The Gulf Print & Pack exhibition in Dubai is compact but comprehensive. This can happen because some major suppliers have their own stands such as Canon, Kodak, Konica Minolta, Uteco, Xerox and Heidelberg while many others are represented by a number of reputable distributors who sell and service several brands in the region. The show seems to cover all processes from screen printing, offset, gravure, flexo to digital and wide format inkjet technologies and there is considerable representation from equipment suppliers for commercial print, mono and corrugated cartons, flexibles and labels.
What is notable at the show is the interest of several Indian equipment and consumable manufacturing companies who have their own stands and even Indian visitors, especially from leading carton and flexible packaging companies. Of course, much of the human resource right up to management level of the printing industry in the UAE is dominated by the Indian technical staff. There are also several print businesses in the region owned by Indian companies that have set up their base here. In fact, in a visit to one of the larger printing presses in the city, one learns that Malayalam and Hindi are the main spoken languages on the shop floor.
Indian manufacturers make an impression
Leading Indian suppliers at the show with their own stands include Cosmo Films and the Uflex Holography division, each of whom are promoting their specialty films. There is also the Indian owned Vinsak that sells products from global manufacturers as well as its own label converting solutions manufactured near Mumbai. The Innovative Flexotech stand is stationed at a corner of the exhibition hall and the manufacturer of flexo prepress and printing equipment is seen busy, at all times attending to trade enquiries. Suba Solutions is at Gulf Print & Pack showing its own manufactured printing ancillary products such as UV curing and anilox coating modules.
Creative Graphics, which is now perhaps the largest flexo platemaking trade house in India with four locations, is at the show to get its Middle East exports going in collaboration with Weldon Celloplast, which has set up an office in Dubai. Another major trade house at the show is Die Hard, the Guntur based maker of cutting, creasing and embossing dies for the packaging and labelling industry. A formidable producer of flatbed dies for autoplaten punching machines and rotary dies for corrugated cutters and slotting machines, it is showing flexible magnetic dies for narrow web label presses at its busy stand.
SMI sets up labelstock depot in Jafza
SMI, the global labelstock manufacturer based in Mumbai, has an excellent stand where it is announcing the setting up of its own labelstock slitting and logistics plant in Jafza Jabal Ali, one of the leading free trade and industry zones in Dubai. The paper and film labelstock supplier is coming closer to its many customers in the UAE by offering them the opportunity of just-in-time delivery of presensitized label stock and thereby helping them to reduce their inventories. The SMI labelstock selection app, which is available on both Android and iOS mobile devices, is also starting to gain traction with downloads from around the world.
SMI’s labelstock depot in Jafza to be operational in the April to June quarter of the 2017-18 financial year, will import labelstock jumbo rolls from the Ambernath plant near Mumbai and slit these for just-in-time supply to label printers in the UAE. The company which already supplies film and paper presenstized
labelstock to 22 countries around the world plans to stock the 20 most popular label materials required by UAE customers including thermal printer ps material for barcode labels and paper and film based label stock solutions. SMI’s thinner liners such as 55 gsm for paper labels and 30 micron PET liner for film based labelstocks will also be made available from the UAE slitting and logistics operation.
Monotech has its own stand as well to promote several of its Made in India digital printing solutions. A leadership team from IPAMA is also at the show realizing the importance of this market for its members and its own PrintPack show that is now well established in the South Asian region. The show may not be very big (many say it’s shrinking) but one can see that for the Indians it is an important springboard for exports and, most importantly, for networking. The region is also a natural market for Indian manufactured consumables under global licence or by global companies with manufacturing plants in India. The Huber stand at the show is also constantly busy as leading customers and prospects interact with
the senior leadership of Huber India who come to the show in recognition of this important market.