An article by Andrea Spadini. Converter & Cartotecnica, Nov-Dec 2021 issue.
Three factories, 150 employees, 1,200 customers and 77m sqm of board converted in 2021; that is Imbal Carton by numbers – the Italian independent corrugated packaging producer that has seen double-digit growth over the last few years and a propensity for state-of-the-art technology, highest levels for quality and service.
‘I love carton’ is the claim that stands out under Imbal Carton’s logo, and it could not be otherwise for a Group that has been producing corrugated packaging of all kinds and for various product sectors for over 50 years. The company is, despite its size, a family-run business, strongly linked to the principles and values of the founders who laid the foundations for today’s successes. Several acquisitions throughout its history have allowed the company to grow structurally, diversifying the types of production of the various locations, but always in the corrugated packaging sector.
Thanks to the close partnership established in 2017 with Progroup, which results in the installation of a corrugator at Imbal Carton’s plant in Piadena Drizzona (Cr), for the first time in Italy, a box factory was able to exploit a fundamental synergy, giving life to a new model that Progroup has defined as ‘Packaging Park Model II’ (where the corrugator operates in the immediate vicinity or under the same roof as the packaging manufacturer), and which in the current climate – considering the shortage of raw materials – has protected Imbal Carton from the risk of not being able to serve its customers. “This partnership has allowed us to plan year after year deliveries of raw materials by Progroup, an aspect that if it does not protect us from indexed increases month on month, at least it has allowed us to always have raw material available for our orders,” says Michele Lancellotti, CEO of the Group.
Being a sheet plant with availability of raw materials in house, an aspect that should not be taken for granted lately, has in recent months allowed Imbal Carton to expand its customer base, increasing production and turnover – which last year hit €43m – and an increase in production volumes by 22%. Growth, also fuelled by the increasing demands for sustainable packaging and big brand owners who, where possible, are replacing their plastic packaging with corrugated packaging. A request that goes hand in hand with the need for communication of the packaging and therefore a high definition print quality that today is no longer an option for those looking for their ideal solution in corrugated packaging, not only for protection and transport of products, but also in terms of marketing and communication.
Celmacch Chroma EVO
The need for high quality print prompted Imbal Carton to choose a new Chroma EVO 1700 x 1300 flexo printer supplied by Celmacch – which has been Imbal Carton’s technological partner for decades. Celmacch’s machine was installed last August, placed in line with an existing BOBST MASTERCUT die-cutter, at the headquarters of Imbal Carton in Prevalle, in the province of Brescia.
“Our production plants must be considered absolutely complementary, with different production processes,” says Lancellotti. “Our Prevalle facility produces printed packaging, flat die-cut and glued on different folder-gluers lines, while in the other location, American boxes and rotary die-cut packaging are produced. The market rewards us in both locations where we are growing at a rapid pace, so much so that a new Vega folder-gluer with double feeder will soon be installed for the creation of displays in a single step.”
To cope with this important growth, the company identified an opportunity in printing in line with the die-cutter. This is particularly relevant considering that over the last two years, the existing lines have required a double shift to satisfy the growing needs of the market, and a third shift will soon be introduced.
“The Bobst Mastercut that was previously used as an offline die-cutter, is now in line with the new Celmacch Chroma EVO configured with three flexo printing units, a rather unusual choice, but dictated by the physical lack of space for a fourth colour. Let’s say that for the types of jobs we perform on this machine, the three colours are sufficient and we are satisfied with the precision and quality of print that comes from the Chroma EVO”, says Sergio Avanzi, Managing Partner and Production Manager, Imbal Carton.
Celmacch’s Chroma EVO offers a solid combination of innovation and functionality. It boasts several efficiency and quality-oriented technologies such as direct drive feeder, high-precision vacuum conveyor, and Siemens Servo Driven Technology. Designed and developed entirely in Italy, it is made up exclusively of components of European origin to obtain the highest standards of precision and reliability. “We are proud to have been chosen by Imbal Carton for the enhancement of their die-cutting and printing line. It is always a pleasure and a source of great satisfaction to work with companies oriented towards efficiency and customer satisfaction, just like Imbal Carton does,” concludes Luca Celotti, General Manager, Celmacch Group.