Ahmedabad-based flexo prepress bureau Akshar NX Digital has been witnessing good growth in its business and to effectively service its customer base the company has recently invested in machinery equipment. Akshar has invested significant capital in this expansion phase, which concluded in early May this year.
“Gujarat has seen a rise in the number of both narrow web and wide web flexo presses in recent years. Especially, the increase in the number of wide web flexo presses in the flexible packaging industry has been very fast. As the footprint of flexo technology expands, the demand for flexo plates too is growing. To cater to this demand, we invested in machinery to enhance our plate-making capacity,” says Nikunj Malvania of Akshar NX Digital.
Akshar had been using the Kodak Flexcel NX system and has now added a refurbished Kodak Thermoflex Wide 2 platesetter of size 50 x 80 inch. The prepress bureau has also opted for a brand new Dupont processor, dryer and light finisher of size 42 x 60 inch. “The primary reason for opting for the Kodak Thermoflex Wide 2 platesetter was that we wanted to now focus on wide web customers. Till now we were mainly servicing narrow web clients but with this size we can make plates for wide web applications. The larger size facilitates efficient job planning and enables print production efficiencies as well,” says Malvania.
With the conclusion of the latest investment phase, Akshar’s plate-making capacity has more than doubled. “Before this investment phase, our annual production capacity was 5,000 square meters. Now we have more than doubled our capacity. At the moment we are not producing at full capacity. We want to gradually ramp up our production rate over the next three to four months. We will now be servicing a large gamut of customers,” he says.
Akshar has discontinued making analog plates as customers were demanding more and more digital plates. With the arrival of Kodak Thermoflex Wide 2 platesetter, Akshar can now supply Dupont plates as well which it could not do with the Kodak Flexcel NX system. So now the company can supply both Kodak and Dupont plates.
Confident about a solid footprint in wide web segment
As already stated by Malvania, the new investment phase was undertaken mainly keeping the wide web flexo market in mind. Now, Akshar is planning to aggressively market this new expertise. Before the investment phase began earlier this year, the company had already embarked on a brand building and marketing exercise by participating at Labelexpo India, which was held in Greater Noida last year.
“This is a new area for us but we are very confident about building up a strong customer base in the wide web segment. We are targeting to acquire at least ten customers by the end of this year. We are going to aggressively market this,” Malvania concludes.