More than 50 years in business, using Asahi flexo plates for over 25 years
In October of 2017, Cartotecnica Postumia celebrated 50 years in business. The company, located in Carmignano di Brenta (Padova, Italy), was founded in 1967 by Ettore Gava and is still owned and managed by the Gava family. Cartotecnica Postumia’s initial goal was to meet the needs of the paper bag market, and the company produced paper bags for bread. Their offerings then expanded to include square bottom (SOS) bags for the food industry, customized shopping bags, and printed paper rolls for use in automatic packaging machines. Cartotecnica Postumia employs 120 people, has an annual turnover of €20 million, and exports 50% of its products around the world. The company operates 3 CI Uteco printing machines and 13 converting machines.
From its inception, Cartotecnica Postumia has placed a strong focus on quality and is recognized as one of the best quality printers in Europe in its market segment. 95% of its printing is on paper, out of which 60% is industrial packaging such as packaging for sugar, rice, charcoal, pet food, and more. The remaining 40% is comprised of high quality shopping bags. Cartotecnica Postumia chose to use Asahi flexographic plates 25 years ago on the advice of Thema Studio, its repro house, starting with the Asahi’s HF plate. Over the years, the company continued to follow advances in flexographic plates, remaining loyal to Asahi due to the quality the plates enabled them to achieve.
Quality and abrasion resistance key to success
Managing Director Pierluigi Gava reports, “We print on a variety of paper substrates, so abrasion resistance for plates is critical, or the plates wear out too quickly and quality suffers. We have upgraded our plate strategy along with Asahi’s continued innovation in this field. They have been a great partner for us, always available to help when needed and very open to feedback about product development.”
Recently, Cartotecnica Postumia switched to the Asahi’s AFPTM-DSF digital medium hard plate that elevates printing results to a new level of quality. It is designed for use with abrasive substrates for good highlights combined with excellent ink transfer. Its optimized balance of solid ink laydown and highlight dot printing produces incomparably good ink coverage with low dot gain in the mid tones and brilliant highlights at maximum printing speeds, with particular suitability for flexible packaging printing on film and paper with the water-based inks exclusively used by Cartotecnica Postumia.
Gava explains: “The proximity of our repro house Thema Studio allows fast turn on plates, with two deliveries every day. Great communication between our company and Thema Studio along with excellent Asahi plate technology is the secret of our success. Thema Studio tells us that while they do test other plates, these do not perform as well as the Asahi plates, requiring press stoppages for cleaning during runs and exhibiting quality issues. We trust their advice!”
Cartotecnica Postumia and Thema Studio are keeping close tabs on Asahi plate developments. “We are especially intrigued by Asahi’s Clean Transfer Technology, available on some of its plates,” Gava says. “We are looking forward to taking advantage of it in the future when we migrate that capability to DSF-like plates designed for the kind of printing we do. It fits right in with our overall dedication to quality and Lean Manufacturing.”
Cartotecnica Postumia was one of the first paper-related companies in Italy to achieve ISO 9001 certification in 1997. Other certifications include the BRC/IOP Global Standard Certification for Packaging and Packaging Materials (2006), and FSC and PEFC certifications for responsible forest management (2011). Since 2013, the company has focused on Lean Manufacturing while also making significant infrastructure investments, including a new flexo press and 3 new bag making machines in the 2015-2016 timeframe. The goal is to complete Lean Transformation of all company processes by 2020.
In recognition of the quality the Asahi plates helped the company achieve, Cartotecnica Postumia was honored with a 1st Diamond Award for narrow web flexo print on paper and labels by FTA Europe in its second edition of the FTA Europe Diamond Awards in May 2018. Cartotecnica Postumia’s entry was printed in seven colors plus water-based matt varnish with a UV gloss varnish overcoat. “I’m not sure we could have produced this award-winning entry without the quality we can achieve using Asahi DSF plates,” Gava adds. “The Asahi AFPTM-DSF is the best plate in the market for high quality paper printing on substrates ranging from abrasive kraft paper to coated liner.”