TURIN, Italy — Inkmaker Group announced it will officially be known as IM GROUP. The rebrand launch, filmed on location at Inkmaker’s headquarters in Turin, Italy (now also headquarters to IM GROUP), was screened for private viewing on Youtube to coincide with World Earth Day to emphasize the group’s commitment towards sustainability.
The decision to rebrand Inkmaker Group as IM GROUP aligns with the group’s vision, of evolving its technology to expand in its fields and adapt, the advantages of its products, to new markets.
“Since October 2019, Inkmaker has made significant investments, on the acquisitions of the businesses of Rexson and Valtech, in UK; Tecnopails, in Italy; and most recently Swesa, in Germany. The driving strategy behind these acquisitions was to create a reliable complete supply chain — serving predominantly, but not only, the ink, paint and coatings industry — to sustain our core businesses,” explained Christophe Rizzo, CEO EMEA/Americas, IM GROUP.
This meant restructuring the group’s brands into various specialties, yet to still function as one strong force, hence the need to rebrand the existing Inkmaker Group brand, to have an identity of its own, as an autonomous holding brand positioned as a “Total Solutions Provider.” As Rizzo highlighted, “This is the evolution of Inkmaker Group, which is essentially that of Inkmaker.”
Gianluca Incerti, Global Commercial Director, IM GROUP, explained that this was one of the key reasons for forming IM GROUP. “Our strategy is to create ‘areas of excellence’ dedicating each of our brands to a specific expertise. In this way each brand still works individually, with its existing clients in its own markets, and when required shares that expertise — offering Total Solutions — when for example, working on large turn-key plant engineering projects. This guarantees resource optimisation and high flexibility to manage projects of all sizes,” said Incerti.
Within the restructure of IM GROUP’s brands, Inkmaker will focus on ink dispensing and software design. Rexson will be predominantly for paint as well as liquid ink. Vale-Tech will focus on narrow-web and paste-ink dispensing. Swesa will mainly focus on food, pharmaceutical, corrugated packaging, cosmetics and more. Teko will remain in POS tinting and R&D training, and Tecnopails will focus on filling solutions.
The group’s in-house corporate communications division, THINK, designed the new identity. “The focal point of IM GROUP’s new logo is a symbol of a face created from a series of triangles, that like the many brands and skills of our Group, converge to form a strong whole — a distinct ‘human identity’ — depicting a technological engineering leader with a ‘human touch.’ The face is embellished with a crown, representing the Group’s determination to maintain its leading position in the industries it serves,” explained Silvio Cimenti, Global Director of Branding, Marketing and Communications, IM Group. “The Colour of Trust — the Group’s credo — is a result of its core values of being Truthful, Responsible, Understanding, Safe and Tailor-Made to ultimately position the group, as the leader you can T R U S T.”
The IM acronyms in the new name are derived from the name Inkmaker, which are steeped in history. Valentina Cigna, Global Director of HR and President of IM GROUP, explained, “They recall not only Inkmaker — as the founder of the group — but also those who, in 1987, founded Inkmaker; Carlo Musso, Luciano Longobardi and — especially for me — my father, Giuliano Cigna. He would have been very proud of this moment.”
How This Evolution is Affecting Operations in Asia-Pacific
The move comes at a time of great evolution, on all fronts for the group and in all of its locations globally. Having recently expanded its premises in Malaysia to house its Tinting and Engineering brand, Teko, the group is rapidly gaining market share across Southeast Asia especially in Philippines and Vietnam.
Roberto Guerra, CEO Asia-Pacific, IM GROUP, highlighted, “The big one of course is China. Suffice to say that due to our larger premises we can now double the number of standard machines we ship monthly, from an average of 5 or 6 units to 10 to 12. More importantly, the real added value for us is the capability to build more complex units, which is where IM GROUP’s R&D is investing a lot of resources. Smart factory and Industry 4.0 are driving our growth and when you build complete production lines for a paint and ink company it’s important to have enough space to work in total safety.”
Safety and a Commitment to Social Responsibility and Sustainable Practices
Safety at the workplace has always been of priority to the group, along with technology, but it is also evolving the way in which its products are impacting the environment and the carbon footprint they leave.
“This is the reason for choosing to launch IM GROUP, today on World Earth day, to make a global statement of our commitment in furthering our social responsibility and sustainable practices. To action this, IM GROUP is partnering with Deloitte to create a roadmap to reduce our eco-impact — the current resources we use and waste we create — so we too can do our part in reducing environmental pollution, and to align our ethical principles for a safe work environment with those of the United Nations' Global Compact,” added Valentina Cigna, Global Director of HR & President of IM GROUP.
Additionally, the group used the occasion of the launch to announce the setting up an IM GROUP FOUNDATION, aimed for year-end, to be followed by IM GROUP’s Goodwill Ambassador, Alice Guerra, as Foundation Chairman. The foundation will work to bring social activities to members of the local communities where IM GROUP operates and to offer career development and growth opportunities to the youth in those communities.
“On a private level, the group has always been active in this field, especially in Southeast Asia, working closely with children with special needs through workshops and activities — now we will be bringing this activity to the next level and into our IM GROUP,” said Cigna.
How the Evolution to IM GROUP is Affecting Operations in China
In Shanghai, expansion plans were brought forward, with the doubling in size of the group’s previous production area, to cope with demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Bigger premises mean we can manufacture more machines and we can now offer a greater variety. We are already offering customers the entire portfolio of our brands. So, for us the new IM GROUP brand will certainly impact business positively in China. It creates a platform for us to promote all our brands individually, or working in unison with a single focus, as a Total Solutions Provider,” said Lau Kar Seng General Manager, Inkmaker Shanghai and Board Member of IM GROUP.
Inkmaker’s Software: The Brain Behind IM Group
Significant investments have also been made in the group’s Software & Automation division to ensure a smooth transition with all the new brands and to increase their level of productivity and performance to a much higher and more energy-efficient level. “Inkmaker’s software — now known as IM GROUP’s IMAESTRO — was designed in-house by our Software team and has always defined us as a leader amongst our competitors, therefore it plays a major role in the operational execution of IM GROUP’s global strategy. We have since expanded our software line to another one, called IMPRIMO, which we recently released with our Ink-transfer/supply system, Inktrasyst, and another three are under development, planned for release by next year,” said Francesco Nesti, Global Director of Software & Automation, IM GROUP.
On a customer service level, a new training program, called ASIST—Advanced Software Intelligence Systems Training, was launched earlier this month. It combines IoT automation and artificial intelligence, with the skills of IM GROUP’s experts, to boost the training level of our systems.
Machinery Developments in the Advent of IM GROUP
The goal of offering total process engineering to clients worldwide involves reorganizing and broadening the group’s product range. This will ensure the group’s growth sustainability for the next 10 to 15 years. “In order to meet this — market-segment distribution — several machines were removed, and others were re-designed to meet higher standards of mass customisation, reliability and performance to give wider and broader solutions to our customer’s needs,” explained Enrico Mattiazzi, Global Director of Engineering, Production and Supply Chain, IM GROUP.
“Due to its acquisitions, Inkmaker grew by 25% globally. Taking into account the current challenges the pandemic has caused, this is still on track with our vision. Now having the holding brand, IM GROUP, to steer all our speciality brands, we foresee all our brands to grow exponentially,” concluded Rizzo.