Interview with Cristina Toffolo

Downturn affects GIDUE


Managing Director of Gidue
We interviewed Cristina Toffolo, Managing Director of Gidue, during the India Label Show 2008 held at New Delhi in December, 2008. Gidue are a leading international manufacturer of narrow-web presses for labels and flexible packaging. They have an installed base of more than 320 presses all over the world including 11 which have been set up in India over the last 2 years or so. Gidue are represented in the Indian sub-continent by Reifenhauser (I) Marketing.

They are well-known for some of their recent innovations like the Flower concept in press design, the Xpannd hybrid offset printing machine and their R.E.A.L. hot stamping unit.Here are some excerpts from the interview that PSA editor S. Chidambar  had with Cristina Toffolo.

SC: How has the last year been for you?
During the year ended July 2008, we recorded our highest ever sales of Euros 34 million. This represented a 23% increase over the previous year. We sold 78 machines in that year.

SC: How does the current year look?
This year has been affected by the economic downturn in most parts of the world. We had drawn up a budget forecasting a growth of 10 to 20%, which is in line with what we have achieved in the last few years. However, we are now running 30% below targets. I expect some recovery after April/May 2009 but we will have to wait and see.

SC: How is your arrangement with Reifenhauser going? How are you doing in the Indian market?
We have sold a total of 15 machines in the Indian sub-continent so far, 12 of them through Reifenhauser. They have also been providing good technical support to all our customers.

SC: You have a manufacturing JV in Brazil. What has your experience there been like?
That unit manufactures our S-Combat line of presses. It is meant to service the market in Latin America. We have invested a lot of time, effort and money in setting it up and training the people there. We have so far sold 5 machines from there. As of now, we are just recovering our costs there but we are hoping to pick up.

SC: You recently introduced a press for the flexible packaging market. How is it doing?
Yes. This is our Athena press, which is a mid-web (21”, 25”, 29” width) machine that runs at a maximum speed of 270 metres a minute. We have so far sold 2 machines. In the present market conditions, manufacturers of wider width faster (600 metres/minute) presses like Cerutti and Comexi have brought down their prices substantially and this has affected our Athena sales.

SC: What are the new developments you are working on?
We have now completed the development of our new REAL hot stamping unit which offers Robustness, Ease of use, Automated controls and “Lean” guiding principles. We have also just developed a new concept for this unit — chemically photo-engraved magnesium plates for hot stamping that are bent and mounted like offset plates. These plates are much lighter, safer, easier, and faster to mount and more compact than the conventional heavy engraved cylinders now being used for hot stamping. They weigh only 250 grams each (as compared to a 50 kg cylinder) and their cost is only 10% of that of a traditional cylinder. The use of these plates gives 20% to 30% higher productivity on difficult substrates like textured or natural papers and wine label papers due to higher speed of operation and lower wastage. We have a patent pending for this “quantum leap” system.

SC: What other new plans do you have in store?
We are planning to double our capacity with a new plant in Turate.

SC: Thank you very much for talking to us. Here’s wishing you all the best.