Rajoo & Kohli livestream Lamex 360 coating extrusion at Balaji

Livestream from Rajkot’s Balaji Multiflex to over 500 participants

Khushboo Doshi Rajoo
Khushboo Doshi, executive director Rajoo Engineers, initiates the livestream of the Lamex 360 demonstration from the shop floor of Balaji Multiflex Screenshot PSA

On 29 July 2021, Rajoo Engineers and Kohli Industries organized a virtual demonstration of their Lamex 360 coating extrusion and lamination line. The demonstration of the machine was live-streamed from the shop floor of Rajkot-based Balaji Multiflex. The event was attended by more than 500 participants from India and abroad.

Khushboo Chandrakant Doshi, executive director of Rajoo Engineers gave the welcome address. She commented on the current developments in the flexible packaging market. “The market is demanding more customized products which has resulted in more short-run jobs. Customers now want better products in terms of shelf life and usability. It means more complex structures and many different materials,” she said.

Doshi said that processors and converters are asking for tools that can provide them real time data about the production speed to optimize performance. She added that the Lamex 360 offers these tools by providing state of the art software and instant visual feedback.

Pranav Bhalara
Pranav Bhalara actively takes part in the Lamex 360 livestream from the Balaji Multiflex shop floor

Pranav Bhalara, CEO of Balaji Multiflex said that when the company was planning to get the coating extrusion and lamination line, the management was in a dilemma. “During the decision-making process about going for another machine for extrusion lamination, I was in a dilemma. Then we saw the Rajoo Kohli machine and decided to go for it. Since the last three months we have been running the machine at 350 meters a minute speed,” he said.

Rajoo-Kohli partnership

Rajoo Engineers and Kohli Industries announced their collaboration in 2019 to offer the best-in-class extrusion and proven web solutions needed to integrate to provide a system that would meet industry’s needs and be versatile enough to be adapted for future requirements.

The Lamex series of extrusion coating and lamination lines are designed for ease of operation and are available in a host of configurations to suit individual customer’s requirements for widths ranging from 800 to 1600 mm, and a line speed from 250-400 meters a minute for coating and lamination of various substrates like CPP/BOPET/BOPP/LDPE and sealant films with a range of polymers – PP, LLDPE, LDPE, EVA, EMA and also other exotic polymers. The Lamex 360 has a machine speed of 400 meters/minute and a production speed of 350 meters/minute.

Rajoo-Kohli Lamex 360 coextrusion laminator at Balaji Multiflex in Rajkot Screenshot PSA

In an extrusion coating and laminating machine a water-based lacquer is coated on a primary substrate through the gravure process followed by a deposit of a PE or PP based molten polymer from a T-die and then combined with yet another substrate to form a composite laminate. This technology is rapidly replacing many solvent-based and solvent-less adhesive laminating applications.

Sunil Jain
Sunil Jain, president Rajoo Engineers explains the advantages of co-extrusion lamination for flexible packaging structures during the livestream event

Sunil Jain president of Rajoo Engineers said that extrusion coating and lamination line offers multiple benefits compared to the solvent-based or solvent less adhesion such a no requirement of a curing period. He also said it reduces the total cost of materials as melted polymer is cheaper than adhesive.

Live demo at Balaji Multiflex

The job that was processed at the Balaji shopfloor used a primary substrate of reverse printed 10 micron PET film and a metalized 10 micron PET film as the secondary substrate. The web width was 1180 mm. The packaging structure being made was a laminate for snack packaging pouches, an actual part of Balaji’s production. The machine achieved the maximum speed as fast as 360 meters a minute during the demonstration session, with Pranav Bhalara briefly taking over the controls.

An elated Kaku Kohli, the CEO of Kohli Industries said that the success of the machine is the result of great teamwork. “What we have seen here is a result of an unbeatable combination of technology and engineering from Rajoo, the leaders in extrusion and Kohli, the leader in web handling,” he said.

Sunil Jain added, “Coming together of Rajoo and Kohli to develop the extrusion coating and lamination line is a boon for the industry. It offers best of both worlds that is extrusion and web handling.”

In the question and answer session it was clarified that the unique selling proposition of this machine is the combined expertise of the two companies – Rajoo’s in the manufacture of extrusion dies and equipment and that of Kohli’s in the smooth web handling of flexible packaging films and laminates in its gravure equipment. Finally, these companies are Asian leaders and global suppliers that are accessible locally with engineering, spare parts and domain knowledge.

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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– Naresh Khanna

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