Nuceria: thought and sentiment

Editorial by Stefano Lavorini.

Entering into a company is like leafing through a book taken down from the shelf, opening a window onto a world of unknown marvels, of powerful hidden sentiments, of unsuspected emotional panoramas.

Certainly, there is the matter of making products - in the case of the new Nuceria converting works, wet glue cardboard cartons and shrink sleeves - but the walls, the organization of the spaces, the hollow areas of the storage bays and the full areas of the machines first and foremost bear witness to a passage, a presence that traverses the world in the form of actions, gestures, words.
A presence that has the objective of realising the dreams and desires of people, the wish to challenge time and history, the preconceptions and banalities of a trite tradition.

This is the case of Paola Iannone, sales head of the company’s folding area, to which what Edgar Allan Poe writes in “Three Women” about Mademoiselle Sallé is very befitting, “all her steps were sentiments”: obviously without this being meant as neglecting the many concrete objectives to be achieved, as she ably states: «Many have a mission, only a few have a vision. We have a passion. Today, after 30 years of presence on the market, we have a team of 300 people, that create new solutions for end users, taking on the challenges of our partners. Because when it comes down to it, we are no longer a factory, we are no longer a company and not even a group, we are creativity. This is also borne witness to by the CuBBo project that we are launching: a creative container to give space to brilliant minds through art, cultural land educational products. A sort of hub to rediscover the social dimension of the company and to promote integrated services that facilitate sustainable growth».

At the centre… of the world
I cross the threshold of the new works, that started up at the beginning of 2016: 30 thousand square metres in the industrial area of Salerno, the result of an investment of 15 million euros.
Everything appears spick and span in every detail, with the added touch of good taste, which makes everything look that much more refined: previously used for other productions, the facilities have been carefully rebuilt and reconfigured in order to optimize the linear flows.

I find at the centre of the facilities a broad space, looking onto all sections - where graphic designers, programming and sales technicians go about their daily business, made up of involvement and sharing: «A reinterpretation of American-Japanese concepts» the technical director of the site, Diego Matarazzo, explains to me.
An integral part of production, the centre acts as the functional control room for what happens all around: from the print to the die-cutting up to the material storage area, organised not only according to product code but also by pallet.
The automated system comprises RFID readers and tags, that are applied to the pallets in order to ensure the traceability of the production lots. The material is also positioned in areas with different colors, to indicate the “state”, underlinings among other things the application of a lean approach.

The formula of doing
A temple of rationality and efficiency, with top of the range and state of the art printing and converting equipment (the oldest machine dates back to 2012). But the Salerno works is also a strategic center for the growth of Nuceria division, focused on flexible packaging, and in particular on the production of shrink sleeves, what is more already printed in digital in Milan and also in Turin.
A new 14 color Bobst 670 width flexo combi has in fact been installed for this purpose.
«We don't want to make conventional sleeves - states Paola Iannone - but products with special finishing for applications that we like to call "above premium", serialized prints, silk-screen effects and cast & cure».
I am kindly guided towards the print section I notice that all the staff continue to work intensely, with commitment and scrupulously, almost without noticing our presence.T amquam non esset, (as if non existant, Ed.)

The 6 color offset presses are all the same, and differ only in terms of height set to circulation capacity, to enable a sturdy job rotation, in line with the company precept that machines are machines and that it is the men and women who give the output added value.
In the second half of 2017 the installation of a third production line is planned, destined to bring the “free” production capacity to 35%, a company choice aimed to ensure maximum flexibility.
Specialized machines for working with vegetable inks (for food contact products) or exclusively with "low migration" inks for other applications.
They all have long outfeeds, so as to avoid thermal stress on the materials and to ensure the flatness of the cardboard sheets, from 100 to 500 g/m2, and cavitated PP from 38,5 g/m2 and 50 microns thick.

Also in the die-cutting, creasing and gluing section, there is the same attention to process automation, whether one is dealing with cartons or shaped labels in 80 g/m2 one side coated paper or in-mould polypropylene labels.
An illuminating example is offered by the use of a plasma treatment system, devised in-house, that enables the gluing of laminated polyester pharmaceutical cartons with standard vinyl glues, more environmentally friendly than hot melt solvent adhesives.

Factory of attention
Everywhere one breathes an atmosphere in which work, effort and will represent the measure for judging and evaluating behaviour.
Not by chance Voltaire said said that “work distances man from three great evils: boredom, vice and need”.
In the case of Nuceria though, there is not only attention to economic sustainability, but also to environmental sustainability: for the promotion of “green” materials, for the internal wastewater recovery system, and for the recovery of production waste through an automated aspiration system.

«It’s one thing is to make a recyclable product, such as a carton in virgin paperboard, another to produce it in a sustainable way, which is what we do. Because green is not just a color, but a state of mind» intervenes Guido Iannone, general manager of the group, stressing among other things that the power they use is generated by a PV system installed in the Nocera production site.

Guidelines that take on even greater value in a land of contrasts, where it is not always easy to combine nature, order and morality. In this respect, the founder and CEO of Nuceria, Antonio Iannone, states: «We could have opened this plant in any part of Italy or anywhere in the world, yet we chose to return to our home area despite having ramifications in far away places. We did it for a specific purpose: to nurture and valorize our roots and as a way of thanking the area. Thirty years ago, to be southern Italian, to work and invest in Italy’s South were reasons enough not be considered a good customer or a good supplier. Over the years, battling away, we have gained market shares, we have invested by diversifying our products, all the while struggling against that mortifying idea. We bring home multinational clients such as Johnson & Johnson, Colgate, PG, Fater, Menarini, Angelini, Abbvie, Paglieri Profumi. Today we launch a strong message: we are part of an "enlightened South"».

Difficult but possible, for those who have the time and the wish to do things well, and the will to improve on that.
Nuceria today serves mainly multinational customers, sending weekly deliveries to the heart of Europe, offering a multitude of products, aiming to confirm an innovatory competitive and speedy service.
Results also attributable probably to the ability to perceive and conceive the printing process in a different way - as Matarazzo tells me - or studying new serialization criteria, involving the integration of traditional and digital technologies.

The declared objective, in any case, is to be ever more propositive in one’s customer relations, up to suggesting changes in packaging types, demonstrating the benefits that can derive from different choices.
«We start from the artwork we receive, to for example propose alternatives in functional terms… In the moment when we manage to produce not only a new print face but also a new packaging item, we can say we have concretely attained out mission».
This is why within the company a team operates that only deals with R&D, and not customisation or personalisation, this also in cooperation with local universities.

Designing new solutions to propose to the market according to Iannone means «dedicating resources capable of reasoning not with the view of our customers, but with that of the end consumers, integrating ones own skills with those of other concerns in the sector supply chain».
In the end, paraphrasing the words of Italian film director Paolo Sorrentino, it is indeed true that talent lies in shifting the art barrier that little bit further, to combine the beautiful with the unprecedented. This is the only weapon one has to defeat the prevailing manner.

Nuceria Group: growth is doing business

Vision and reality of an Italian company that, thanks to its managerial dynamism and midterm strategy aimed at continuous improvement, has grown over the last years in terms of turnover at rates a lot higher than the sector average (+15%), constantly improving operating profits and financial solidity.

Iannone family. From left: Guido, Antonio, Anna e Paola.

Nuceria represents a reality that is atypical to the Italian panorama: thanks to a multi-plant and multi-product structure it is in fact specialised in the design and creation of innovatory packaging solutions, including labels and cartons for the food and pharma sectors.

As Guido Iannone, group general manager loves to repeat:«For some growth is a choice, for us growing is a moral imperative. A year has not gone by without our installing a new line, opening a new system, launching a new product, conquering a new market. Truly, growth for us is “doing business”».

But this also means building an efficient organisation, capable of nurturing itself with improvement projects. In this prospect it is fundamental to focus on young people capable of bringing a different contribution inside the team, of creating new forms of packaging that are evermore sustainable.

Numbers, values and facts
The Nuceria Group closed business year 2016 with a consolidated turnover of 62 million euros, showing growth compared to the previous year, and with an Ebitda margin at 10.1%. 2016 was hence the ninth consecutive year of growth in terms of volumes and market shares. The consolidated balance 2016 of the Nuceria Group also obviously includes the results of its subsidiary Appia Etichette, bought up during 2014 with the objective of increasing the knowhow in digital printing and extending its main market, evermore turning its gaze abroad. During the business year the Group has made investments in additional manufacturing capacity and associated facilities and equipment for over 5 million euros and has ploughed back 4% of its turnover into R&D.

All the company divisions have contributed to the positive results registered during the same business year. In particular, compared to the previous year, the possibility of offering an extended portfolio of products has led to the need for a new sizeable investment. In 2016 indeed a new paper&board converting company was opened at Salerno, that has entailed a total investment of around 15 million euros, needed for the installation of new production lines, all of which latest generation.

The Salerno facilities has two market vocations: the food area, featuring GMP procedures and dedicated lines, and the pharma area.



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