Industry News

Lombardi and Martin Automatic – triple sale clinched in Nigeria

The three most recent Lombardi Synchroline presses installed at Masterstroke Packages in Nigeria are all fitted with Martin Automatic MBSF unwind/splicers

The most recent installation of a Lombardi Synchroline at Masterstroke Packages Ltd in Nigeria, is the tenth of its kind since the Lagos based converter began using the Italian manufacturer’s narrow web flexo presses in 1999. Most significant, is the fact that the three latest presses are fitted with Martin Automatic technology.

 Serving the Nigerian print markets

Masterstroke Packages was founded in 1989 by Magbagbeola Dotun to service the print and packaging markets in Nigeria, and has grown to become one of the country’s leading suppliers of scratch-off cards for telecoms, and labels and packaging for the food, beverage and cosmetic industries using the latest technology to match quality standards previously only available from imports.

The choice of Lombardi

According to Magbagbeola Dotun, the choice of Lombardi print technology followed numerous visits to print trade fairs, including Labelexpo and drupa, which allowed him the opportunity to evaluate the capability and value of the presses on show.  He explained: “We like to work with state-of-the-art technology so that we are seen in Nigeria as the local alternative to imported products.  In Lombardi we saw a partner whose machines offered quality and flexibility, and could cope with the high number of job changes and range of substrates we use each day.”

The 620 mm (24”) wide presses, one eight-colour and two ten-colour flexo lines, are high specification machines with cold foiling and stamping capabilities, and are also fitted with sheeters.  The Martin equipment allows Masterstroke to run the lines non-stop at 150 m/min (492 fpm) on all the above-mentioned substrates, and since installation have proved completely reliable.

The need for automation

As business continued to grow, and adding extra presses no longer satisfied the demand for improved productivity, Magbagbeola Dotun looked for automation that could transform the output of his plant, which works 24/7 to keep up with demand.  After taking references and viewing the alternatives, he decided to place an order for his first Martin Automatic technology in March 2014 and added two more identical units at the end of 2015.

The Martin equipment consists of three MBSF (F for Film) automatic unwind/splicers, one fitted to each of Masterstroke’s newest Lombardi Synchrolines.  This allows the presses to run a broad range of materials form carton board up to 500 gsm on 1270 mm (50”) diameter rolls, paper, and self adhesive label stocks down to BOPP, PVC, and PET films of 38-micron.

Synergy with Lombardi

The cooperation between Lombardi and Martin Automatic dates back to a project the two companies were involved with in India in 2012, although a Lombardi press in Padua, Italy had been retrofitted with Martin technology some two years earlier.  Speaking for Martin Automatic, Ed Pittman (Sales Manager Southern Europe) explained: “We feel a great synergy with Lombardi because of the way both companies service and support their customers.  It’s all about attention to detail and quality of engineering.  Machine downtime is expensive, so reliable technology is essential to our mutual customers.”

Lombardi Converting Machinery

Lombardi Converting Machinery began life in the late 1970s manufacturing ram punches for the wet glue label market, and still has 1500 of these machines working in more than 100 countries worldwide.  With the growth in demand for self-adhesive labels, the company moved into rotary die cutting and then into printing with a central drum press.  But, it was the switch to manufacturing inline presses in 2005, initially with shaft drive and the later with servomotors that the company saw real growth.

Today, the Lombardi inline press portfolio includes three ranges, from the mechanically driven Flexoline, through the semi-servo Synchroline, to the fully servo gearless Invicta. The central drum Lexus is also still available. Web widths range from 330 mm to 750 mm (13” to 30”) and all inline models are capable of 220 m/min (722 fpm) operation on substrates from 12-micron extensible film to 500gsm board. “Our core business is now selling presses. We have been particularly successful in the EU, and also in India, China, and now Africa. As we look ahead, I see our future to be as much in printed packaging as in labels. It’s the way the market is moving,” explained Massimo Lombardi.

Concluding, Pittman added: “Lombardi’s transition into the mid and wider web markets where it can successfully compete with CI presses, will allow Martin Automatic to continue support and provide valuable in-depth knowhow and experience.”  The Martin product range covers a myriad of materials from non-wovens and film to liquid packaging board, ranging from 7-micron to 1.27 mm (0.05”), on web widths from 254 mm to 4000 mm (10” to 157”), at splicing speeds up to 900 m/min (2953 fpm).

Armin Karl Geiger

Your Opinion