It is not often that printing and packaging companies build a completely new production facility. But Noor Carton, a packaging producer from Dammam in Saudi Arabia, is one of those rare cases. The company erected its new plant in 2015 and has since been producing on two high-performance Rapida 106 coater presses, one with five colours, the other with six colours.
Noor Carton is a member of the Salman Group, which operates not only printing plants serving the commercial and flexo segments, but also companies for medical and IT products. In each of its fields of activity, the group views itself as a solution provider and organises its competencies and capacities accordingly. To this end, the individual business units are committed to continuous process improvement and the integration of cutting-edge technologies.
In packaging printing, many of the leading global print buyers are represented on the list of Noor Carton customers. When looking for the ideal partner with regard to offset technology, the Noor Carton management formulated clear demands to be met by press manufacturers: The best available technology paired with the best advice and service. Baker Al Nasser, general manager of the Salman Group: “There are many presses which deliver good and saleable quality. And we ourselves grew with other presses until 2014. But the reality on the market is today unfortunately different to a few years ago. Today, it is imperative for us to use only the most productive presses with the highest levels of technical availability. That is the only way to grow further. In this connection, the Rapida series leaves no technical wishes unanswered. Furthermore, Koenig & Bauer and Kharafi convinced us with the best advice and service concept.”
Noureddine Amalou, MENA sales manager at Koenig & Bauer: “It is an exciting challenge to plan a printing plant from scratch. For the Saudi Arabian market and for the target group of Noor Carton, productivity and integration were essential aspects. Many very long repeat jobs are printed, which is why all the presses are configured with automatic non-stop pile changing and extended logistics. The vision is to automate board transport from the stores, via the printing press and die-cutting machine, through to shipping to the customer. This is an innovative solution which is unique in the MENA region, based on the models of existing Koenig & Bauer partners in Europe. After all, labour costs are also increasing dramatically in the Middle East and must thus be taken into account in major investment projects.”
The printers at Noor Carton are today full of praise for the ease of operation of their two Rapidas: “The new TouchTronic console, in particular, is an outstandingly intuitive system and made familiarisation so much easier for the operators. Further tools such as automated colour measurement and control based on optical densities and Lab values contribute to ultra-short makeready and stable, reproducible production.”
The overall project comprises several phases and will soon be continuing with a further increase in the company’s capacities – enabling even more brand owners to rely on the specialists at Noor Carton.