Printech Engineering celebrates 40 years of excellence

Founded in 1981 by Thomas van den Oever, this family-run business has expanded throughout Southern Africa and now celebrates its 40th Anniversary milestone, along with the valued partnerships that have supported and enabled Thomas’ vision to grow and evolve over the past four decades.

The man behind the Printech name – Thomas – was born of Dutch Catholic immigrant parents, whose rich parental culture was steeped in tradition, had a profound influence on his masterful expertise and the way in which Printech was established and continues to successfully operate to this day.

Always at the forefront of technology and service, the company is a recognised brand and go-to partner, making them a vital force within the industry. Clients associate Printech with reliability, quality and as a key business partner in adding value. The main contributor towards the success and longevity of this business has been the high level and detailed service provided to its customers, through offering turnkey solutions ranging from refurbished equipment all the way through to providing training for all equipment supplied.

Printech also offers Preventative Maintenance Service Contracts, assisting the customer in avoiding the high cost and loss of production brought about by unavoidable machine breakdowns. The Preventative Maintenance Contract can be taken out on any age machinery and is tailored to any customer need, ensuring that customers continually achieve maximum production efficiencies, while experiencing fewer breakdowns.

Alternative to New

In the beginning, Thomas set up a factory in Cape Town, where he imported used Heidelberg printing presses and rebuilt them to an as-new condition. These rebuilt presses were then supplied to the local market at a more affordable price, creating the “Alternative to New” concept within the South African printing industry. Wherever possible, Printech will repair, machine or rebuild parts or entire machines, be it printing, bindery, cutting or finishing equipment, in order to drive efficiencies for its customers.

Its purpose-built factory in Cape Town coupled with key personnel, enables Printech to provide its customers, both locally and abroad, with the reassurance and comfort that their equipment will be treated with the greatest of care and have confidence that its workmanship will be of the highest quality.

Rebuild assessments involve a detailed analysis of the press following its dismantling. All necessary parts are thoroughly inspected against the original manufacturer’s specifications. All parts that fall outside of the specific tolerances are replaced as part of the rebuild process. The machines are professionally cleaned in Printech’s dedicated cleaning bays and when necessary or upon request, panels are resprayed before the machine is reassembled.

Depending on the service report and the in-depth rebuild, a decision is made as to whether or not the press needs to be test printed in Printech’s workshop. At other times, the customer may request to see the press in production in its workshop, following which a test print is then conducted by one of its qualified print instructors.

The company also specialises in the sale of consumables, the sale and installation of spare parts and also, the moving of equipment, whether it be from across the room or across the border. Printech’s in-house engineers – equipped with milling, surface grinders and a lathe machine – are capable of modifying, designing, engineering and repairing parts tailored to the customer’s needs. Being able to manufacture and machine certain parts in its workshop enables Printech to pass economic savings on to its customers.

‘Our customer-centric approach is evident in each and every project we undertake,’ said Mario Mangiagalli, Technical Director at Printech. ‘All of our rebuild projects carry our commitment and guarantee that we stand behind everything that we undertake.’ He added, ‘We view each new as well as existing customer as a new and exciting opportunity, where we seek to be the supplier of choice with a proactive approach, speedy response time and have access to spare parts at competitive pricing.’

Your one stop partner for all machine requirements

In addition to offering “Alternative to New” machines, Printech is also the Southern African agents for Koenig & Bauer, BaumannPerfecta and Wohlenberg, enabling them to be a truly one stop partner for any and all machine requirements.

Across its three branches, Printech employs highly skilled and trained engineers, who provide service and repairs on KBA, Heidelberg, and bindery equipment. Printech’s footprint includes regular customers in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Rwanda, Angola, Zambia, Botswana and Lesotho. Printech provides extensive training of operators and is able to solve any print related issues, with its fleet of engineers that are on standby 24/7 to provide service across the three main metropoles of South Africa, being Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.

‘Our extensive supply of competitively priced consumables range from press to post press, with high-end market leaders like CITO, Westland Rollers, Galaxy, Pressclean and Prisco, among others,’ said Ryan de Vries, Johannesburg Branch Manager at Printech. ‘We also boast a product range that carries all of the necessary guarantees such as Fogra approved roller wash and wash cloth, Isega food grade coatings and a CITO range specific for the food industry,’ he added.

Engineers of the future

Thomas dedicated himself to setting down firm roots and building a legacy, one that included establishing a sustainable apprentice training programme; a way of always giving back, while encouraging and contributing towards the future growth of each apprentice, the company and the industry alike. Imparting knowledge to up-and-coming engineers has been the pillar and key strength of Printech’s ethos since its inception. ‘Looking back at the many successes within the industry, we are filled with pride for our contribution towards the development of the printing industry to where it is today,’ observed Richard McQueen, CEO at Printech.

Through the years, Printech remains the only supplier within the industry that still runs a SETA approved apprenticeship training programme, with a view of finding and training engineers of the future. Each year the company identifies a number of potential future engineers, who go through a rigorous training process, with Printech sponsoring their part time studies. This programme includes basic required skills through to high-level specialised work including the removal of side frames, cylinder repairs, refurbishment of machines as well as the installation of printing and bindery equipment, electrical training including PC boards, programming and fault finding.

Supporting passion and engineering growth

‘We now look back at where we have come from, in order to plan for the future, and we pay respectful homage to our history and to the origins that remind us of how much we have grown year-on-year,’ Richard continued. ‘It goes without saying that our staff have formed the backbone of Printech and through their unrelenting dedication combined with the need to improve and expand are the real asset of Printech. Some of our staff have been with Printech for almost 30 years!’ he exclaimed.

Richard added that the company has continued to move forward and adapt with ever-changing times, whilst remaining committed to the values instilled by Thomas van den Oever, its founder. While the world economy is currently navigating some very challenging times, with few industries unaffected by the ripple effect, Printech has remained committed to delivering world class quality and service at affordable prices.

‘This year marks our 40th birthday celebration. Our goal is to continue to create innovative solutions that support passion and growth; solutions that capture hearts and minds on the African continent; solutions that are built on the foundational history of Thomas’ legacy; of quality, combined with modern technology and international ingenuity,’ added Richard.

As Printech celebrates a significant milestone, it now looks forward as it plans its trajectory into the future. To-date the solutions offered by the company had been built on its people, passion and innovation, which have proven to be the driving forces behind creating a commitment to excellence and true dedication to its customers. ‘As we celebrate our past, present and future, we thank you for being part of this journey,’ concluded Richard.