James Rodden who will be representing the Prati Group, pictured with Sales Director, Chiara Prati.
Labels Plus” caught up with James as we discussed his 23 years with Gallus covering Letterpress, water-based and UV Flexo; Offset; Rotary Screen; Digital and all the embellishments that went with these presses.
Originally trained in Germany by the Arabin brothers from Arsoma whose business was purchased by Gallus, James’ first task in Australia when he arrived in 1995, was working with customers transferring from letterpress to UV flexo. “It took many years for flexo to surpass letterpress in terms of print quality, but in 1997 the wine industry started to boom in Australia and NZ, and we were very successful with the TCS250 offset combination press for production of high quality embellished wine labels, which led to huge success in the region.”
James said at the same time, Gallus was producing the DO330 in co-operation with Indigo, but the late ‘90s was too early for digital – that explosion came a few years later. “LP” asked James if there was anything he would change looking back over those years? “One regret was that Gallus didn’t change the web width of the TCS250 to a TCS340, because I believe 340mm would have been a more suitable web width for our region, and we would have had an embellishment machine to convert digitally-printed labels”.
For the past two years, James has been charged with assisting Heidelberg Australia in the transition of the Gallus know-how and experience to the large German manufacturer who acquired it. “I am confident that the Heidelberg team will continue to support our Gallus customers through the region and I leave them officially in June.”
Over all his years at Gallus, James has met and worked with many outstanding label personalities and people he feels he should thank. “Ferdinand Ruesch and Klaus Backstein from head office have supported me for more than 20 years, while Clare and Karin from Gallus Australia were another two whose support was wonderful. I’d also like to recognise and thank Leigh and Keith Phillips from Victoria, always great supporters.
“Last but definitely not least, is my wonderful wife Ingrid and our family, who have given me the upmost support since we left Germany back in 1995. They have given their full backing to my new business venture and will continue to work supporting Prati and other clients.”
But while one door closes for James, an exciting new one opens towards the future. Rodden Graphics will represent the Prati range of machines as well as VTI cold UV curing equipment. “If you have any problems finishing your printed labels, then Prati has a solution for it,” said James. “Prati is a family business and they opened a new factory five years ago at Firenze, Florence which is between Bologna and Rome. However, their growth has been so great, that next year they are now having to re-locate again.
“It’s an investment setting up a new business, but I have the passion and energy; I know the product and know the customer-base.”
To contact James Rodden call on +61 (03) 9726 6591,