The flexible packaging firm supplies Kettle Chips and works with Ferrero, Mondelez and Nestlé as well as local firms.
It is targeting growth outside of Italy and to be perceived as an international supplier.
The family owned company is based in San Marino with another plant in Italy, Sititalia (Pesaro) which focuses on rotogravure technology and processes like cold seal applications after acquisitions in 2005 and 2006.
Sarel Plast (Stanghella) produces flexographic printing and allows management of smaller batches.
Mark Player, commercial director at SIT Group, said the plan had just been approved for the site in Padova.
“We’ve been growing 10% year on year for the last five years. We’re the largest Italian convertor in the market but we still have strong growth plans,” he told FoodProductionDaily.
“Being the largest in Italy and still wanting to grow 10% year on year means you have to grow outside of Italy. Italy is not within itself growing so we need to expand the business outside of Italy.
“Looking at the flexible packaging business in Europe, in Italy 95% of the flexible packaging is printed in rotogravure in the north it changes, you have about 60% rotogravure and 40% flexo.
“So to grow in the North I need flexography, not because the quality is better or the cost is lower – we can print the same rotogravure for the same cost as flexo – but if you are dealing with big end users which have certain lines and products they share with different printers they want to use the same technology.
“That means to grow in the north I need more flexo capacity and that really justifies the investment we are making.”
Flexographic market trends
In flexographic printing the business is active in confectionery, bakery, pasta and snacks.
Player said market expectations are increasing which has led to improved quality standards.
“We see shorter route work as our customers are dependent on the big supermarkets so forecasting is an issue so quite often the run sizes are reduced for maximum flexibility,” he said.
“There are no limitations today the flexo high definition quality is really good so we can cover the majority of applications.
“Quality and service is number one so we are putting a lot of energy into that and looking at supply chain initiatives.”