The successes of Italian flexo printing in the world continue with a minimum common denominator: Z Due, the Emilian pre-press service which in recent years has distinguished itself both nationally and internationally for the quality of its flexographic solutions and a permanent presence on every podium at competitions in which it has participated together with its customers, the printers, testifying that when quality is the result of a path, recognition never comes by chance.
If there is anyone still convinced that participating in conferences is a useless waste of time, they might change their mind after reading this article featuring Z Due and SIFA, the historic integrated Italian box factory founded in 1968 by Trasarti brothers, which thanks to their participation in last year’s Flexo Day, after attending the presentation of the innovative Vortex technology of Z Due, began a partnership with the Emilian service to raise the quality of its work.
SIFA is an integrated box factory with four production sites: two in the Marche region, where the main office is also located, and other two in Tuscany. The group covers the entire working cycle, from the production of corrugated cardboard to printing and converting of packaging, American boxes, pizza boxes, displays, and e-commerce boxes which in recent years have had a remarkable development for various product sectors, even if the food sector is the prevalent one. Always attentive to product and process innovation, with state-of-the-art technologies, SIFA is also very attentive to environmental aspects and close to the needs of its customers, so much so that it has activated a production waste collection service that foresees to deliver every day about 50-70 tons of waste paper to the paper mill which is reintroduced into the production cycle.
The objective is to reach zero waste and lighter packaging solutions
“The ever-evolving market pushes towards highly qualitative packaging solutions from the point of view of the layout and the graphic aspect but increasingly lighter in structure, obviously without compromising the functional characteristics, to the full advantage of material savings which then also translates into cost savings and also facilitates transport”, tells us Alessia Trasarti, company manager for all services related to the implementation of quality and daughter of Luigi, company’s CEO.
With the installation of a new high-definition 6-color printing machine in 2018, SIFA began a research and development process that involved the technical office, the machine operators and a selection of the best suppliers for each component involved in the printing process, photopolymers, anilox, inks, and a great deal of work aimed at improving the print media which must be lighter but still guarantee the functional aspects of the packaging and high quality standards also as regards printing.
SIFA’s turning point towards the highest quality
“Z Due was not one of our historical suppliers, but after taking part in last year’s Flexo Day, where Marco Mingozzi was the protagonist of a brilliant presentation of their latest innovations, we decided to contact them and a compelling partnership was born which brought us to obtain extraordinary qualitative results in less than a year”, says Marco Vecchi, technical manager of SIFA, who with his team is engaged daily to raise the “bar” of quality more and more.
A challenge that was also taken up and accepted by Z Due team, led by Marco Mingozzi and Umberto Cantone, Z Due sales manager. “The aspect related to sustainability and the consequent lightening of the materials for packaging is not of little importance when we evaluate the qualitative printing results. We too, as suppliers of clichés, are giving our contribution so that certain results can be achieved on less heavy substrates than in the past”, Marco Mingozzi intervenes.
Sifa has chosen to invest in research and training in order to create products of the highest quality with an attentive eye to the ecological aspect: the optimization of processes through the constant cleaning of anilox cylinders, the careful selection of inks, the skillful management of viscosity and Ph depending on the substrate, are all complementary elements to the quality of the cliché that contribute to create a production standard capable of obtaining excellent results even on recycled or brown paper.
It is important to underline that Z Due Vortex algorithms, specific for corrugated cardboard, allow to exploit existing resources within the printing department without the need to make new investments in technology, as Umberto Cantone points out: “I believe that the winning aspect of this newborn partnership with SIFA has laid its foundations precisely on the possibility of obtaining extraordinary results using the anilox used on their printing machine, thus managing to considerably simplify production and reduce costs. However, I would like to add that not all jobs need the Vortex system; as suppliers of flexo clichés we have a series of solutions capable of raising the quality even for the simplest packaging; in fact, it is precisely with the continuous research of materials and the most suitable solutions for the substrate and the printing machine used that the entire production process can be optimized and get considerable 360° savings, starting from the reduction of start-up times up to the increase of print speed”.
Recognized and awarded quality
The collaboration between Z Due and SIFA, in addition to producing an excellent quality result for the end customer, also stood out at recent FIA UK Awards, the flexo printing quality award of the British reference association. The 2022 edition saw the two companies triumph in the flexo printing on corrugated cardboard category, obtaining the first place. A result of absolute value that has raised the name of Italian flexo beyond our borders.
“The work that we presented to the competition was a box for containing pickles, a sort of tray with graphics characterized by very small details that we were able to reproduce in high definition thanks to the support of Z Due technology and with the consultancy by Umberto Cantone, who followed us carefully during the start-up phases, giving us valuable advice. This path has seen the involvement and participation of all our staff with whom we are happy to share and celebrate the award obtained, which represents a further incentive for everyone to continue on this path”, concludes Marco Vecchi confirming the validity of the partnership with Z Due which made this prestigious result possible, bringing a new positive and challenging atmosphere in the company and in the press room.