When starting the search for a new gravure printing press, Tunisian packaging producer, Cogitel, had challenging goals to meet. The company wanted to invest in a machine that would improve efficiency and quality in all of its product areas, immediately meet rising market needs and also be installed quickly. The Heliostar II came out the winner is now running in Cogitel’s production facility.
“The growing market demand for flexible packaging coincided with the need to modernize our machines park. Motivated by our commitment to serve our customers with the highest quality standards, it was an opportunity for us. And we initiated our renewal plan with one objective: rapid installation to meet market needs”, explains Mrs. Nadia Zeghal, CEO of Cogitel. Despite the time sensitivity, “the investment should also pay off in the long term and improve quality and efficiency in all our product categories, which is why an in-depth study with our R&D, Supply chain and purchasing Director, Mr. Moncef Marrakchi was achieved in a record time”, says Mr. Nizar Samet, Technical Director. Now, Cogitel has a Heliostar II from W&H running in their production facilities in Sfax, some 2 hours away from Tunis. Moreover, the new machine is a model project for Cogitel and W&H in the North Africa region. Every challenge was overcome in record time: Delivery time was kept short by using a machine from W&H technology center, installation was on time considering the constraints of the pandemic and Cogitel was able to increase efficiency and quality with the new machine.
A time sensitive matter: Short delivery time
To waste no time, buildings construction timing and machine delivery had to be synchronized. “Time was a very important matter for us. But of course, not the only factor. W&H was very supportive and creative in finding a solution for us from the beginning”, remembers Mr Mohamed Ali Gargouri, maintenance, hygiene, and security Director. “We were able to offer Cogitel a machine from our technology center which was faster available. This way a first partial machine delivery time from under 3 months was possible”, says Carsten Varney, Regional Sales at W&H. “In the end it worked out: Shortly after finishing the hall, the first parts of the new machine arrived. “It is now installed in a new separate air-conditioned workshop equipped with air filtration and designed to accommodate it in the best conditions, certainly a reference for the entire region”, adds Gargouri.
On time installation even during the pandemic
In April 2020, when the machine delivery was completed, the Corona Pandemic was in full swing. “We faced almost daily changes in sanitary conditions and applicable law. These were circumstances that were new for both partners and for which flexible solutions had to be found very rapidly. W&H worked with us as one team – and together we found flexible solutions very rapidly. For example, the obligatory quarantining in Tunisia was assured in between the hotel and the factory. “There was a close consultation about next steps and actions to be taken almost on a daily level. The local representation of W&H, EJEM in Tunis with Mr Maazoun, has also been a key factor for us for direct communication and close support”, says Mr Marrakchi.
Heliostar II in production
The Heliostar II is now used for different types of products, especially for printing paper, dairy products packaging and large runs. “With a fast registration system and high-speed production capacity the Heliostar II has already allowed us to improve our productivity and save on change over times”, says Mr. Hassen Sahnoun, Cogitel’s Industrial Director. With a 100% defect control system that monitors defects as well as varnishes, Cogitel was also able to significantly improve production speeds and reduce waste rates. “A real milestone for Altea Packaging”, Mrs. Zeghal is satisfied. “With the new, fully equipped Heliostar, Cogitel will not only grow locally but as a major player and leader in the entire MENA region and Africa”, predicts Mr Varney.
The right partner at the right time
One reason Cogitel approached W&H was their previous experience with the German Machine manufacturer. In the 80s and the 90s, the flexible packaging converter bought two Merkur gravure printing machines, that are still in production until now. “We are extremely proud of our longterm partnership with the Altea Group / Cogitel and even prouder that we were able to support them again”, Mr Varney says. “We always knew, we made the right choice of supplier at the right time”, say Mrs. Zeghal as a resume of the project and predicts a bright future for the partnership of Cogitel and W&H.
Cogitel, founded in 1984 in Tunisia, is part of the Altea Packaging group. Altea Packaging is the leading flexible packaging converter in the Maghreb and Middle East region with a Mediterranean ambition. The group is specialized in developing, converting and printing flexible packaging for food, beverage and hygiene markets. With 35 years of experience and more than 230 employees, it is the leader in Tunisia serving more than 40% of the local market in flexible packaging as well as most of multinationals established in the region. It exports to more than 15 countries in Africa and Europe. Altea proposes a wide range of packaging solutions such as labelling, sleeving, lidding, bundling, decoration, films for food contact, ecological packaging and more.