L to R: Manish Kapoor, Alan Barretto and Jakob Landberg of Nilpeter with the FB 350 at Labelexpo India 2018. Photo: The Packman

 

Chennai is now the global hub for Nilpeter’s FB series which is being exported to North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The Danish printing press manufacturer opened a new manufacturing and development facility recently in Chennai. It may be recalled that the FB series is currently manufactured only in India, as production in the US was discontinued in 2017. Earlier, the FB series was manufactured both in the US and India.

Explaining the reason for taking FB series to a single-site production, Alan Barretto, managing director of Nilpeter India, said, “Nilpeter’s another series, the FA, is made in US and Denmark, while Denmark also makes the MO series. So we kind of rationalized our production lines and started manufacturing the FB series in Chennai. In next one year, we are targeting to manufacture 24 presses in Chennai – however, I think we will have to ramp it up to at least 36 presses, that is at least three presses a month. Of this, 10 to 20% will be sold in India. The scope in India for our company to grow is immense because now we are the global supplier of this machine.”

“And this also means that we are exporting various parts of the machines – that we are billing in India – to Europe, America, Latin America, South East Asia and Africa. So, we have more than doubled our capacity in Chennai but we still need more capacity,” added sales and marketing director of Nilpeter, Jakob Landberg, after Barretto. In fact, the land area at Nilpeter’s new center has space for additional expansion over time.

An FB series press rolled out from Nilpeter’s new expanded factory received great appreciation when it was displayed for the first time at the recently concluded Labelexpo India 2018 exhibition in Greater Noida. It was in fact one of the showstoppers of the event with lots of people crowding the Nilpeter stand all through the exhibition days. “The press displayed at the Labelexpo India event was the new generation FB 350 with new frame and structure with increased automation over the old FB 3300. We have introduced two new features on this press: the flatbed foiling system FP-4, a product made in Denmark, incorporated within the flexo units; and end-of-the-line automation,” explained Barretto.

“What we showed at the event was a unique combination of foiling, hot foiling and embossing on beautiful wine labels. At the end of the press, we had put a starwheel stacker and we went from the roll directly to cut out glue labels,” said Barretto. According to Barretto, “no other competitors have a hot foiling system as integrate-able as we have.” He added, “There are companies which make hot stamping systems but that is offline. While for inline hot stamping systems, it is a very expensive proposition when it comes from our competitors. On the other hand, for the stacking system, no other companies develop end-of-the-line automation like we do.”

Need for more capacity in store
The Indian retail industry has emerged as one of the most dynamic and fast-paced industries due to the entry of several new players. “However, it has not reached the level where it should be today. Once that really happens, then there will be more business for everyone – the machine manufacturers as well as the printers. Right now, the average consumption of labels is still quite low in India. I come to India twice a year and every time I come, I see new shopping centers and retail shops coming up. So, that market is definitely growing. That of course means that in times to come there will be need for more capacity rather than having an overcapacity,” said Landberg.

The future – tip of an iceberg so far
“The label market will continue to grow but as it continues to grow so will be the need for automation. It is a very fluid situation right now,” said Baretto.

“Most of the people we were talking to at the Labelexpo India exhibition were commercial printers. More and more commercial printers are looking at the label industry either as a means of diversification or as a means of reducing their dependence on commercial printing because of opportunities the label industry holds. It is a market where you have an opportunity to differentiate and that is why we at Nilpeter introduce new developments and innovations so that label printers can differentiate their products and rather than just fighting on price, he can fight on features, service, brilliance and functionality of labels. We have only seen the tip of an iceberg so far – there is a lot of opportunities ahead of us,” concluded Landberg.

— Mahan Hazarika

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