2017 – a year full of changes as well as major advances at the company. Already in the first half of the year we reported on a significant growth in orders and we were able to continue this trend over the last few months. Thanks to our continuous growth, we are now able to look back on an increase in order volume of around 6% compared to the previous year. With increasing internationalisation always in view, in 2017 we opened up in new markets worldwide, welcomed partners in over 12 countries to our sales team and processed our existing markets even more effectively. Our new additions include China and the USA, in particular, with our new partner Daetwyler, the world’s leading manufacturer of doctor blades.
To meet the increasing order volume as well as the growing demands of our customers, we expanded our production capacities in the area of laser engraving. This included the installation of a new laser with all currently available hardware and software options, as well as upgrading two existing laser engraving systems to the latest technological level.
In addition, our own specifically developed SteppedHex engraving contributed to our success in 2017 – after its market launch in 2016, it further established itself as a cost-effective and powerful alternative to conventional hexagonal engraving. We expect a steadily growing interest from various printing industries for this innovative engraving technology. Successful projects with a large number of big companies such as Heidelberger, Tresu or Christiansen Print underline the proven performance of our SteppedHex anilox rollers.
Furthermore, we also presented our Zecher Anilox Cleaner as an extension of our product portfolio for the first time at LabelExpo Europe 2017. Our own clearly defined range of cleaning products are geared towards different application possibilities, to make the choice easy for the printer. With these product innovations we are reacting to the requests of many customers who want to set their Zecher anilox rollers up for a long life by using high-quality cleaning products.
For 2018, we are striving for another increase in our order volume and will establish ourself in new markets with the aid of our increased sales partner network, as well as win customers in additional countries with our anilox roller solutions.