Digital Flex – Nuova Roveco Group doubles laser technology for sleeve engraving, a sector that is not very developed in Italy

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The numbers of the last three years testify that the company is growing, because it continues to invest in technologies and is always looking for new market opportunities. During first days of January, the second line for direct sleeve engraving was installed, a niche on which Digital Flex is very focused to further grow and increase the outlet sectors of its products

From the left Giovanni Rioldi, Andrea Vergano e Federico Paulli – Sales Departmentf of Digital Flex

Talking about Digital Flex means retracing the history of the Italian flexographic industry.
56 years of presence on the market represent the business card of a company that believed in flexo when the state of the art was the micro zinc, magnesium, flongs and vulcanized rubber matrices and over the years it has always been at the forefront, constantly investing in the latest technological innovations proposed by the market and in fact tracing the way in a very competitive sector, where quality is now a fact, and where to differentiate yourself it is necessary to provide a consultancy service that leads the supplier of the printing system to work in partnership with the brand or printer, providing timely service.
Today, the 55 collaborators are led by Andrea Vergnano with his sister Barbara, sons of Renato Vergnano, founder of the company, and the partners Paolo Cornali and Marzia Ripamonti, also children of two historical partners.

A successful generational shift
As Andrea tells us, whom we met at Monza headquarters, together with the sales managers Federico Paulli and Giovanni Rioldi: “here the delicate generational transition has already taken place successfully and without particular problems. I have been working in the company for many years and having supported my father and Franco Collini in all these years has allowed me to grow and take an active part in strategic decisions so when it was time to take over the helm of Digital Flex, also thanks to my precious collaborators, everything happened with extreme naturalness. My father, who is still president, comes to visit us now and then but he no longer actively participates in company life. I must admit, however, that in the most important decisions I like to confront him and ask him for advice”.
The period of Covid has put a strain on the commercial strength of Digital Flex, and even if in the course of 2020 it was not possible to develop new contacts, it was a year of consolidation of traditional customers. Therefore, thanks to the decisive restart that began as early as the first months of 2021, the company has experienced a positive three-year period of growth.

The second laser line is coming for direct engraving of sleeves
Last July, the order was confirmed for the purchase of the second laser line for direct engraving of sleeves, installed in these first days of January. “Sleeves have always been part of our product range, and have been introduced precisely to help some of our customers who had this need”, says Andrea Vergnano, “initially we relied on a French partner, then, given the increase in requests, we equipped ourselves with a first system for direct engraving. This decision is in line with our philosophy of wanting to serve the market with quality and timeliness and today you are competitive, you can manage every emergency and solve the customer’s problem only if you are equipped internally and master the technology without having to depend on anyone”.

The direct engraving sleeves are already used in the packaging sector for some types of applications, but above all in markets different from packaging sector, such as for example back sheet, gift papers, wallpapers, faux wood coatings. “We strongly believe in the potential of this product, and the decision to equipe ourselves with a second laser line will allow us from next year to push with strength this type of solution on the market, which among its main features offers the advantage of continuous printing without the need to eliminate the famous joint that inevitably occurs when you prepare a traditional photopolymer plate.

There are sectors in which the joint is not accepted at all, for example solid areas printing, therefore the sleeve is the only possible solution. In other cases it is instead preferred to optimize the production flows of the printer, who choose it for certain jobs, despite a higher price, since the start-up time is much faster than traditional plates and for very long runs it guarantees a higher printing speed”, adds Andrea.
Digital Flex also offers mixed solutions in which, within the same job, the colors that require continuous printing are made with sleeves and the rest with photopolymers.

The importance of relying on a reliable partner: when the service enters the press room
Being able to work by creating a relationship of trust with customers is the goal of all companies. To do this, it is necessary to openly confront each other, putting all the problems to be solved on the table, and try to find solutions to achieve the goal.
“We have been historical suppliers for over twenty years of leading multinationals in the food and personal care sector, and although there is no lack of offer on the market, we are considered a point of reference for them, since price is not the first lever in the choice of a supplier, who must be a partner able to solve promptly and with great competence any type of problem not only related to the production of plates, but starting from the creation of the file up to printing during start-up. We follow the customer from start to finish, interacting with printers, graphic studios, material producers. Today the key to success is to present oneself to the market with the ability to solve problems, because with the available technology, supplying the plates is within everyone’s reach. From a technological point of view, our company offers the state of the art regarding flexo prepress. The difference is obviously the quality but above all the prompt service and advice. I take this opportunity to invite those who still do not know us to come and visit our facility and understand what lies behind a flexo prepress service, because it is clear that to offer quality it is essential to be structured, and to have the ability to invest in technology, always with the utmost respect for the environment. Environmental sustainability has been an added value for us for years, with continuous investments, aimed at increasingly reducing emissions and waste deriving from production, in a very tidy and comfortable work environment”, says Vergnano, well aware of the positioning on the market of his company that does not consider price lever a competitive advantage.

A solution for all needs
Who fights the battle daily on the market is the commercial strength of Digital Flex, a close-knit team composed not only by Andrea Vergnano, but also by Federico Paulli and Giovanni Rioldi, competent figures with know-how in the prepress and flexo printing sector, a wealth of knowledge to offer to customers. “We focus a lot on the sleeves to increase our presence in the wallpaper sector, where rotogravure is still the protagonist, but where we are starting to present the flexo alternative to some producers who are obviously interested”, adds Federico Paulli.

One last sentence before closing the pleasant morning comes from Giovanni Rioldi to underline the fact that if Digital Flex is considered a top level company, it does not mean that it should be chosen only for certain productions, because on the contrary: “who like us is used to seek excellence acts in this way regardless of whether it is a large order rather than a small job. Some time ago a customer confessed to me that he considers us the ‘Ferrari’ of flexo prepress services, an opinion that on the one hand can only make us proud but on the other hand can create a barrier in contacting us for jobs of every quality level, from the highest to the standard one. We are open and available for an open and sincere confrontation with the whole market”.

A dialogue that for Digital Flex also means direct presence at sector fairs, a program of visits and meetings in the coming months that will culminate with the presence with an exhibition stand at next Print4All in Milan (3-6 May 2022).