Latest News

NEW DESIGNER'S GUIDES

We have recently updated  our  Designer’s Guides. We now have 3 metallic hot stamp swatch books.

The Complete Range showcases our entire selection of metallic colours.

We have a Rotary Range that focuses on rotary foiling with a clear distinction between hot and cold foil.

We also have a New Zealand Range to keep our New Zealand customers up to date with all that is available in our newly opened Auckland facility.

Please email sales@astor.com.au with your details and requirements and we will send you the appropriate guide.

FOILMAKERS OPENS A FACILITY IN NEW ZEALAND

Freddie Gillanders has been in the foil business for more than 10 years, and over that time, has supplied product to the leading label converters country-wide. After a stint in another area of the label business, Freddie was keen to return to his passion and use his knowledge and foil experience by setting up the New Zealand arm of Foilmakers, (FM).

“Joining FM has been a great opportunity to really introduce and expand the business in this country, even though a large number of Kiwi converters are familiar with the company and the products it makes,” explained Freddie. “New Zealand as we know, produces a lot of wine that uses coated and uncoated label stock and cold-foiling is probably 75-80% of the market here. This fits in with FM’s strength, so their product should be very well accepted.”
 
He said the trend seemed to be towards wider web with a lot of the companies ditching their older presses as they look for presses which can deliver a wider format. “They are looking at 500mm web widths which gives them exceptional production capability. Converters are also looking for presses which do both hot and cold foil, plus delivering a range of embellishments to meet market demands.

 “Since announcing that we have established warehousing and slitting facilities here in Auckland, we have had a lot of support from local converters. We have invested in the latest slitting equipment, which is up and running and delivers the highest quality to Kiwi converters.

“This foil converting machine ensures that tension remains tight through the roll, it has a digital control. We won’t have “soft areas” over the roll because of this technical advance, and we’ll be able to deliver what is called a “shear-cut” which New Zealand converters won’t be able to find anywhere else. This will ensure no foil dust can contaminate varnishes on the label press.”

The East Tamaki location ensures that FM is in “print central” - where many of the New Zealand label converters are based.

“Over the years FM has supplied the NZ market, so there are existing customers, but was not able to have much impact, due to the lack of converting facilities” said Freddie. "This recent investment has now opened-up a new and modern facility to service the wider Kiwi label market. Terry Newman, CEO of Foilmakers Australia has known me  previously and respects my approach to service. This is great for converters as we have product available locally, with service by good people, which I believe, is the correct approach.”
 

METALLIC ROSE GOLD FOIL

Early in 2016 we increased our colour palette to include the new fad colour, Rose Gold.

GFE 355 Grade is a brand new metallic colour we added to our existing GFE metallic range.

This luxurious foil combines the regal opulence of gold with a pastel pink tone to create an elegance that is timeless.

GFE Grade

GFE is an easy release foil, general purpose for medium to large solid areas.

Suitable for dry and smooth papers and board.

This foil was developed for increased scuff resistance on wine labels.



FOILMAKERS GROWS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE TASMAN

The popularity of the Foilmakers range of hot stamp foils with New Zealand customers, has resulted in the company opening an office with warehouse in Auckland, to service the growing Kiwi label market. Foilmaker’s CEO, Terry Newman, told “Labels Plus” that the company had always sold into the New Zealand market as part of the company’s international marketing reach, but a big lift in sales and the opportunity to recruit a well-known local foils expert Freddie Gillanders, was too good to pass up. (see story elsewhere)

“Freddie has been in the business for a number of years now, having worked for anther foil supplier as well as a labelstock company, so he knows the Kiwi converter market very well,” explained Terry. “We did some research and decided that it was worth setting-up an office, so we purchased and installed a state-of-the-art slitter and started trading a week and a half ago. Being so close to our manufacturing operation here, means that we can have product to him in a matter of hours if need be, although we are carrying an extensive range of foils in the Auckland warehouse.

“We are established in East Tamaki, which is pretty-well the heart of the printing business in Auckland, but Freddie will also be covering all the regions and markets for foil in New Zealand. Another factor which influenced us, was the popularity of our well-known SFE foil range over there. Converters were buying from Melbourne where we make it, so we realised that having such a good product, which was already well accepted, then we should have converting and local supply in New Zealand.

Foilmakers has also had another win, announcing that Univacco has chosen to give them sole agency in Australia and New Zealand for their range of foils. According to Terry, “they-are-second-to-none” with technical support, quality and service. 

All this activity comes on the heels of the company moving its Sydney premises to a larger and more modern facility at Milperra in western Sydney. “It has meant a larger warehouse to meet demand, a more modern office area, and the installation of the world’s newest slitting machine, which will be installed in early September,” said Terry. “This is the same machine as installed in Auckland last month and it is performing beautifully!”

“These machines are specially-designed and manufactured to minimise dust, which can be a problem on rotary machines, where the dust can contaminate the varnish on the labels. For our customers it has been seamless as all our contact details phone, fax etc., are unchanged.”

GLOBAL DEMAND FOR AUSTRALIAN HOT STAMPING FOIL

Local foil maker Foilmakers Australia, has hit a new high for export sales jumping over 40% YTD compared to the same period last year. Foilmakers CEO, Mr Terry Newman, said: “We added new customers over the last year and we are now shipping foils manufactured in Thomastown, Melbourne regularly to over twenty countries.  Two months ago we had orders in house from 13 countries at one time.

Terry says “”we have found the key is to work with foil converters who have the same level of commitment and knowledge that has been the key to our company’s success.  He said Foilmakers has been shipping jumbo rolls to these markets which are then slit to suit the end-user’s requirements”. “In the main, they are pigment foils, but for special applications metallics are also ordered. Our wide range of colours has been well received and being a smaller foil manufacturer in world terms, is a plus because it means we can be very flexible.”

“Labels Plus” asked if the jump in overseas orders could be attributed to the weaker Australian dollar? Terry said that when they installed new equipment around four years ago, the dollar had worked against them. “We managed with a small margin for quite a time but as the Aussie dollar weakened, we started to get the return on investment we had expected.

“We have had to drop prices a little in US dollar terms – not dramatically - but I think customers are choosing us because of our reliability in supply and quality. The new equipment we installed and the method by which we coat the base material, means we achieve an extremely consistent result. It took quite a while to get the formulations right - because the new equipment is markedly different to the old – but having achieved the standard we demanded , the repeatability has been excellent.”

Terry said the sales of pigment foils in Australia and New Zealand is relatively small, so for the company to grow its manufacturing base it has to export. “Making a relatively small modification to our equipment last year, has enabled us to further increase our capacity. So we are now in a position where we can increase output by around 40-50% with marginally extra labour and no added investment and are well-positioned to further grow the business.”

Our international customers are keen for us to develop pigment plastic foils such as used on local council wheelie bins. “The results of the R&D that Milford has been involved in, will see the release of locally manufactured plastic foils for this use in the next quarter.”

If we can continue to get the support of our local and International customers with stamping foil and thermal ribbon the future looks bright for a local Aussie company.