Druckfarben Hellas is a manufacturer of speciality inks and varnishes based in Athens, Greece. Having conquered the domestic market with its high quality range of solvent- and water-based products, the company now has its sights set on further global expansion.
Druckfarben has been active in the production of inks and varnishes since its establishment in 1970. Today it specialises in flexographic and rotogravure inks used mainly for flexible food packaging, plastic bags, cartons and boxes – as well as producing a range of architectural paints.
In recent years, Druckfarben Hellas has been expanding its exports into the Balkan countries. Today, it has increased its outreach with the establishment of agent and distributor networks in the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Poland, Belarus and Israel. It has also set up a joint venture in Israel and a subsidiary in Nigeria.
Products and production process
At the core of the Druckfarben’s product portfolio are water- and solvent-based inks for use in rotogravure and flexographic printing machines. Their main use in packaging is for carton boxes and paper sacks for food. Its products are manufactured to be compatible with the latest generation flexographic and rotogravure machines available worldwide. To this end, the company has recently upgraded its production equipment and increased its capacity by 20 per cent.
The company is currently investing in the development of a speciality series of solvent-based ink products for applications in rotogravure and flexographic. This series will be polyurethane based and applied on polyesters.
Druckfarben Hellas has also recently developed a solvent-based product for PVC sleeves, which is micro-cellulose based, making it a more economical option for both printers and converters as it can be diluted or re-used. It is also starting to produce a water-based series, which is for application on woven polypropylene sacks.
Service, support and environment
Because Druckfarben’s products are available throughout the world, it has to ensure it can be there for its customers whenever they need support. Evagelos Simitzis, sales director for Inks, stresses that this is an important part of the company’s activities: “The technical support we provide to our customers is a strong company policy. We need the customer to feel he has a partner to be next to them with any problem they come across.
“This is particularly important as we have had increased requests from customers for technical support for two reasons: First of all we have new structures in the European flexible packaging market, which means the requirements of our customers have increased so they need more frequent support. Secondly, there have been new regulations introduced, regarding food packaging for example, which puts pressure on the converters who are our customers, meaning they have also been coming to us for support.”
In the past Druckfarben has been asked to provide technical support not only for the products in its range, but also in terms of creating new products, providing solutions to help make them more efficient by minimising or even re-using their stock.
The company’s sense of responsibility also extends to environmental factors. With its water-based inks it has created a product which is very environmentally friendly right from the raw materials to the end product. Where its solvent-based inks are concerned, it tries to apply almost zero-solvent emissions for rotogravure.