Sirpi: Screen printing's niche and integrated future

 

Sirpi is an Italian ink business based in the city centre in Milan. I met with Riccardo Hassan, the second generation Managing Director, to discuss his business and the future of industrial screen printing. 60% of Sirpi’s business is now international.

How has screen printing changed for your business?

“I think for our business, the future is very positive. My thought for some years is now fully focused on industrial and will last only in this field as it is price competitive and offers good technical results other processes cannot reach. Industrial printing is the future for screen printing as it has reduced in its use with graphic printing. These days most machines are multi-technical machines and this is what the market is asking for. Screen printing is becoming one of the technologies used in this field especially for key markets as diverse as automotive.”
Automotive

“Screen printing is still the dominant process used within automotive. In mould decoration, printing onto 3D shapes and on speedometers screen printing really provides the best finishes. But also we see innovation here and new techniques being adopted that still us screen printing as it is the best process. We see it is an improvement in new techniques and the screen printing technology. I simply don’t see digital playing a role because the opacity of the ink and the speedometer must have optical qualities and it is very difficult to do this with a digital technique and it is less efficient, lower in quality and not as productive. Screen printing is the best technique. In Italy, Magnetti Marelli are investing in screen printing for the automotive market. At present, for automotive it remains a very strong market – maybe in the future you can combine techniques and the speedometer could feature some digital techniques but at present it is still under screen.

The future is good but we must stay in more than one field and we now develop for new applications for flexographic varnishes, rotogravure varnishes and we are moving now into niche markets.”

What other applications are you active in with your inks?

“For the label market we have growth and there was a good vision of screen printing applications for wine labels because this is continuing to grow to get this kind of effect for special effects. The special effect really adds value to the overall image of the product so I think this will grow as packaging and labels continue to grow in their importance to persuade people to buy a product.

As well as automotive printing and labels there is still a marketplace for furniture. Whilst design is still centred in Italy print production has now shifted to Russia, Poland and ex-Soviet countries. What has happened in Italy is they develop the projects and the design but the production has moved into Eastern Europe so we supply there now. We provide a complete screen printing department and supply the ink for furniture design.”

What did you show at InPrint?

“Obviously at InPrint we focused on our label, automotive and furniture inks. In particular we had success showing the UV varnish for finishing and a special effect that will increase the value of any product. Maybe you coat it with 2-3 varnishes and it is really enhances the product itself. Our UV Rotolabel ink products and a full range of UV varnish and a full range of varnishes and gloss – it has lots of different characteristics and it provides innovative print companies with an excellent range of value.

“In the future we plan to create products for digital. But you can’t just jump straight in. Our strategy it to study digital inks in cooperation with the machine manufacturers for plastic, wood and glass. The machine manufacturer has had impact particularly in plastic and increases in use. By working in partnership we then get the chance to create the right products which will be 98% UV. 

“I can see that digital technology companies are looking into new areas for their products, and they need the right inks. Those that have already a good position in ceramics and glass are looking into new application areas and we are happy to help with our considerable experience and expertise.

“For Sirpi at InPrint 2015 it was a great success and a tremendous opportunity to speak with our customers and people who are also new. The focus on industrial printing fits perfectly the profile of our company and we look forward to taking part in the InPrint 2016 in Milan."

For more information,  check out their website http://www.sirpi.it/