In light of the surplus capacity that has affected the global market for label-printing machinery since the financial crisis of 2009 and the market mechanisms that this has set in motion, two years ago Gallus launched a programme to secure the long-term profitability of its Labels Business Unit.
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With the market likely to remain difficult due to the continuing volatility in many industrialised economies and the associated uncertainties surrounding investment decisions for capital goods, while at the same time faster growth is expected in emerging countries, Gallus is stepping up the restructuring of its Labels Business Unit in line with the changes in framework conditions.
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This includes taking measures to expand the sales and servicing capacities in high-growth regions, to improve the cost structure at the production plants, and focussing the innovation efforts on providing increased customer benefit in the form of higher productivity and functions that generate added value for label-printing machines and service products:
The rising demand for label-printing machines in emerging countries is being catered for by consistently developing and expanding the sales and service organisations and centres. Therefore, in 2010/2011, sales and service centres for Latin America were set up in Sao Paulo (Brazil), Mexico City (Mexico) and Santiago (Chile). In Asia during 2011, Gallus companies were set up in Singapore and a sales and service presence was established in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia to cover the South-East Asian market and in India for India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. A sales and service network is currently being set up in China with its head office in Shanghai.
In future, the customer-facing activities at the production plants will be concentrated at the St. Gallen (Switzerland) site, and parts production at the Langgöns (Germany) site will be wound up – at the same time as assembly capacity is boosted at the Langgöns site to handle growing sales of the Gallus ECS 340 system.
On the innovation side, Gallus is concentrating it’s efforts on increasing the productivity of Gallus machinery and service packages, and on expanding inline manufacturing processes to provide even more added value in the production of labels. The first results of these endeavours include the new Gallus EM S with its shorter web path, which was unveiled at Labelexpo 2011, and the Gallus ECS C converting machine for processing digitally printed labels. The first machines of these models are currently running successfully in a number of field tests.
Together with two other companies in the Heidelberg Group, CERM and CSAT, Gallus will present the topic of label manufacture in a hybrid production environment, i.e. one that uses both digital and conventional machines as well as specialist workflow products, at Labelexpo 2012 in Chicago. They will demonstrate how digital and conventional printing processes can complement each other in label-printing plants, with appropriate software being used to select the most suitable printing process for the specific job and workflow software controlling the whole operation.