Balkan Printers Have A Friend in Druckfarben Hellas SA
By David Savastano
Printing is very much an international business, with tremendous work being done throughout the world. For printers, having ink suppliers who can help them to meet their ever-increasing challenges is an absolute necessity.
For printers in Greece and the Balkans, having Druckfarben Hellas S.A. nearby has been a strong way to guarantee success on press. Druckfarben Hellas S.A. is the leader in the printing ink industry in Greece, specializing in flexo and gravure inks as well as supplying offset inks and paint.
Druckfarben Hellas Ltd. was founded in 1970, and became Druckfarben Hellas S.A. in 1986, when the company built its manufacturing facilities in Chalkis. Between 1993-99, the company executed a heavy investment program, including expansion of its manufacturing operations, upgrade of its equipment and computer information systems and personnel training. By 1998, it had received ISO 9001 certification.
Today, the company is divided into business units devoted to the graphic arts, flexible packaging, paints and international activities, which Druckfarben Hellas S.A. officials say allows them to focus better and respond faster to its customers’ needs.
Druckfarben Hellas S.A. is the leader in solvent- and water-based flexographic and rotogravure inks for the flexible packaging in Greece.
“We are the leading manufacturer of inks in Greece,” said Dimitri Mandis, a member of the company’s technical department. “We have also developed a large export business to the Balkans, Poland, Middle East and Germany. Furthermore, we have two subsidiaries, one in Romania and the other in Bulgaria, which provide the complete range of facilities and services in their markets and will help us capture a leading position in those countries and the rest of the Balkans.”
In February 2003, the company started production of solvent-based inks in its new state-of-the-art factory and headquarters in Aspropyrgos. Water-based inks and varnishes are manufactured in Chalkis, and the company also has a branch in Thessalonica. The company’s new facilities also include R&D labs, where the company is focusing on meeting its customers’ needs.
“Flexible packaging is expanding in Greece,” said Mr. Mandis. “We are seeing a trend toward safer products and are trying to eliminate substances that are suspect.”
The company also leads the Greek offset ink market through the strategic agreement it signed with Michael Huber Munchen. The company exclusively represents Huber products in all Balkan countries.
Aside from inks, Druckfarben Hellas S.A. also supplies the offset market with printing systems and consumables, representing Goss Graphic Systems presses, Megtec VOC oxidation systems, Oxy Dry peripherals, Varn Products pressroom chemicals, Day International blankets and Verona Lastre aluminum printing plates. The company also distributes DuPont laminating adhesives.
In 1999, Druckfarben Hellas S.A. entered the paint industry by acquiring International Ilios Cotachem, one of the oldest and largest paint manufacturers in Greece, and Polymet, the largest commercial paint company in Greece, which distributes Pratt & Lambert paint and the Hammerite series of ICI.
These alliances allow Druckfarben Hellas S.A. to supply the complete needs of its customers. “Our customers are looking for total solutions,” Mr. Mandis said. “We are very close to our customers, since our goal is to develop and offer both products and services meant to exceed customer expectations and provide beyond inks... solutions.”