan adds proudly. ‘And we’ve completed some really pioneering developments working hand-in-hand with SA Litho. We feel the local printing industry can benefit greatly from having a local supplier with the necessary credentials to compete worldwide in the supply of advanced tooling.’
More emphasis on ‘going green’
Supreme’s decision to invest in a table-top exhibit at the recent Label Summit Africa also paid dividends, netting the company three new international customers.
But also listening to speakers at the conference talking about ‘going green’ made the team at Supreme more aware of this aspect.
‘As a result, we’ve decided to place increased focus on our carbon footprint, even though we can’t move away completely from the chemical process we presently use,’ Alan remarks.
According to Alan, Supreme Cylinders is now – justifiably – the southern hemisphere’s supplier of choice for hot stamping foil and embossing tooling. The company’s Level 1 BBBEE status (135% contributor) bodes well for the local printing and packaging industry, he maintains.
‘We can safely say that we’re South Africa’s leading supplier of in-line hot-foil stamping cylinders, but we also manufacture flat foil and embossing/debossing dies, as well as combination dies. We’re a small company with our feet firmly on the ground … moving forward steadily and doing things right,’ Alan insists.
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