Mumbai-headquartered and Bombay Stock Exchange listed Orient Press diversified to flexible packaging in 1994, after a successful decade in the offset printing industry. The company’s modern flexible packing plant near Mumbai in Tarapur established in March 1995 has seen double-digit growth since the early 2000s. It is a supplier of flexible packaging to segments such as food, FMCG and pharmaceuticals, amongst others.
Recently, Orient Press has made several investments that are part and parcel of its growth plans. It has invested in its cylinder making division by installing a brand-new engraver from Ohio at its Tarapur plant. The new Ohio Prism with Hybrid engraving is Orient’s second engraver from Ohio; the first one was installed almost two decades ago.
“Our earlier Ohio engraver was almost 20 years old. We wanted to upgrade our engraving capabilities and since we were familiar with Ohio, we again went for the same brand. One of the biggest advantages of having both the engravers from Ohio is that we can use old cylinders as well as new ones on this engraver. We are really satisfied with Ohio’s technology,” says RR Maheshwari, executive director at Orient Press.
Ohio Prism engraver
The new engraver enables the company to efficiently engrave very fine line and sharp text work, which otherwise was very difficult. It is using Ohio’s Collage working platform to drive both their old and new engravers, which provides an easy and familiar production work flow.
According to Maheshwari, a key improvement that stems from the Hybrid option of the new Ohio Prism is the ease of producing sharp text and line work. “We have seen excellent results ever since we added the Ohio Prism with Hybrid engraving. The quality of the printed text is superior. Hybrid has been instrumental in solving issues that we earlier had with small text. The change to Hybrid engraved cylinders has not created any difficulty for on the printing presses,” he shares.
The Ohio Prism engraver for rotogravure packaging is designed with economy in mind and is an ideal entry-level engraver with very high productivity and flexibility. It uses the same Vision 3 engraving head as the Spectrum with the additional option of Hybrid engraving which uses a combination of smaller and standard size cells to achieve smoother visual effects in small text and line work. In terms of efficiency, the Vision 3 engraves standard flexible packaging and decorative images at speeds up to 8,600 cells per second. It is offered by Ohio in three configurations—the standard Prism; the Prism Prime; and the Prism XL.
Hybrid engraving can be done in Normal mode or in the Fine Quality mode. In the Hybrid Normal mode, the edge cells falling along the horizontal edges are shifted toward the heavier line and maximizes engraving speed. In the Hybrid Fine Quality mode all the edge cells are moved in closer to the main image on both horizontal and vertical edges. It can be applied in Selective Areas where it is needed since it slows the engraving speed.
Increase in cylinder making capacity
With the two Ohio engravers in operation, Orient’s cylinder making capacity is now 30 cylinders a day. The cylinders are being supplied to Orient’s gravure presses at Tarapur and will also be supplied to the company’s new plant being commissioned in Greater Noida. However, since Orient’s cylinder making division is currently operating at 50% capacity, Maheshwari says the company may think of supplying cylinders to other gravure cylinders users as well. “As of now, all cylinders are being used for our in-house presses. However, since we have spare capacity, we may consider supplying to other gravure printers also,” he shares.
Orient’s Tarapur plant contains two Bobst Rotomec and an Expert gravure press. The 1,00,000 square foot plant, is fully integrated with a 3-layer blown film line for polyethelene, two engravers, solvent-based laminator from Korea and solvent-less laminators from Nordmeccanica, extrusion laminators, hot-melt coaters and slitters in addition to versatile pouching machines and shrink sleeve lines. Orient’s flexible packaging plant in Tarapur has a capacity of 700 tons per month.
New plant at Greater Noida
With the Tarapur plant operating at full capacity and little or no space for expansion, Orient Press has recently commissioned a new plant in Greater Noida, in the Delhi NCR region, mainly to service the North Indian market. With a capacity of printing and converting 300 tons a months the plant currently contains a gravure press, a solvent-based laminator, a solvent-less laminator and a slitter rewinder. The cylinders for the gravure press will be supplied from Tarapur.
“There is a growing demand for flexible packaging in North India and with the Grater Noida plant we can also serve our existing customers who have their presence in the northern region,” informs Maheshwari. He expects the plant to utilize 80% capacity within the next six months.
Orient Press exports about 28 or 29% of its output to markets in Africa, Southeast Asia, Middle East and other emerging economies. With the Greater Noida plant now operational, the Tarapur plant will see some freeing up of capacity, and this capacity will be utilized for exports. “We will focus on using the capacity at Tarapur to supply to the export markets. Our aim is to take the share of exports to about 35% in one year,” Maheshwari says.