1982-2022 – SEI Laser has recently celebrated its first 40 years at the service of various industries, all united by the possibility of seeing the laser applied as a cutting solution: not only metal, then wood, backlighting, denim & clothing, the plastic sector, technical fabrics and visual communication, SEI Laser is very present in graphic, folding carton, labels and flexible packaging industries with ad hoc technological solutions that have revolutionized the world of cutting
“The laser way”, innovative laser systems for new horizons, with this motto that has always guided its operating philosophy, SEI Laser started in 1982 with much skepticism from the market, but with the conviction of being able to offer technologically avant-garde solutions for the standards of the time, so innovative to revolutionize the various sectors of reference. If today the new horizons are represented by the future challenges of the markets of graphic industry, labels, flexible packaging, folding carton, with the certainty of being able to count on the laser as an option for production needs, at that time it was not so obvious, but the vision of Ettore Fustinoni who today holds the position of president, and of his partners, after the first years dedicated to developing electronic engineering solutions for third parties, starting from the early 90s focuses on the study and development of traditional cutting solutions for different sectors. With the cutting plotters, SEI (the old name of the company that today is Sei Laser), begins to acquire considerable experience in the converting sector of various materials, including paper, cardboard and self-adhesive materials for the label industry and in the early 2000s the company starts to include the laser as a cutting tool, in addition to traditional knives and cutters.
Laser technology: love at first sight!
“I remember that we imported the first small-sized lasers from the United States, and after the first machines, we all fell in love with this technology, glimpsing its enormous application potential and also discovering many affinities with our know-how and our technical preparation acquired in 20 years of experience”, says Ettore Fustinoni, also recalling the collaboration with the University of Brescia and Milan with which there were study and development activities especially as regards laser optics.
It was soon clear that from that moment the laser would be the point of reference for this small but dynamic company in Bergamo, which in the meantime has grown to the point of employing around 200 people between employees and collaborators, with two offices in Italy, the headquarters in Curno (Bg), SEI Laser Converting in the province of Udine, two offices in Europe (France and Germany with commercial departments), a company in China and one in Brazil (both with production so as to be more competitive in local markets).
Laser in packaging
“Our motto has always been the search for new application sectors, since there is always, in every sector, the possibility of applying a laser for different activities, therefore, in addition to designing and building machines on customer request, we have begun to think of a range of technologies to be reproduced in series for various sectors, however niche markets, where laser could guarantee excellent performance to the customer and to us the right satisfaction to continue investing in this project”, adds Fustinoni.
Consequently was born Sei Laser Converting in Buja in the province of Udine, with technologies first developed for the graphic industry sector where laser offers the possibility of carrying out very particular applications such as greeting cards, with increasingly complex carvings, where this technology can guarantee excellent production performance and excellent final quality, labels and even flexible packaging, one of the latest packaging sectors included in the SEI Laser range. This sector is giving the company considerable satisfaction, with important partnerships which have seen, for example, the collaboration with various manufacturers of laminators and slitter-rewinders. Thanks to these collaborations it has been possible to offer the market very particular and innovative applications with windows or micro-perforations in the packaging made directly on the laminating machine or on the slitter rewinder, effectively opening up a new application outlet for laser technology, albeit within a mature market like that of packaging, but very dynamic and sparkling.
Soon a new laser technology for the corrugated cardboard sector and the new demo center
Thanks to the experience acquired today in all sectors of graphic arts and packaging, and with the intention of continuing to grow according to the target set by the management of 10% per annum, a figure also confirmed in 2022, a new laser technology is being finalized which will be applied to the corrugated cardboard packaging market.
“Our goal is to identify the most interesting sectors, and if on the one hand Covid has taken away a lot, on the other it has allowed some sectors such as the corrugated cardboard industry, thanks to the e-Commerce boom, to stand out”, adds Fustinoni, anticipating the launch of this new machine which should take place around mid-2023.
This year will also see the return of Labelexpo, a long-awaited appointment for SEI Laser label division, which will bring to the fair the latest technological innovations introduced on the now well-known Labelmaster, always at the center of SEI Laser’s R&D attention. which again towards the middle of the year will inaugurate the new Demo Center in Curno, an area of 730 m2, which will act as a showroom for converting business unit. Its interior will be entirely divided between offices and an area dedicated to demos for customers, where the reference machines of the application sector will also be exhibited, capable of processing materials such as: paper, cardboard, corrugated cardboard, labels and narrow web in general.