When Danish narrow web press manufacturer, Nilpeter, celebrates its centenary in 2019, it will mark a unique passage of time for the label industry. Established in Copenhagen by Christian Nielsen and Axel Petersen, hence ‘Nil-Peter’, and still owned and managed by the descendant Eriksen family (Lars 3rd generation and Peter 4th), the company has grown to employ 450 people and establish a customer base in 65 countries worldwide.
Essentially a manufacturer of flexo presses, the company also offers a very successful narrow web offset model and more recently a digital inkjet engine that is available as a stand-alone unit or inline as a flexo/digital hybrid. The flexo range is made up of the FA and FB series, the latter of which are now manufactured exclusively in a purpose-built facility in India. The MO combination offset model sells globally from Denmark.
Renowned in more recent times as an innovative manufacturer of systems that provide solutions for complex jobs, Nilpeter is proud of its 100% control of production from raw steel machining to after sales support, and all functions in between. Today, a significant proportion of its sales are to the multi-national groups where high-tech packaging requires equally high-tech equipment. Speaking for the company, Global Sales manager, Jesper Jørgensen commented: “We are seen as a specialist innovator of added value techniques. As the market has consolidated and become more specialised, so our product portfolio has become more diverse to allow us to support products from flexible packaging to cartons, and linerless to in-mould applications.”
Research and Development is fundamental to the Nilpeter operation, and its specialist workforce is constantly engaging with the latest market trends to find practical and commercial solutions that work for both press operator and end-user. The number of different special modules available are all testimony to the ways in which the company has responded to changes in demand. Throughout the process, quality is at the heart of the company.
Which means that to ensure consistently high-quality production, Nilpeter needs to choose its co-suppliers carefully, and the longstanding working relationship with fellow Danish manufacturer Vetaphone is a fine example of this. “As substrates become more complex and additional special processes are required, we need to have absolute confidence in the quality of surface treatment,” he said. “If you are wanting to run filmic materials at speeds in excess of 200m/min, the power and controllability of the corona system have to be perfect – our experience with Vetaphone products gives us the confidence to make production promises to our customers.”
The synergy between the two companies highlights the importance of quality management in design and production. Both are acknowledged as pioneers in their particular fields, and it is no coincidence that both are still family owned and managed. Although the junior partner, being established in 1953, Vetaphone founder Verner Eisby was the inventor of corona treatment, and like Nilpeter, his company today sets the benchmark for quality engineering worldwide.
In today’s constantly changing market for printed packaging, where new influences of the Internet and social media have had a major impact on consumer shopping habits, all manufacturers supplying the industry need to be alert to, and if possible, ahead of, the changes. With its global manufacturing base that now spans America, Europe and the Indian sub-continent, and with subsidiaries in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, Nilpeter is well placed to serve customers for the next 100 years.
Concluding for Vetaphone, CEO Frank Eisby stated: “We congratulate Nilpeter on their centenary of achievement and are proud to have been one of their trusted suppliers for many years – we look forward to enjoying even more joint success in the future.”
Photo: A Vetaphone VE1A Corona station fitted to a Nilpeter FA flexo press