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Sacmi Labelling: when innovation pays

Sales in 2011 totalling 50 million Euros. Growth rates of 25% with respect to 2009. A 90-strong production workforce, 220 company employees with new hires in 2011 and more personnel expected to be hired in all technical departments. Cutting-edge machines that have, in 10 years of doing business, been exported to 104 countries, plus a new range of labellers capable of revolutionising production in the name of flexibility.
Sacmi Labelling is rising above the economic crisis and continuing to grow. This Verona-based Sacmi Group company, a specialist producer of automatic labelling machines, has now begun expansion work at its Mozzecane plant, where a new 15,000 m2 facility is soon to be completed, and is set to buck the trend by ending 2011 on a high note as it reaps the rewards of an innovation-oriented strategy.

“Unlike other companies”, points out production manager Gianfranco Canteri, “we’ve been unaffected by the 2009-2010 crisis and this has ensured that not a single worker has been laid off”. There is, in fact, an abundance of work, so much so that the company has had to hire new personnel and, as of Spring 2011, resort to overtime: “In 2011 we expect to make use of all the overtime provided for in employment contracts, in all production departments”.

“The company”, continues Canteri, “which can already count on a technical office with 65 mechanical, electrical and electronic specialists, plans to hire assembly technicians, mechanics, test personnel and travelling technicians, that is, professional figures working worldwide to install new machines and overhaul existing ones”. Another source of satisfaction has been China: here, 40 machines made exclusively for the Chinese market have come on-line, the result of start-up investments in 2010.

In addition to the traditional market, outstanding efforts have also been made in the field of innovation, as Sacmi Labelling’s general manager, Ermes Belicchi, explains: “One of the most important developments is that we’re focussing on new, modular, flexible machines”. Products of enormous potential, as they allow virtually infinite reconfigurations according to customers’ specific needs. “These machines can use various types of existing labelling types, either simultaneously or alternately, by installing the required module: paper labels, cold glue or hot melt, roll-fed or self-adhesive”. This is possible thanks to a special software that can recognise the connected module and act accordingly. “It’s thus possible to have, for example, paper labelling on the neck of the bottle and self-adhesive labelling on the body. There’s a vast range of combinations: all you need is the necessary modules”.

Also going into production is the Roll-Fed Sleeve Technology machine. The sleeve, or plastic film, is a plastic wrap-around label that is heat-shrunk onto the containers. “This packaging type offers an alternative to classic labelling”, explains Belicchi. “Instead of cutting a pre-formed tube, this machine allows wrap-around plastic film labels to be applied directly from the film roll and sealed using laser technology”. The roll is cut, wound, sealed and fitted directly. “That’s a huge advantage in terms of flexibility and speed”. Yet the company has plenty of other projects in the pipeline too, such as boosting its range of high performance machines for the brewery sector.