Esko’s virtual.drupa deal with Numex in Mumbai

Numex buys Esko CDI Crystal 5080 line, Equinox & Print Control Wizard

Murad Kalal and Nitin Patil of Numex
L to R Esko's Murad Kalal and Nitin Patil of Numex sign off another major deal just after the virtual.drupa Photo Esko

Following the virtual.drupa in April, Numex, the Mumbai-based specialist in flexo and letterpress plate production, invested in the complete Esko workflow and the CDI Crystal 5080 imaging and exposing units. It also added Esko’s extended gamut printing software Equinox and Print Control Wizard. Numex supplies prepress services and flexo and letterpress plates to the flexible packaging, label, and corrugated carton markets across India.

Nitin Patil, the owner of Numex Blocks, said that the new acquisition was part of its ongoing commitment to delivering the best quality plates to its customers and would be a crucial part of its continued growth and development.

“The ability to produce the very highest quality plates that deliver consistent print quality improves our agility in meeting the ever-changing needs of our customers,” said Patil. “This is particularly valuable to us in terms of meeting the demands of those urgent, short runs with shorter lead times, but also on longer runs where consistency is critical.

“Following our success with Esko integrated hardware and software solutions across the last two decades, we are delighted to have been able to install the entire Crystal line into our platemaking facility,” he said.

Murad Kalal, Esko’s regional sales manager, said, “Almost 20 years ago, Numex became the first trade shop in India to offer digital flexo platemaking. The trend continued through the years, with the company investing in the Esko CDI Advance Cantilever 1450 with HD Flexo … before pioneering again in 2013, when it became the first company in South Asia to install the Esko CDI 5080 with HD Flexo & Pixel+.

“Over the years, Numex Blocks upgraded its workflow software and works today with the full range of the latest software from Esko, including Automation Engine, DeskPack, Imaging Engine, and more than 20 seats for PackEdge,” Kalal added. “We have recently agreed to a deal which will maintain its position at the leading edge of technology with the acquisition of the entire Crystal line.

“With the innovative Crystal technology from Esko, the platemaking process – in terms of imaging and exposure – is now much less complex and has significantly fewer steps,” he said. “The integration of our workflow solutions and hardware technology means that the Numex team are now completely in control of the quality and performance of their plates and subsequent print consistency.”

At the heart of its system, Numex has installed the award-winning Esko XPS Crystal exposure unit. Combining UV main and back exposure, the XPS Crystal uses LEDs that do not require warm-up time and always emit even light. These help to produce consistently excellent plates that maintain their quality and performance on press.

According to Kalal, Numex uses Esko’s Automation Engine and the award-winning Print Control Wizard with its Crystal Screening technology to automate the workflow. “They have a full Esko Crystal ecosystem in operation, producing consistently high-quality plates.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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