Uflex, one of the largest packaging companies in India, participated at the recently concluded Labelexpo India 2018. At the event Uflex exhibited flexo printing plates and sleeves and gravure printing cylinders. The main focus of the company during the show was on selling its flexo products. It also launched a new product – elastomer flexo sleeves. Uflex is the first company to launch this product in India.
Elastomer flexo printing sleeves are different from conventional polymer printing plates. Sleeves support joint-less printing whereas in conventional flexo method, the joints are easily detectable. It also supports seamless printing owing to its circular shape. Secondly, elastomer materials are just as good as natural rubber. This automatically increases the life of the sleeve. If a polymer plate is subjected to some pressure, it gets damaged, whereas an elastomer plate has the ability to withstand pressure. The dot transfer in case of an elastomer plate is fairly accurate which is not the case with a polymer plate. Elastomer also supports harsh inks or chemicals.
In addition to elastomer flexo sleeves, the company also launched gravure printing cylinders for glitter printing. “Our counterpart is launching UV and glitter inks. So, this cylinder helps complement their product. Again, this is one product which is being made only by Uflex in India, South-East Asia or Far East. This cylinder has been made using our newly acquired cylinder engraving line,” says Sachin Dahake, deputy general manager – Marketing, Cylinder Division, Uflex.
The cylinder division expected good business opportunities from the event. However, the footfall according to them was not as expected. Also, by the end of this year, the company expects that the consequence of its participation at various trade shows will result in an increase in its sales figures and help achieve 18-20% growth in sales by the end of FY 2018-19.
Uflex Chemicals Business
Uflex’s Chemical Division is a leader in flexible packaging inks and the second largest manufacturer of adhesives for flexible packaging. The company has also been making radcure coatings for decades. It is the first one to bring UV technology to India for gravure applications. The company is also among the first to use LED coatings. Strategically aligning with all its base technologies, it has now started making inks and coatings for offset and gravure applications.
Primarily, the new packaging demands UV as well as LED. UV and LED support faster productions and sharper print. Thanks to Uflex’s R&D center and its association with various industry leaders along with the company’s other products such as adhesives and coatings, it launched new variants of LED inks for offset applications. As of now, the company has not seen much demand in labels but is looking to explore newer options in that segment as well.
Uflex’s biggest challenge was to market its LED inks to the multinational companies. Most of the companies are not located in India and hence it is proving to be a challenge for Uflex to find demand for its newly launched products in the country.