We are in Porto Mantovano, in that portion of the Po Valley Plain enclosed between the provinces of Mantua, Brescia, and Verona. To this strip of land in the northeast of Italy P.E. Labellers, a leading company in the design and production of labelling machines, is profoundly attached ever since it was founded in April 1974. For P.E. Labellers this year is very important: It is the year when it celebrates its 40th birthday. Forty years during which the company’s growth never stopped, and the technologies, developed and proposed to the market, have been constantly improved and refined in terms of numbers and varieties.
From the regional to the global market
“At the beginning – refers Bruno Negri, Chairman of P.E. Labellers, and co-founder of the company with Mario Ballarotti – our business was mainly the design, construction, and maintenance of a small number of labellers for low production speeds, destined for the regional market. Already after a few years, however, we had expanded our production range to the domestic market. In 1978, we began to expose our machines at some of the European trade fairs, and in 1984 we crossed the European borders and landed notably in the United States and South East Asia. In the years beyond 2000, our first foreign seats were born”. At present PE Labellers can count on a production site in Cincinnati (USA) – 3,500 square meters – and one in São Paulo in Brazil, of 1,500 square meters. Premises for the sale and service are active in France, Scotland and China, and a new production facility is being opened-up in Algeria, which will serve the Maghreb market. Moreover, a new seat in South-East Asia is scheduled for opening. We ask: How is the sales force selected and trained? “From Italy – explains Mr. Negri – we operate the sales force throughout the world. All managers in charge of assisting foreign sales offices, especially for the presentation of innovative technologies or complex machines leave from here”. Approximately 400 people are working in the Group, about 280 of which in Italy.
Maximum flexibility & complete chain
P.E. Labellers can handle any kind of container and use all existing labelling technologies, as: Cold glue and hot melt, self-adhesive, sleeve, and adhesleeve (or linerless self-adhesive). Adhesleeve is based on a linerless labelling technology. It leads to significant advantages in terms of costs reduction (30% savings), and environmental impact: in fact, there is a reduction of wastes as there is no liner, and energy costs are lower as no glue heating is required; furthermore, no chemicals (solvents) are required for cleaning the machine. In short, the machine operation is far simpler and maintenance costs are reduced by about 70-80%. The first sector approached by P.E. Labellers, back in the 1970s, has been that of wines and spirits, with machines running at a speed of 3,000-4,000 bottles per hour. Since then, the food and detergents & personal care sectors have been added. “Today we can state that we supply all production sectors requiring labelling, including the pharmaceutical sector”, says Bruno Negri. Since the mid 1980s, P.E. Labellers aims at changing from being a simple assembler of labelling machines to become a supplier of the complete production chain, from raw material to the finished machine and created – always in the province of Mantua – collateral production units: a turner’s shop for the production of mechanical parts; a carpenter’s shop for the production of machine frames; and a facility dedicated to the production of equipment. Later on, P.E. Labellers created even separate facilities specializing in the different labelling technologies: One specializing in linear machines and adhesive labels (Packlab); one for medium-low speed labellers, one for labellers featuring roll-fed and adhesleeve technology; and one for the production of high-speed high-tech labellers. The Research & Development division of P.E. Labellers, formed by ten engineers, works for the whole Group and is always looking for new technological solutions.