WITH 2021 coming to an end, ROTOCON reflects on this year’s highlights and how the company has continued to provide world-class service and gone above and beyond for its labelling and narrow-web industry customers, despite the ongoing challenges created by the pandemic.
The year kicked off with a bang as ROTOCON was appointed by DuPont as its South African distributor for CYREL flexo plates, the EASY technology platform, FAST thermal workflow, and associated equipment towards the end of 2020. ROTOCON’s main warehouse for the flexographic plates is in its Johannesburg branch.
Also reported in PPM’s New Year issue was that Durbanbased label converter GTV Label Master had invested in South Africa’s second ECOLINE RFP 340 flexo press, complemented by the ECOLINE Pro Mount platemounter. The company stated that these machines are user-friendly and ensure the company commits to its high standards.
In the March Cracking News, PPM reported on the installation of a pre-owned MPS press, the EF 410, to increase capacity and operational flexibility at Zippy Labels. According to the team, this press operating with the original MPS helps improve service levels when multiple customers require job deliveries on the same day.
Durban-based CE Stewart also invested in an ECOLINE RFP 340 flexo press, complemented by the ECOLINE Pro Mount platemounter and Pro Clean anilox roller cleaner. It invested in the flexo press primarily for self-adhesive labels and converting unsupported films. After running successful trials, the company was further impressed with the machine’s quality and capabilities. The Pro Mount platemounter and Pro Clean anilox roller were introduced in 2020 to round out the ECOLINE range.
As a proudly South African company and a proud supporter of the labelling and narrow-web community, ROTOCON launched its ‘I LOVE ROTOCON’ competition in May, which places the focus on customers’ operators. To date, eight have been recognised with a series of monthly prizes.
In June, PPM reported on Cape Town-based Sullwald Printing Solutions’ (formerly known as Coastal Labels) investments from ROTOCON that have enabled the company to provide high-quality products, explore new markets, and expand its offerings at faster turnaround times. Investments include a SCREEN Truepress L350UV+, two ECOLINE RDF 330 digital label converting and finishing systems, and four Wink SmartGap systems, the most installed at a packaging converter in the country.
In PPM’s August issue, ROTOCON reported on successful installations of three ECOLINE machines in Namibia. Windhoek-based Uni-Nam Labels invested in the ECOLINE RFP 340 LED flexo press so that it could pursue opportunities in the wrap-around label and flexible packaging markets. Complementing the press were investments in the ECOLINE RSI 340 slitting, inspection and rewinding system and ECOLINE Pro Mount platemounter.
Also reported in the August issue was Cape Town-based Proprint Screening & Labels Solutions, formerly known as Proprint Screen Printers, investment in ROTOCON’s ECOLINE RFP 340 eight-colour flexographic press to meet customers’ needs and enhance its portfolio with expanded colour gamut printing to include self-adhesive, wrap-around, commercial and blank labels, shrink sleeves, and flexible packaging.
Innovation Shrink and Wrap invested in the ECOLINE RFP 340 über LED flexo press, which features accurate registration at high speeds, eight servo motors and one diecutting station.
Win-Pak invested in ROTOCON’s ECOLINE flatbed silkscreen press to help improve capacity in its value-addition label finishing department and ensure customers’ demands are met timeously. The press ensures reduced lead times and prevents bottlenecks in the value-added department.
Pinetown-based label converter, Blue Print Labelling, invested in the ECOLINE RFP 340 flexo press and a complementary ECOLINE RSI 340 slitting, inspection and rewinding system.
Another exciting aspect for the ROTOCON team this year was the appointment of John Lomberg as market and business development director. Based in Cape Town, John’s main focus is to contribute towards revenue growth, increase brand value, and identify printing solution opportunities in southern Africa.
ROTOCON also assisted companies with training for tooling purchase or sales staff, press operators, and assistants. The training module addresses the ordering, manufacturing, shipping, and delivery of flexible and rotary dies plus magnetic cylinders; the role of cutting angles and materials; as well as care instructions and fault analysis.
Taking stock of this year’s achievements
ROTOCON’s board of directors, Michael, Pascal and Patrick Aengenvoort and John Lomberg would like to convey their thanks to customers, suppliers, employees and logistics partners for their unwavering support during these tough times.
‘We would like to first express our gratitude to our customers. We are honoured that they choose to support ROTOCON, and we’re committed to going above and beyond to provide customers with the best service and support.
‘We would also like to thank our talented group of employees for the hard work they’ve put in this year. In this past year, we have enjoyed many successes built on their efforts.
‘To our suppliers, we would like to thank them and their teams for the service and support received throughout the year. Without their commitment, some of our projects wouldn’t have been as successful.
‘We’ve come through a year filled with both challenges and victories. We wish everyone good health and a wonderful time with family and friends during the holiday season.’
Dynamic digital duo provides new opportunities for printers
The Truepress works in tandem with the ECOLINE RDF 340/440 finishing machine, which can spot colour varnish, coat, foil and laminate digitally printed packaging.
According to group CEO Michael Aengenvoort, ROTOCON also sources pre-owned flexographic and SCREEN digital presses as well as label slitter rewinders for local label printers.
‘We’re proud that this partnership has presented the local market with new opportunities. The Truepress L350UV and the ECOLINE finishing machine duo present the ideal solution for South African printers who want to venture into the digital printing market but have financial concerns.’
The Truepress Jet L350UV+ series can print the finest detail, capturing the highest definition and the smallest text point size.
In 2014, First Impression Labels embraced digital printing by investing in Africa’s first Screen Truepress Jet press and four years later, after the success achieved with the first press, the company invested in the Truepress Jet L350UV+ UV inkjet label press accompanied by the RDF 330 for digital label converting and finishing.
In 2015, the second sale of the Truepress went to HP Labelling after the company was highly impressed with the numerous print trials conducted at the SCREEN demonstration centre in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
At Propak Africa 2019, Sullwald Printing Solutions invested in a SCREEN Truepress L350UV+ digital press and ECOLINE RDF 330 digital finishing press.
‘Since we invested in the SCREEN Truepress two years ago, it has created many market opportunities for us,’ comments CEO Marius Sullwald. He adds that the digital press is a costeffective option for smaller runs. ‘The SCREEN Truepress and the ECOLINE RDF 330 work so beautifully together that it made sense to invest in another finishing machine in 2021 to keep up with the demand.’
ROTOCON assisted Durban-based VR Print to venture into the digital printing market after the company also invested in the digital duo in 2019. According to MD Hilton van Rensburg, there’s an ongoing growing demand for digitally printed labels and the company listened to its customers’ needs.
In the same year, Avvo Labels also invested in the duo to keep abreast with market demand and technology.
During that time, GM Ronnie Rampirith reported digital printing enables Avvo Labels to provide its customers with highly customisable and excellent quality products in quick turnaround times.
In 2020, Sign & Seal invested in the digital press and finishing machine to meet the growing demand for bespoke labels and short-run printing. Owner Henk Crous stated that digital printing is providing the local market with many opportunities. ‘The digital press and finishing machine ensure a quick turnaround time yet quality remains high, which in turn helps Sign & Seal to remain competitive.’
The SCREEN Truepress SAI model, developed in response to the industry’s need for mixed, short-run printing of high-end and luxury segment brands, can handle at least three times the number of jobs, in half the time of conventional flexo presses.
‘The SAI range expands applications and functionalities even further by offering improved colour reproduction as well as superior scalability, enabling it to meet an even wider variety of market needs,’ explains Michael.
‘Due to the seven inks used, which are CMYK, white, orange and blue, this model provides a wider range of colour expression than previously possible, increasing Pantone coverage and reducing colour differences,’ he notes.
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