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, 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 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.
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 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.