Kohli Industries celebrates 50 years of equipment manufacturing

Designed and manufactured in India for flexible packaging

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Kohli Industries
The new Thea9one8 gravure press demonstrated virtually but live during the pandemic Photo Kohli Industries

It’s been fifty years! Kaku Kohli the current CEO of Kohli Industries writes, “It has been a beautiful and productive 50-year journey for Kohli Industries. My father, PS Kohli, embarked on this journey in 1972 from a humble workshop manufacturing Stack Flexo Presses and Slitter Rewinders for the paper bag industry.

“By the time I joined this small family business, fifteen years later, we had already established a strong domestic presence and were focused on Gravure Presses, Laminators and Slitters for the flexible packaging Industry.

“In 1990 I visited Drupa for the first time, a crucial turning point for me that paved the future path for Kohli. I was in awe of the technology being displayed at the show and at the same time could see the disparity between European and Indian machine manufacturers. At the age of 22 it became my mission to reduce this gap and to gain the international respect that I was confident an Indian manufacturer could achieve.

“My father had secured a large market share in India but my intention was to grab the International market by offering innovative machines at competitive prices with a strong emphasis on personalized customer service. Fifty years later, in 2022, we now operate from a state-of-the-art facility with a dedicated research and development department. Over 1,500 machines have been successfully installed in 38 countries.

Four generations of the Kohli family. Top– Grandfather Sant Singh Kohli, Above– Paramjit Singh Kohli. Current CEO Kaku Kohli with son Amaan Kohli in the center
Photos Kohli Industries

“The Thea-9one8 rotogravure press has been a game-changer, going gravure viral in 2020, bringing Kohli as a manufacturer to the leading edge. Kohli is proud to be the first Asian manufacturer to have demonstrated live, printing speeds of 651 meters per minute using toluene-free inks and 501 meters per minute using water-based inks.

With the help of an incredible team, a supportive family, and determination, thirty-two years since the first Drupa visit, my dream has finally come true. I believe there is a new-found appreciation and acceptance for Indian machines that was absent before. We are now favorably compared with our European counterparts.”

Kohli Industries based near Mumbai in Maharashtra offers a wide range of gravure printing presses to suit different applications. Its Rhea series with a mechanical line shaft drive and the Thea series with electronic line shaft drive. The company also manufactures the Plutus, its latest multi process and multi technology coater-laminator.

Like a multi-tool Swiss army knife, Plutus is a combination of multiple applications making it one of the most versatile equipment for any converting need. These can be it solvent-based, water-based, solventless, hot melts, cold seal, UV-LED-eBeam cured lacquers or even pressure-sensitive silicones.

Kohli’s Gaia is a simple solution for solvent-free lamination while its Athena is an advanced solution to solvent and water-based lamination or coating. It also provides the Lamex extrusion coating and lamination machines that are manufactured in partnership with Rajoo Engineers, of Rajkot in Gujarat. The company’s innovative range of slitter rewinders for the flexible packaging and pressure-sensitive label industry is called Zeus.

“All our machines have been conceptualized by machine operators – for machine operators – proudly designed and manufactured by Kohli in India,” declares Kaku Kohli.

(Edited by Naresh Khanna, Packaging South Asia)

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.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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