Third consecutive year of work in progress for the flexo prepress service in Paderno Dugnano (Mi) which has recently completed the expansion of the headquarters, now extended to 2000 sm for offices, warehouse and production; an expansion made necessary to follow the constant growth in volumes and consequently in turnover, a positive trend also in this 2021
Probably in 2019, when Paolo Ghedini decided for the first expansion of the new production structure of 2G&P, with new offices for graphic department and new production spaces, he would never have imagined finding himself after 2 years having to further expand his company. But the continuous growth in production volumes, which have so far reached very important levels and the consequent continuous need to add new staff and new equipments, have made unmissable the opportunity to purchase the neighboring warehouse, an investment to be seized on the fly.
“We have prepared the ground so that the company in the next few years can continue on its growth path, constantly guaranteeing customers the top quality available on the market today and recognized by all and a unique timeliness in deliveries, which especially for customers operating in the world of labels and shrink sleeves, we often manage to guarantee within the day”, Paolo Ghedini tells us while we visit the new production space, adjacent and connected to the current one, where an area is dedicated to the expansion of the prepress graphic office, practically doubled and which represents the beating heart of the production cycle of a flexo prepress service, the one that still distinguishes a company from the other, “and thank goodness it is so” Ghedini comments, “otherwise we would all be on the same level. The plate production technologies, but also the software itself, are available to everyone, obviously knowing how to obtain the resources to invest, anyone can use them, but the know-how and above all the experience of prepress operators is what still today allows us to distinguish ourselves”. For a precise choice, the prepress department was also divided into two groups with specialists dedicated to each sector. One with operators dedicated to labels and shrink sleeves sector and another with specialized employees in the sector of large format flexible packaging. A department where 12 operators work. “Specific and in-depth preparation is essential for very different sectors that require equally different knowledge and precautions” – explains Paolo Ghedini, who then continues, “the quality level required and that we aim to constantly offer on any printed matter is increasingly high. Only a synergy between technology and specific skills can guarantee this. For example, every day we produce flexo plates previously printed in lithographic or gravure printing. I have been hearing about it lately as a novelty but we have been doing it every day for years. Of course, no difference should be seen. I repeat: technologies today allow it, of course you have to know how to use them because the problem is not ‘what we have to achieve’, but ‘how to get it’ with a very different printing technique”. In fact, 2G & P’s customers include several printers who, by adopting both printing techniques, need to guarantee the same quality and the same result to the end customer, regardless of the type of printing used.
New spaces for new technologies
On the floor below, instead, a new open space has been created, linear and functional to production needs, in which will find space the new technological investments, that are being carefully evaluated by Ghedini, who in any case now manages the workflow with the collaboration of about twenty people and 4 complete lines for the production of flexographic photopolymers, two with solvent and two with thermal development, 4 UV and LED imagers, 3 CDI units, double ovens and finishing and an area dedicated to the automated cutting of plates with which 2G&P allows its customers to mount pre-cut and ready plates with the right interlocking on the development of the cylinder, a device that allows the customer to save enormous amounts of time during assembly of clichés. A fleet of machines that certainly protects from any possible technical inconvenience, and that allows 2G&P to schedule maintenance cycles for its equipments, without being affected from the point of view of business operations. “The production volume and the expectations of our customers prevent us from even thinking about downtime”, says Ghedini. “We therefore have more than one installation of each technology, which is essential to ensure constant productivity and speed of execution even in the event of work peaks that customers rightly expect to be managed by us without slowing down. Customers with large volumes need guarantees from this point of view and we support them”.
An area is also planned for the storage of incoming material, which has grown considerably with the increase in work, and which in fact also represents the first guarantee of a precise and punctual service for flexo printing market, which now it has its operational standard in urgencies.
“We face the challenges that the market submits to us with enthusiasm and confident that we can provide a product with an unbeatable quality/price ratio, respecting the requests for deliveries that are sometimes bordering on the unthinkable. But it is precisely for this reason that we continue to invest on several fronts, and the greatest satisfaction comes from the positive feedbacks of our customers, many of which, and I am talking about both historical customers and new companies, after having tested the quality of our plates, declare their intention to increase the volume dedicated to us. As I have already had the opportunity to tell several times in your magazine, we do not try to offer the absolute best price, which imposes compromises on quality, efficiency and service, but the best ‘quality/price ratio’. Today we all talk about quality, but to guarantee it, it is essential to invest in technology, adopt the best materials, maintain efficient production lines and have qualified and experienced personnel, and all this has costs. If quality, an essential point, is to be combined with speed in processing and deliveries, organization and even more preparation are needed. Our prices are certainly very competitive, but always taking into consideration the service we want to give and on which we are not willing to compromise”, adds Ghedini.
New distiller to get three times solvent regeneration capacity
Installed in the first days of August, the new 2G&P continuous cycle distiller will allow the management of a quantity of solvent three times higher than the current one and higher than today’s company needs. “Since, for several years now, we have introduced the solvent process, after years of development only with thermal technology, the market for large format flexible packaging has grown considerably for us and continues to grow. The first solvent recovery and regeneration plant was therefore no longer in line with our needs. With this new investment, which has been deliberately oversized, we will also be able to satisfy future needs, in line with the growth trend that we will continue to support with investments”, concludes Ghedini.