Edale widens its market appeal

And confirms its special relationship with Vetaphone

Edale James Bought
James Boughton says Vetaphone’s ‘can do’ attitude is a perfect match for Edale’s approach to helping its customers Photo Edale

Confirming Vetaphone’s pre-eminence in the self-adhesive label sector, Nick Coombes spoke with James Boughton, managing director of UK based Edale, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of narrow and mid-web inline flexo and digital hybrid technology.

First established back in 1950, coincidentally around the same time that Verner Eisby developed corona treatment and set up Vetaphone, Edale has over the years developed into a high-class manufacturer with a growing reputation for R&D that allows it to design tailor-made solutions for a range of applications from film to carton board.

We pride ourselves on the fact that our technology is innovative but at the same time easy to use and reliable, which is not always an easy balance to strike. We can adapt our standard equipment or design something totally unique to fulfil a customer’s specific requirement, using well-proven technology that is cutting edge,” explained Boughton from the company’s spacious and modern HQ in Fareham on the UK’s south coast.

Collaborating with leading design and manufacturing teams around the world is fundamental to Edale machines achieving the high performance and accuracy that modern converters demand, and it was through investigating what surface treatment manufacturers had to offer several decades back that Edale first established contact with Vetaphone.

We design and manufacture around 30 machines each year and probably 75% need a corona treater fitted before they leave the factory. Once we saw what Vetaphone had to offer in terms of reliability and competitive pricing, coupled with an attitude of ‘can do’ that mirrors our approach here, it was an easy decision – and I estimate we have fitted more than 1000 of their units to our presses over the past 25 years or so,” he added.

It’s not just Vetaphone’s narrow web capability that interests Edale, with the press manufacturer moving up in size and complexity from the traditional 350mm label press web width up to 850mm widths for carton and film presses. “We appreciate the engagement and interest they show in each project, especially with the more complex specification presses that converters now invest in – and knowing that the performance and reliability of a key element like surface treatment is guaranteed, is a real bonus for us,” he stated.

Known for its range of flexo technology – initially in stack format but subsequently inline, Edale also has a successful business in the hybrid market, where it works with a number of leading global inkjet engine suppliers including Canon, Domino, Agfa, and Fujifilm. To date it has sold around 50 of these machines, and each has been fitted with a Vetaphone corona treater to ensure ink adhesion across a range of substrates.

Speaking for Vetaphone, VP Technical Sales Kevin McKell commented, “We’ve been delighted to enjoy such a long and fruitful working partnership with Edale, whose reputation for quality engineering and practical innovation continues to be appreciated by converters all around the world – this makes a great showcase for our corona technology, and we are keen to support and develop new technology with them.” According to James Boughton, around 80% of the company’s output is exported from the UK with growing markets in Africa, Canada, India, South-East Asia and the USA, all of which are supported by a network of 40 sales and service agents spread worldwide.

What becomes obvious when viewing the two companies is the natural synergy that translates into supplying customers with the very best technology for their specific application – and it’s done with a cooperative partnership that is based on trust and an ongoing commitment to R&D. Both companies have ambitious plans for the future and the signs are that these will be achieved by developing more strategic partnerships.

James Boughton says Vetaphone’s ‘can do’ attitude is a perfect match for Edale’s approach to helping its customers Photo Edale

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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