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Plastoreg has entered a new era, with founders Margitte and Hans-Dieter Smidt handing over active management to Hubertus Rohe (standard division) and to their son Uwe Smidt (bespoke business). The company has also been sold to Asia File Products, located in Penang, Malaysia.
Asia File is described as one of the world's leading manufacturers of stationery products ranging from lever arch files and binders to document filings, indexes and desk and office accessories. The company was founded in 1961 in Penang, Malaysia and has been listed on the stock exchange as a limited company since 1996. Today, it employs over 650 people.
Even though it is a public company, Asia File, like Plastoreg, is a family-run, medium-sized business with similar values. Asia File's CEO, Michael Lim and his family hold 53 per cent of the shares.
With this merger competitors became partners and, instead of letting itself become pressurized by competition from the Far East, Plastoreg is joining forces and consolidating its competitive position by strengthening its market presence. To this end, the company will be expanding its standard production facility in Kirchgandern, both in terms of space and machinery, to let it distribute and possibly manufacture other office products from the Asia File range.
For Witzenhausen, where the company produces its special dividers for advertising and presentation purposes, it does not envisage any radical changes in the short term, as Asia File has not been active in this market segment in the past.
Plastoreg is keen to emphasise its values of reliability, fairness, quality awareness, cost-effectiveness, customer proximity and friendliness of service will remain unchanged.
In other news, Katrin Puchta takes over from Joan Kirchmeier in the export sales department, with responsibility for the UK, Swiss, Scandinavian, Polish and part of the Dutch market. Like Christiane Schaper and Simone Steinbach, Katrin Puchta speaks English and French.
To improve customer service, Plastoreg has introduced CTP. To date the company has been able to work with film, even for litho printing. However, the number of board dividers, especially those with Mylar reinforcement, has increased significantly and most customers now provide artwork data themselves.
For this reason, the company is about to upgrade its pre-press facilities by installing CTP equipment which is designed to provide the printing machine with constant quality print forms and set-up data. The benefit to customers will be threefold. Print preparation time and machine set-up costs will be reduced, while also achieving higher printing accuracy. The company states there is no worry that it might not be able to handle existing films as it will continue to use both methods.