Labelling expert Skanem has high praise for Fujifilm’s Sericol flexo inks, which have delivered consistency, quality, strength and vibrancy to the company’s narrow web production for almost three decades.
An international labelling manufacturer with over 100 years’ experience, Skanem is a packaging industry expert. As a producer of self-adhesive, liner-less and smart labels, alongside flexible packaging film, Skanem has an international reach, with production sites in the UK, Scandinavia, Poland, Asia and Africa. It offers its customers, from all industries and segments, a full service, including portfolio optimisation, warehouse management, logistics and design. Since the 1990s Skanem’s Cardiff branch has relied on Fujifilm’s Sericol high quality inks and expert knowledge to help them produce pristine, striking products, all while adhering to the company’s environmental beliefs.
"Worldwide, Skanem produces millions of labels every day for over 3,000 customers,” says Paul Morgan, Ink Technician at Skanem Cardiff. “Manufacturing all of these products for so many brands means we need the most reliable equipment and the best quality inks in our production sites to ensure we’re delivering what our clients expect of us.
In the Cardiff branch of Skanem, we specialise in labels for over-the-counter pharmacy products, beers, wines and spirits, household cleaning products, skin care and cosmetics – we also provide labels for the motor industry. We started using Sericol inks around the mid-90s when we were using screen printing primarily. Then, as our facilities in Cardiff expanded, the company realised we needed an ink supplier in the UK that could deliver a quality ink within just a matter of days – in 2007, we turned to Fujifilm’s Sericol JD flexo range of inks as a solution and haven’t looked back since."
Morgan is keen to outline the benefits that UV cured flexo inks have provided his narrow web applications:
"With our customers expecting their branded colours to be perfectly reproduced, we know we can put our faith in the JD flexo ink range – the colour consistency, strength and vibrancy in each and every print is excellent and so important to our operations. It has also allowed us to create bespoke colour matches first time, rather than after several submissions, which cuts the speed to market in the label development process.
These inks offer our customers a wider colour palette, higher quality metal effects, solid whites, and by using denser ink pigments, allows for less ink usage overall, which is better for the environment."
Skanem proudly promotes its environmental stance. Ian Furmage, Production Manager at Skanem Cardiff, explains:
"To protect the environment is our responsibility and at Skanem we offer our ‘Sustainable Labels, Designed for Recyclability’ program, where we utilise every opportunity to help our customers to achieve their sustainability goals through the selection of the correct raw materials, design optimisation, production processes and logistics. The whole emphasis is to ensure our customers design their packaging with recyclability in mind.
Our principles are clear, but they wouldn’t be anything without our suppliers who must also fit in with our ethos. Fujifilm’s Sericol inks are always delivered with minimal packaging, meaning there is very little wastage. The metal and plastic tubs the inks arrive in are easily stacked and simple to recycle, saving space and reducing the number of collections required."
Morgan is delighted with the relationship that Skanem’s Cardiff division has developed with Fujifilm:
"They have been fantastic over the years,” he says. “From the initial introduction to their screen printing ink range back in the 1990s to the world class Sericol JD flexo ink range they deliver today, we have formed a great relationship with the tech support team who are always on hand to provide help.
I remember when I joined Skanem many years ago, I wasn’t very knowledgeable when it came to flexo, but the support I had from Fujifilm was superb and still is to this day. Occasionally, I will get a customer request that requires a particular ink that we don’t stock, but a quick call to the Fujifilm support team solves the issue – they advise the best route for me to take to achieve the required result.
We have full confidence in Fujifilm’s products, as well as the sales and support teams. We have a great relationship and I would highly recommend working with them."
Steve Wakefield, Marketing Manager at Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems says:
"We’re delighted to see how Skanem have been utilising our flexo inks for a variety of industries. Their relationship with us, stretching back almost 30 years, has enabled us to build a great partnership and we’re looking forward to using our flexo range to help them in other areas of their business."