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Small Caps bring the Win-Win

Exclusive Interview by << Packaging Update – March edition >> with Mr. Xu Bin, General Manager of Shanghai Ziri Packaging Co. Ltd.

Q1:I’ve looked at your company’s website and the bright blue water and swimming goldfish gave me a fresh, all-inclusive, rather grand feeling. Mr. Xu, does the website styling represent some of your company’s management ideas? Could you tell me what those ideas are and what beliefs you adhere to in manufacturing and in the running of your company?
A: In 1995, our parent company, Zijiang Group Company, was the first in China to purchase Sacmi Continuous Compression Moulding cap-making machines. At that time, there were few similar products in China for the local beverage and packaging industry, especially for plastic TE-band caps; that machine was practically the first one. Shanghai Ziri Packaging Co., Ltd, our Company, was founded in 1998. In 2003 we moved to our current location; during that period a great deal of development happened very rapidly.
Ziri holds a simple and plain belief, that is, to meet customer demand consistently. This drives us to improve everything, providing only the best, after-sale services included. In fact, we don’t just provide caps, we also produce some of the relevant equipment: this makes us rather unique on the market.

Q2: Could you tell me which areas of the beverage and packaging industry Ziri is most involved in?
A: The Zijiang Group’s main products are caps, bottles, and labels, each covered by different departments and companies, all of them leaders in the industry.
Ziri sold 1.1 billion caps last year, and our aim is boost that figure to 1.25 billion caps this year. We have undoubtedly been China’s leading plastic TE-band cap provider for many years.
We mainly engage in the manufacture of TE-banded plastic caps for different kinds of bottles in the industry, such as Coca-Cola caps. When you open the bottle the TE-band is separated from the cap body (i.e. it has a clear Tamper-Evident function, ensuring the safety, hygiene and health of the liquids contained in the bottle).

Q3: You said Ziri is a leading company in the industry. What are its unique advantages?
A: Ziri is a caps supplier. In fact, we sell caps to many major - yet very different - beverage brands both in China and abroad and are committed to meeting the following responsibilities:

  1. Our products must meet international requirements and customers’ demands vis-à-vis national regulations.
  2. Assuring quality: our product standards, in fact, meet and exceed national requirements. While we meet recognised standards in China, we also test our products in a lab in Paris to ensure products are of optimal quality.
  3. Although the cap price is quite low, we apply strict standards in every aspect of cap production and use sophisticated quality control systems. We aim to offer excellent prices through effective cost-saving and outstanding production efficiency. Faulty product ratios are below 0.0001.
  4. We produce billions of caps: this requires that we employ perfect cost and quality control systems and cutting-edge technology too.

As for product R&D, we have numerous patented products. In addition, we apply for new patents every year and have our own laboratory, China’s biggest in this industry.

Q4: We’ve noticed that Ziri has imported some manufacturing and printing lines for plastic caps from Italy and America, including Sacmi’s cap-making machine. When did Ziri establish contact with Sacmi and how did this deal come about?
A: We first imported SACMI’s cap-making machine back in 1995. In Ziri, you’ll find that SACMI equipment has been employed at every stage of expansion. SACMI has a great reputation in the industry and its continuous compression moulding technique is held in extremely high regard at international level. Our “Go with Giants” philosophy helps us stand tall in the packaging industry.

Q5: What are the characteristics of SACMI’s equipment and why did you choose to work with SACMI?
A: SACMI is our long-term partner; the advanced manufacturing technique meets our needs perfectly and SACMI’s compression moulding technology now constitutes the global benchmark: relations are, without doubt, mutually beneficial.

Q6: It’s well known that advanced technology can accelerate the development of a company; nowadays green technology is attracting a lot of attention. Has Ziri made progress on the eco-friendly materials front?
A: Ziri has been upgrading its products over recent years. Our lightest and thinnest cap now weighs just 1.2 g. Three years ago it weighed more than 3 g. The move from two-piece caps to one-piece caps has seen a reduction in weight, materials and energy consumption yet has boosted product quality.
Ziri’s caps have also attained FDA Certification; for us, environmental-friendly materials are a priority.

Q7: As a private enterprise, how does the current scenario benefit you with regard to major groups, enterprise orientation, and technology development?
A: At the Zijiang Group we always pursue the best. A small cap might, perhaps, seem so insignificant that people won’t pay attention to it. However, we aim to make it very important indeed.
Coca-cola, Pepsi, Uni-President and Danone are brands recognised by families everywhere. Doing business with them drives our own development: that’s why we say “Go with Giants”. I have worked here for over 10 years: I’ve always found our company to be full of vitality, its personnel focussed on enhancing the company’s reputation.

Q8: With a new year now in full swing, do you have any specific plans or strategies for future development?
A: In general, the second half of 2012 was characterised by a macroeconomic downturn but things in 2013 went far more steadily and smoothly. No matter what happens on the market, we always strive to improve and take on new challenges. This year, the economic situation has resulted in a positive market outlook, albeit, perhaps, with some excess supply: but as long as we keep doing our job perfectly, that won’t matter at all.


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