The Soma Premia 1050 CI flexo press offers a unique combination of features and technology that are part and parcel of high-performance, top-of-the-range flexographic printing presses running at 450 metres a minute – Prasant Mohanty
Bloomflex, a Hyderabad-based start-up, has installed an 8-color Soma Premia 1050 CI flexo press with the aim to produce flow wraps, wicket bags, pouches for hygiene and personal products, baby and adult diapers, edible oil, milk, and cheese. In addition, it will produce several intermediate products as well as pouches and carry bags for wholesale and retail outlets with chosen concepts for added technical and aesthetic values. “We have started Bloomflex with an aim to produce environmentally friendly products that would be gain acceptance worldwide,” says Prasant Mohanty, vice president – operations at Bloomflex. From all accounts, this is an ambitious project with quite a few expansion ideas in the pipeline.
The production at Bloomflex is expected to start by end August 2016. “We are also planning to acquire an extrusion plant for producing recyclable PE films and to also add an additional film line very soon,” says Mohanty. “The PE films produced will be for our own consumption as well as for the market.”
According to Mohanty, the Soma Premia offers a unique combination of features and technology that are part and parcel of high performance, top of the range flexographic printing presses running at 450 metres a minute. “Our priority is to meet exacting print standards while reducing energy consumption and costs. The energy efficient Premia achieves this and offers a superb mix of high quality engineering and rigid construction coupled with low maintenance,” says Mohanty. The Premia CI 8-color press uses innovative gear-less technology along with automatic impression setting and registration systems.
Speaking about the reasons for installing a CI flexo press rather than a gravure press, Mohanty says, “The technology is slowly shifting from gravure to flexo. In future, flexo is going to be equally popular as gravure if not overtaking it entirely. Also we wanted to have a compact machine which fits into a small space compared to a gravure press. Another reason is input minimization in flexo and easier change for short-runs. In gravure you need a warehouse to store your 1,000 cylinders and because these cylinders are very heavy and there are safety issues as well.”
The new plant on the outskirts of Hyderabad is also equipped with high-end slitter-rewinders capable of handling 1,000 kilogram output with a 1,040 slit width on 8 to 150 micron substrates. There is in addition an eco-friendly solvent-free laminator for flexo printed substrates capable of laminating single and multi layer laminates as well as two pouch-making machines. “We have further plans to expand our plant in the second phase where we will install a Soma Pluto slitter, three pouch-making machines and 3 and 7-layer blown film lines respectively,” says Mohanty. According to him, the second phase expansion will be finalized by December 2016 and should start up by Q1 2017.
According to Mohanty, the company plans initially to convert around 400 to 450 tonnes substrate each month including laminates. “We will also import and sell biodegradable and water-soluble films – although this is still under discussion,” says Mohanty. “We also have plans to have in-house prepress and ink kitchen in future.”