Relocation revs up
As competition for new business intensifies among the developed world’s 30 or so narrow web press manufacturers, the trend toward shifting production to lower-cost regions seems to be intensifying. Italy’s Omet looked to Suzhou, China, where it has built a 40,000 square foot plant dedicated to assembling its Flexy presses. The company’s first press came off the Suzhou production line in November 2008. This was followed by Denmark’s Nilpeter, which presented its first Indian-built press at the India Label Show in New Delhi in December 2008. Netherlands based MPS now announces a joint venture with Brazil’s Etirama to make MPS brand flexo presses in Brazil. Unlike Nilpeter and Omet, which say their Indian and Chinese built presses are only for local and Asiatic markets, MPS plans to sell its joint venture presses worldwide.
GIDUE has so far not set up production outside its native Italy, but the company, like its competitors, has not been slow to see the potential of Asiatic markets at a time when European and North American sales are in the doldrums. In cooperation with its local distributor Reifenhäuser, GIDUE has installed a total of eight presses in India over the past two years, and “confidently expects several more orders in the early weeks of 2009,” according to Sudhir Samanth, general manager of Reifenhäuser India.