The management at ROI Technologies Inc. has never shied away from new opportunities. So when a letter arrived in the mail notifying the company of a 13-station press for sale, they were listening. It turns out they liked what they heard.
The 13-station press, manufactured by Allied Gear in 1999, includes seven UV flexo/hot air stations and six rotary screen printing units, as well as two stations for hot foil stamping. The press was acquired from the now-defunct American Label Company, of East Hanover, NJ. It has been living in tractor trailers, pending the completion of renovations to ROI Technologies' 42,000 square foot facility in Baltimore, MD.
The company anticipates using the press for high end pressure sensitive film products and cosmetic samples. With more than 50 percent of business currently devoted to the bottle wrap label market, however, the investment toward two completely different products seems unexpected. But looks can be deceiving.
"We recognize that we've got to have a more complete package to deliver to our perceived customer base out there. And by [purchasing the press], it adds a whole new dimension to our product line, but it's a dimension that can be used to augment the sales that we already have.
"In other words, many of our customers are buying products from somebody else that could be produced on this press. It's not like we're going out and finding a whole new market. We have already established ourselves in that market by providing those customers with different products. This just opens up the door to an expansion and a dilution of our sales from any one large market segment," says J. Timothy Roberts, president of the company.
Achieving success in a new niche is something the company has always done well. The purchase of this press does not mark the first time ROI Technologies has made a decision to move ahead and tackle other products lines.
A history of niche markets
The company was formed in 1987 when Roberts and former partner Dan O'Connor acquired the label division of Dulany-Vernay, an offset printer, out of bankruptcy. The struggling division posted approximately $750,000 in sales, had 15 employees and possessed three presses (only one--a 40" Wolverine press--is in use today).
Before going into bankruptcy, the division printed a variety of simple labels. According to Roberts, these included thermal weigh scale labels, Perdue chicken and POP labels, and racetrack tickets.
It wasn't long before newly...