Digital flexo plate making

Ahmedabad-based Ankit Graphics in an expansion mode

VIAShardul Sharma
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Ankit Darji with Dainippon Screen flexo CtP device
Ankit Darji with Dainippon Screen flexo CtP device

Ahmedabad region has seen good growth in the number of flexo presses in recent years. There has also been a trend of greater adoption of digital plates and gradual decline in usage of analogue one. One of the beneficiary of this shift has been Ahmadabad-based Ankit Graphics, which supplies digital plates for narrow web label, wide web CI flexo, letterpress, corrugated, flexible film, container, paper cup, and notebook printers and convertors.

Ankit Graphics started off as a prepress and flexo plate trade shop in 1987, founded by Bakul M Darji. In 2008, his son Ankit Darji joined the firm after completing polymer engineering from Napier University in Scotland.

In June 2014, Ankit Graphics installed a Dainippon Screen flexo CTP device – the Screen Platerite FX 1524 for supplying flexo plates to label and flexible packaging printers as well as corrugators. Ankit Graphics became the first buyer of Hybrid Software’s Packz in India. The digital plates are being supplied by DuPont, the DuPont Cyrel DPR. Ankit Graphics has also started buying plates from Flint as well in recent months.

Productivity growth after going digital
One of the biggest reason for Ankit Graphics to go for plate digitalization was to raise productivity and decrease the complexity of plate making. Also, availability of films was becoming an issue.

The Packz software has helped Ankit to carry out prepress correction for output of the files for flexo plates, generate multiple jobs with good quality and consistency.

Next expansion phase by year-end
Ankit Graphics now operates from two adjoining units in an industrial estate in the center of Ahmedabad city. With increase in orders, it is now necessary for Ankit Graphics to enhance its plate making capacity, says Ankit Darji.
“In the last two years our volumes have gone up more than 30%. We are planning to shift to a bigger unit located on the outside the city limits. Also, we are looking to add more hardware and software. We will add another CtP unit as well as more workstations,” says Darji.

According to Darji, he is looking at all options for CtP such as Dainippon, Kodak, Xeikon and Esko.

Catering all segments
As more and more flexo presses get installed in Ahmedabad, demand for flexo plates are bound to grow. Ankit Graphics current caters primarily to narrow web label segment but is confident it will be able to register a bigger foothold in the wide web market and letterpress market as well.

“As I earlier mentioned, our clients’ confidence in us has grown since we started making digital plates. Currently, we get more support from narrow web segment but it is just a matter of time we will win the confidence of wide web and letterpress players as well,” Darji says optimistically.

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