First Gallus Labelfire 340 in New Zealand at PhilStic

Provide 24-hour turnaround service

Gallus Labelfire 340
The first Gallus Labelfire 340 in New Zealand is installed at PhilStic photo PhilStic

The latest investment of PhilStic, a family owned company in New Zealand,  is a new Gallus Labelfire 340. It is the first Labelfire in New Zealand after two machine system being installed in Australia. PhilStic celebrates the installation as well as its 40th anniversary in operation with a ceremony in August 2021.

The company was founded by Phil Fewings in 1981. Today, it is under the direction of its second generation, Phil’s daughters Helen Fewings, now managing director, and Rebecca Piek, director. While two Labelfire have been installed in Australia, the PhilStic machine is the first for New Zealand, giving the company a distinct quality and productivity advantage.

Dierk Wissmann, national sales manager for Heidelberg, says it’s this versatility, productivity and quality which continues to impress both print businesses and their customers. He continues, “As well as CMYK + white, the machine can be ordered – as this one for PhilStic has been – with an extended colour gamut including green, orange and violet. That allows for a very high accurate coverage of the Pantone Plus Color Gamut.”

Performance and quality

With a promise to provide a 24-hour turnaround service, and a reputation for the ability to deliver a huge variety of label products, PhilStic has set the bar high, but Steve Holmes, Operations Manager, says the new Labelfire 340, which was installed in mid-June, is already delivering on its promises.
“This new Labelfire press features all the latest improvements and enhancements and has been configured to our specifications. It includes two flexo printing units and metallic cold foil upstream of the central digital inkjet print unit, and a further three flexo units, plus a cold foil station for foiling or lamination, as well as a varnishing unit with extended curing track, all downstream,” Holmes explains, saying the company selected the machine after looking at a range of options.

Full flexibility and fire power

“One of the key advantages of the Gallus Labelfire is that it’s a true hybrid machine, so the whole label converting process can be handled in a single pass, with quick set up, very fast run speeds and easy operation,” says Holmes and adds, “Quite simply, it was by far the best solution to produce the quality and variety of products we need, productively and profitably – and our operators love it!”
Production Manager Bart Mann agrees and explains, “We produce a huge range of products, with a special focus on booklet and multi-web labels for the chemical industry – just one of the sectors which requires extreme accuracy and precision processing.”

“The Gallus applies the ink directly to the substrate, with no mixing or need for additional calibration, and the Heidelberg ink set is fantastic for light fastness and longevity. That’s really important, particularly for some labels which are used on things like chemical drums, which are often stored outside”, Mann explains. “The colour consistency is also a huge bonus with high-end, brand-conscious clients and regular repeat jobs.”

UV inkjet printing

“The Labelfire delivers accurate colour matching and repeatability, whether that’s across various labels in a range, different product labels for the same brand, or repeats of previous runs. We can have eight or more versions of a label in a job, so being able to easily achieve that consistency across the entire range is vital.”  As well as significantly reducing lead times and enabling the company to lift capacity without having to increase staff numbers, Holmes adds that the Labelfire has also exponentially increased the number of options PhilStic can offer to its customers.

Gallus and Heidelberg make service and support a priority with factory-trained technicians not only here in Auckland, but backed by experts in Sydney and Melbourne”, says Mann and states. “This longstanding relationship, not only with Gallus but with Heidelberg in this region, gives us the kind of confidence you need in your supply partners.”

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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