A huge success for this year’s Propak East Africa

Synchron Markings’ sales and marketing manager, Phumzile Dlamini attended Propak East Africa this year, which was held from 14 – 16 March at the Sarit Exhibition Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. This show is East Africa’s leading exhibition & conference for the packaging, printing, food-processing and plastics industries. Dlamini answered some questions about her experience of the show and how it could benefit the aforementioned industries and Synchron.

Propak East Africa 2023

Q: How many times has Synchron visited Propak East Africa? How does this show compare to your previous visits?

Specialised Exhibitions, organisers of the Propak events, host a series of events annually, be it East Africa, Nigeria (Propak West Africa), Cape Town (Propak Cape), Johannesburg (Propak Africa) or Ghana (Propak Ghana). This was the first time Synchron took part in an exhibition outside of South Africa. Being a part of Propak East Africa was crucial to us because the east African region is a key component of our expansion strategy. We also conduct business in this region so it was important to explore the current market trends and align ourselves accordingly. This show really exceeded our expectations. Every Propak show is delivered with the utmost professionalism and with the highest profile of exhibitors across the packaging, processing, plastics and printing industry.

Q: As a visitor, what did you expect from the show? Did it live up to your expectations and why?

We anticipated the event would help us strengthen our connections to the packaging and printing industries. We also wanted to get additional information about industry expertise, gain a deeper understanding of market advances and investments, and ultimately determine our position. The experience definitely lived up to our expectations as we had the opportunity to execute our strategy. The organisers created a warm, friendly and inviting atmosphere for all that were present.

Q: Which part of the show interested you the most? What innovations/new products & services came out of this industry in particular at the show?

With over 150 suppliers all under one roof, we had a first-hand look at products and solutions from every step of the packaging supply chain – from flexible packaging to rigid plastics, substrates, boxes, cans, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, printing equipment, as well as food processing equipment. The speakers that participated in the conference programme were the most interesting aspect of the show. This year’s theme was all about sustainability. Topics covered included packaging design guidelines for sustainability, understanding the role of packaging standards in the advancement of sustainability and dissecting the circular economy in line with the upcoming EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) regulations in Kenya.

Q: How do these new products/innovations help Synchron as a company in the industry?

For decades, the term stamping foil established itself as a designation for metallised decorations amongst converters and manufacturers. During finishing with KURZ thin-film technology, no foil is transferred to the substrate. This year, Kurz launched a revolutionary slimming drive to reduce the actual amount of waste generated when applying finishes to labels and print products. The optimised slim surface decorations offer the exclusive attractive look and performance guarantee that customers have come to know from us, whilst reducing the amount of material used.

Sustainability is a topic that comes up more often in our lives. Everything should be environmentally-friendly, including food, cosmetics, wines, and alcoholic beverages. The issues facing manufacturers are completely new: in addition to taking into account the environmental impact of their products, they must also contend with an increase in the number of competitors. To win over the hearts of environmentally-conscious customers, Synchron, in partnership with Kurz offers a unique sustainability concept:

  • recyclable decoration
  • resource conserving application processes
  • sustainable production.

Q: What kind of feedback did you receive from the Exhibitors?

There was great feedback from the exhibitors in the sense that there were no cold/hot transfer suppliers present and this is something the market really needs. Most exhibitors were able to generate new business and potential leads from a wide variety of different countries, not just within the East African region, but the whole world.

Q: Do you see Africa as a growing/thriving continent for the industry and why?

Yes we do, Africa has untapped business potential expanding over countries, sectors and strategies. We are seeing more manufacturers ramp up production on products from packaging to car manufacturing. There is also an important opportunity to grow manufacturing exports and make Africa the world’s next great manufacturing centre as industries shift away from China to lower-cost regions.

© Synchron Fabrics & Foils, April 2023

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