Joined-up thinking

Gallus is leveraging its Heidelberg tie-up to continue its ECS success with the Labelmaster, says label head Christof Naier.

Gallus’s recent incorporation into Heidelberg will continue to open opportunities for the label specialist in the Middle East, according to Gallus Ferd. Rueesch AG, general manager label business Christof Naier.

“What we do on the market side is to use Heidelberg’s huge worldwide network to increase our market presence both in sales and services,” he said.

“So we are endeavouring to move Gallus employees to the much wider Heidelberg sales and service organisation. We have Heidelberg employees cross trained with a lot of technicians so that our service responsiveness is increased significantly. Local Heidelberg units are taking care of logistics, spare parts and consumables. For example, customer enquiry and procurement of spare parts can be sourced locally.”

Co-operation with Heidelberg: Becoming part of Heidelberg is enabling Gallus to have “many more technicians on the ground”, Naier said. “If we cross train them, they can do a qualified first intervention. We see a big improvement or a big opportunity to improve.”

But he stresses that Gallus will remain focused on labels, offering “the best in packaging for the customer” through a combination of cutting-edge technology and superior support.

“Manufacturing in Switzerland and Germany with new machineries is important. The machine is one part of it but the most important element is the support you get locally. You need to have service, sales organisation, and Gallus has always had a good setup and now with the integration of Heidelberg we are enhancing this. We want to be a solution provider for our customers besides unique products. Our strength is helping the customers until the problem is solved. We don’t let our customers suffer.

“Secondly, Gallus ECS 340 is so far our most successful product in the market. We sold over 70 presses in 2016. This is the fastest selling press in the world. We are close to No.500 in the market and we hope to achieve at least the same figures with Gallus Labelmaster.”

Alongside the topselling Gallus ECS 340, Gallus offers “a wide product variety of machines such as the Gallus EM280, ECS 340, Labelmaster, RCS, and EMS”, giving a lot of choice to our customers, he added.

New products: Digital label printing is “the other major element” for Gallus, he said. “We, Gallus and Heidelberg, together, have currently around 300 R&D people working on the Gallus Labelfire platform. So, in this area, we have developed a whole package from prepress, inks, the digital printing unit, and allied parts that Gallus on its own would not have been able to achieve,” he said.

Progress in this area has been enabled by Heidelberg’s prepress software, giving control over aspects from the ink to die-cutting. “Otherwise you don’t achieve the quality and the speed that you want to have in the machine,” said Naier.

Gallus is also venturing into Industry 4.0 with products from the print giant adapted to its segment. “We will show the first version of the Heidelberg Assistant at Label Expo with features with beneficiary for the customer with new diagnosis possibilities and real-time production figures, some analysis, and online shopping. There are many possibilities for Heidelberg Assistant to work towards predicting monitoring maintenance.”

Customers can access all information and services related to their company through the Assistant, said Naier. “Through the customized ‘window’ to the Heidelberg world, they enjoy access to communication with Heidelberg and numerous Heidelberg solutions as well as to availability and productivity data for their print shops. For example, they have access to all their service contracts with Heidelberg. They can see at a glance which machines and software tools they are using in their business and how productive these systems currently are.

Gallus will meanwhile focus on achieving “stable quality” in its press and has “ideas for zero-defect production” with new directions in short runs, he added.

“The Labelmaster has a complete new design flexo head that is easy and simple to use with high print quality,” said Naier.

“Gallus RCS and Gallus EMS have flexible prices and can exchange processes at any stations. In a minute, you change from screen to flexo and with the Gallus RCS 430 also from screen to offset or vice versa. There is choice. You can either have the Labelmaster basic version, which is a fixed process like all our friends in the industry have in the market and significantly lower investment. And the other one is fully flexible if you have a Gallus RCS 430 or Gallus EMS.

“The Labelmaster has new production possibilities and clever engineering and its price is significantly lower than that of the Gallus EMS. And now the uniqueness is that you can have any combination between the basic and the full advanced model, which means you can buy flexibility where you need it, with no need to make a huge investment in the whole press. If you say ‘I need only the flexibility to change processes on two stations’, you can customise the price.”

Labelexpo and ahead: Gallus is opening a new demo centre in Gallen, Switzerland, just prior to Labelexpo Europe in September. “In our new Print Media Center Label, we will have a showroom there fully equipped with all conventional presses as well as digital,” said Naier.

“Then we have some programmes for our customers for two days. And in Labelexpo we will show two Labelmaster presses. One will be a fully equipped press with LED curing at full speed, with high-speed screen printing. We will have fully equipped advanced model with multiweb on the booth to show our customers the huge possibilities with the new platform. Second, we will show our Gallus Labelfire press with new inline functionalities on it and topics will be discussed on new possibilities we have in service: Heidelberg Assistant, remote service solution, and advantages that we have with the Heidelberg-Gallus setup.

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