Like all sectors of the Portuguese economy, screen printing has been affected by the economic downturn, creating a temporary cycle of under-investment with pressure towards cost reduction. Innovative companies, however, are still able to thrive thanks to a combination of entrepreneurial skills and competitive purchasing strategies. In such an economic climate it is doubly important to rely on cost-effective products, avoiding unnecessary wastage, yet ensuring the highest possible output standards.
When you think of Portugal, ceramic tiles inevitably come to mind, conjuring up the beautifully decorated houses of part of its capital and other cities. Ceramic tiles transfer printing, glass and textiles printing - mainstream sectors of screen printing - are strongly present in Portugal, produced principally in small and medium industries that are located in an area between Lisbon and Porto, at the very north of the country.
Printshow is one of such companies - a typical example in terms of size and sector of Portuguese screen printers, dedicated to mainly producing transfers. The company is headed by a young entrepreneur, Natalia, who was introduced to PLUS 2000 from MacDermid Autotype in 2005 and has never looked back since. She states, ‘PLUS 2000 is the direct emulsion of my choice. Thanks to its fast exposure speed, it is ideal for use on large format screens or with a low powered UV light source, with perfect results time and time again.’ Natalia adds, ‘PLUS 2000 is so efficient that we have very little wastage, which helps us contain production costs. I will never use anything else.’
PLUS 2000, together with the rest of hazard label-free specialist chemicals from MacDermid Autotype, are distributed in Portugal by ICMGRAF and Natalia is very complimentary about the service she receives from them, ‘ICMGRAF offers an outstanding service, not only in terms of delivery, but also technical knowledge. All their staff are highly experienced in screen printing processes and you can buy from them in absolute confidence.’
Pedro Brandao heads ICMGRAF, a company founded in 2002, and adds, ‘We cover the entire product range, from chemicals to equipment so we have a substantial experience of the sector and we know how to match products that are appropriate for a specific application. The range of MacDermid Autotype products has enabled us to expand as it allows screen printers to increase productivity, thanks to its wide ranging specialist product portfolio based on reliable technology and innovative features.’
Pedro continues, ‘In demanding times like these there is increased pressure to offer cheaper products. However, this soon turns out to be false economy as more of these products are used, with poor results and greater wastage. By focussing instead on top quality and highly effective solutions such as those offered by MacDermid Autotype, we’ve been able to ride the tide of economic recession and this has even allowed us to gain new customers.’
While there is no magic wand to weather the storm of economic recession, ICMGRAF and Printshow demonstrate that with the appropriate tools and products and by offering outstanding levels of customer service, it is possible not only to remain in business, but even to thrive. The synergy of innovation, quality and reliability has always been at the heart of all MacDermid Autotype products; it’s no wonder its products are conquering the hearts of Portuguese screen printers.
For further information contact Joanna Locke, MacDermid Autotype, Grove Road, Wantage, Oxon. OX12 7BZ. Tel: 01235 771111. Fax: 01235 771196. Email: pressrelations@
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About MacDermid Autotype
MacDermid Autotype is the leading global innovator, designer, developer and manufacturer of specialised screen print chemicals and films. In recent years MacDermid Autotype products have brought screen printing to new levels of control and repeatability, reinforcing the benefits of the process for many demanding industrial printing applications.
MacDermid Autotype also manufacture a wide range of speciality films for membrane switches, touch switches and Film Insert Moulding (FIM) products for the automotive, telecommunications and domestic appliance sector. With specialist expertise in precision coating technology, MacDermid Autotype transforms and enhances the performance of films for many high technology and demanding applications. MacDermid Autotype’s most recent launches have been hardcoated films for the membrane touch switch market, offering unique steel finishes to silky soft to the touch textures.
The company is part of MacDermid Group Inc., a leading global provider of high value-added specialty chemicals and technical services. MacDermid serves the metal and plastics finishing, electronics, oil production and drilling, and graphic arts markets. Established in 1922 MacDermid employs over 2,000 people in operating facilities located in over 24 countries.