Duplo is reviving a dormant brand to sell complementary products made by partner manufacturers and push into new geographical markets.
The PFI brand, created in 1986 but subsequently dropped, was officially re-launched at Duplo’s London Calling 007 event, held in Sunbeam Studios, in Ladbroke Hall, west London on 3 and 4 November.
Chairman Robin Greenhalgh said the PFI brand would be applied to products complementary to Duplo and made by partners Rigo and Print Mail Systems, such as UV coaters and business card cutters.
“Duplo produce excellent equipment and our R&D department is maxed out with products we are likely to make. Over the years our range has grown and at Drupa we are likely to see more,” he said.
He added that bringing new products to market was not straightforward, describing the EU’s “CE mark paperwork trail” as “a nightmare” that “takes a long time”.
“We were thinking there are some complementary products that would actually add to the offering to our clients so we thought if we resurrect the PFI brand it would enable us to guarantee a quality level and it will enable us to have a brand that belongs to us. It used to be a respected brand in the 1980s.”
“We sell Duplo throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Russia and the ex-Soviet satellite countries. The PFI brand would give us an opportunity to go worldwide."
Duplo’s PFI Bind 6000 PUR and PFI Bind 6000 Duo are the first new products to bear the PFI branding. Guillotines will stay branded Ideal, as Duplo owns the UK distribution rights.
The company is in talks with other manufacturers with a view to expanding its range.
Marketing manager Sarah Crumpler said: “We’re working with select partners at the moment and we’ll continue to work with people who have the right fit.”
She said customers could be confident that machines under the PFI brand had been specified and quality controlled by Duplo.
PFI stands for Print Finishing International, the name of the predecessor to Duplo International. Ordibel UK, which had been started by Greenhalgh’s father David Greenhalgh, to import Japanese manufacturer Duplo Corporation’s products, changed its name to PFI in 1986 but Duplo International was formed as a separate company a year later, with the PFI name slowly falling out of vogue.
PFI has remained a dormant company under the same ownership ever since.
The finishing machinery supplier, based in Addlestone, Surrey sold three of its flagship iSaddle Pro bookletmaking systems. The Duplo iSaddle is an automated modular stitching system that retails from £125,000 and produces A4 landscape-format brochures and books of up to 120pp.
Partners Antalis, Apogee, BPIF, Fujifilm, Grafitec, Infigo Software, Neopost, PrintIT! (Proskills), Renz and Vivid were also at the show.