Argraf Group, the company from Alava, a reference in the Spanish market in the manufacture of labels; It is in the news again for its investments in machinery.
This time, orna semi-rotary offset UV Miyakoshi MLP16C, supplied by OMC, sae; joins the complete machinery park of Argraf Group to improve your service every time most demanding world of wine and cava, its main market.
The new Miyakoshi MLP16C of Argraf is the seventeenth model installed by the Japanese company in Europe and the first in Spain. That a company like Grupo Argraf has decided to take the step towards this brand, being the first to land on the Spanish market, is very significant.
Martín Torroba analyzes the beginnings of the operation: “There had come a time when we were already very strong in flexography, I sincerely believe that we have improved this type of printing a lot, so I thought that we had to advance in the field of offset. We started with a small Chinese machine, which evolved phenomenally during the initial months and which, by wanting to complement it with a second offset unit, I wanted to be more selective ”. That's where Miyakoshi came in, hand in hand with OMC. “We studied various options and that of Miyakoshi was the one we liked the most on a technological level, it was a purely technical decision", Add.
“From the WTO we have made a great effort for Grupo Argraf to install the first Miyakoshi MLP16C in Spain, for us it is a pride and it has not been another sale, but a strategic operation ", declares Enrique Rodríguez, Director General of OMC.
In September 2015, OMC established a joint venture with Miyakoshi to start Miyakoshi Europe from Madrid. “The Japanese company's commitment to the European market is very serious and they chose Spain as their headquarters due to the type of product their machines make: high-quality labels, such as for the world of wine. At Grupo Argraf we saw a great opportunity, in a reference company we could not install just any equipment, but a configuration that had to have everything to make a difference: extended format, all automatic registration control systems… Although it is a press, it is a technology much more similar to a state-of-the-art sheetfed offset machine than to a flexo label machine. And also, high production, which suited them very well. So, for them the decision was a technical matter".
“In Grupo Argraf all the machines that enter usually have the name and surname of the client for whom they were purchased. And this is no exception. We were looking for a team capable of doing very special jobs, with very high quality requirements. In short, a very good offset printing. And that's what we saw on the Miyakoshi MLP16C ", complete Torroba.
Technical characteristics of the Miyakoshi MLP16C installed in Grupo Argraf
Maximum web width: 420mm
Maximum Print Width: 406.4mm
Repeat length: 215.9 - 406.4 mm
Unwinder + Flexo UV + 6 Offset UV + Flexo UV + die with K&B gap master + Rewinder
Roller battery with 4 cooled oscillating rollers
Battery cooling system
Automatic battery washing system
Automatic registration system - BST AR4000
Diagonal registration adjustment system
· Anti-static bars.
Automatic lubrication system
UV dryers with water-cooled base
Software with job storage function
Second pass function
Unwinder and rewinder up to 1,270 mm
Does this mean that, for Grupo Argraf, rotary offset printing, today, is above the rest of the technologies?
Martín Torroba's response, stimulating: "The flexo, logically, does not reach the quality of offset, although I always say that at Grupo Argraf we have greatly improved the flexo, I see it in the labels we make now, compared to those of years ago. And we have improved fundamentally because of photopolymers, because of the high drying of the gooseneck lamps and because a wine label, which normally requires differentiation and high-quality finishes, makes you specialize ”.
"The Miyakoshi has come for a very special job in this case, something that can only be done with offset." "Whoever buys a label of this type is buying an image, it is the most critical part of the product when it comes to marketing it and they will not want risks", Enrique Rodríguez qualifies, "And with this team Grupo Argraf will eliminate these risks".
“Indeed, if you dress the product badly, you are condemning it to failure. We are fortunate because in the world of wine and cava the label and its capacity as a tool for differentiation are highly valued. There are 6,000 bottlers in Spain, of very different sizes, and for all of them it is a key element ", completes Martín Torroba.
The six-color press has been in production since mid-February, although the staff training phase has been completed in about three months.
If there is something that distinguishes the company from Oyón, it is a well-planned business strategy, in which investments in the most advanced technologies are a fundamental part of it and are happening at a good pace. Martín Torroba, Manager of Grupo Argraf, has a special nose for detecting the demands of his clients and, consequently, advancing in the same line, accompanying them in their projects, with the most appropriate machinery for their needs.
Because the client, and nothing else, has always been the engine of change and the adaptation of Grupo Argraf to new trends. Their requirements in terms of design, printing and finishes of their labels have always been diligently answered with new machinery that came to complement, expand or improve the existing one. As Torroba himself confirms, “Grupo Argraf has always advanced hand in hand with its clients; your success is our success ".
It is convenient to stop at the always interesting reflections by Martín Torroba on the state of the label sector in Spain, the progress of the Spanish economy and his vision of the company.
“The Argraf Group is a benchmark family company in the sector, with organic growth not based on buying companies, but on growing from within with day-to-day effort. And the truth is that we cannot complain ”, affirms the manager with satisfaction. The figures are more than eloquent: “with a turnover of more than 22 million euros, this 2015 we have grown by 7.1% compared to 2014, which represents a cumulative 30% compared to 2007, the last great year before the collapse. of the economy; We started to grow in 2010 and in 2011 we were already at the sales levels of 2007. From now on we have grown every year and we hope to continue doing so in 2016 because our ambition is not to be the first, but to be strong, to have a very efficient unit and very technologically prepared, with structures that can support this growth ". That is the great objective of Grupo Argraf.
The foundations, then, are already in place. Martín Torroba's obsession is, and has been since its inception, the efficiency. Respond to the customer effectively. “We were very strong in sheet label printing and, in 1999, when only 3% of labels were made in self-adhesive in La Rioja, our closest market, we followed a customer who switched to self-adhesive and installed the first machine in this line. Today, the 60% of our labels are self-adhesive. We have simply been following the growth of our clients, we have grown with them, from the sheet to the self-adhesive, to continue offering them an efficient service ”. Logically, this evolution has required continuous investments in technologies, personnel training, expansion and refurbishment of facilities. “And we have had to do all of this with the aggravation of going from flat to self-adhesive, which has been a double effort compared to graphic arts companies that were already born in self-adhesive and have not had to make this transition. We have done it, with all the speed that my clients have requested and, in addition, we have positioned ourselves as leaders in Spain in this segment ", explains Torroba.
And is that the Alava company enjoys a more than deserved reputation for the quality of its work. "Our success has been based on two points", analyzes Martín Torroba: “The first, design. We have helped design. We have accompanied the marketing people, the draftsmen and designers of the wineries and their advisers, it has been our fundamental workhorse; and the second, the enrichment of the labels, that is, the finishes. Our expertise in finishes allows us to improve the identity of the brand. In other sectors there is not so much, but in wine it is crucial ".
In summary, design, investment and technology, have been the large engines of Grupo Argraf. As stated by the manager, "We know our customers and their products, we know the machines they have, the speeds at which they want to bottle and we buy what is adapted to the possibility of making profitable what customers want in an industrial way, not artisanal, because we cannot to be artisans nor do we dedicate ourselves to it ".
And what about the state of the label industry?
"As we see it, in our sector, wine, Spanish domestic consumption does not rise, unfortunately, due to the unrest generated by unemployment and misgovernment. Uncertainty. But exports work in wine and these past years have served to strengthen the foreign sector a lot ", Explain.
But there are signs for confidence: "The sThe self-adhesive label segment will continue to grow in Spain, we are roughly on a 60% for self-adhesive, while in central Europe it is on a 70%. In five years we will move to 70% and this means guaranteed growth, which will translate into growth of the order of 5-8% per year, in general, in our industry. We would have a higher increase if the Spanish economy woke up faster than expected today. Because, for the consumption of wine above all, it is necessary that the confidence of the consumer is somewhat greater ".