Libako in Kolkata installs Gallus ECS 340 label press

Well-configured press commissioned in new Jalpath Ecospace 

Balai Adhikary, director, Libako Packaging, with the new Gallus ECS 340 flexo press installed in the Ecospace built in the Jalpath in Kolkata Photo: Gallus Ferd. Rüesch
Balai Adhikary, director, Libako Packaging, with the new Gallus ECS 340 flexo press installed in the Ecospace built in Jalpath in Kolkata Photo: Gallus Ferd. Rüesch

Libako Packaging, a print, packaging, and branding specialist has commissioned its first narrow-web flexo label press – a highly configured Gallus ECS 340. Apart from the complement of print units with UV curing, the press contains inline foiling, coating, laminating, and die-cutting stations. Installed less than a month ago in the second half of May 2021, Libako has built a comprehensive plant with both sustainability and a modern pressroom with hygiene and maintainability in mind.

The company’s idea is to provide a local capability for very high-quality labels to the region’s leading global and local brands. As the new generation industry rises in West Bengal, there is an increasing need for reliable, high-quality suppliers who have experience working with global brands. 

The new Gallus label press and Libako’s extensive offline ancillary equipment mean that it can meet most of the specific demands of brand owners, including alcobev, FMCG, and pharmaceutical labels.

For several years now, Libako Packaging has envisioned the potential of a modern plant producing a variety of labels using flexo printing in the region. It took a bold step in purchasing the Gallus ECS 340 during the 2020 pandemic. The press was installed in just six days during the second wave of the pandemic.

Balai Adhikary, director at Libako Packaging, says about the choice of the ECS 340, “We prefer to invest in proven technology along with innovation, brand value, and versatility. We examined all the presses and their configurations – the Gallus flexo press stood out as the leader for us.” The process flexibility of the press and its ease of operation were factors in the decision, as was the servicing capability of Heidelberg India. Thus far, the commissioning on 20 May 2021 and the initial trials have exceeded the company’s expectations. 

Libako Packaging – full circle in labels

Libako started as a screen printer of labels in 1981 with the vision to provide quality print solutions. It saw a great opportunity and potential in the print and packaging industry with printing labels for footwear and cotton garment manufacturers in Kolkata using screen printing. 

Eventually, migrating to offset printing, apart from labels, the company specialized in in-store and point of sale product branding. Within a few years, Libako Packaging diversified its portfolio to include commercial printing, packaging, POS, wood, metal, and plastic fabrication. The company’s 45,000 square foot factory at Matheswartala road has grown with prepress, offset, digital, and large format printing capabilities. A new Komori 4-color HUV, one of the first in the region, and extensive ancillary post-press and fabrication equipment drive this unit. 

Libako Packaging's new Gallus is installed in a cleanroom environment designed for the most demanding and sustainable specifications of label production. Photo Gallus Ferd. Rüesch
Libako Packaging’s new Gallus is installed in a cleanroom environment designed for the most demanding and sustainable specifications of label production. Photo Gallus Ferd. Rüesch

However, the new purpose-built plant of 9,000 square feet in the Jalpath area of Kolkata has been developed as a green Ecospace by the owners on a much larger plot of land than the current building occupies. Apart from the greening of the area with trees and plants, it has a water body and studios for local craftspeople. 

Balai Adhikary’s son Ankan Adhikary, a trained professional industrial designer, tells us, “My father and I are interested in the arts, and we are both deeply committed to the environment. This is why we have built a new modern factory adhering to all the eco-friendly norms at Jalpath.” He tells us that the new plant, apart from the new highly-configured Gallus ECS 340 narrow-web flexo label press, also has a complete set of offline ancillary equipment. “These are for enhancements and special value additions required for short, medium, or long run labels for any market segment that will improve our viability. We want to diversify into a complete packaging solution provider with wide service offerings,” he says. 

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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Editor of Indian Printer and Publisher since 1979 and Packaging South Asia since 2007. Trained as an offset printer and IBM 360 computer programmer. Active in the movement to implement Indian scripts for computer-aided typesetting. Worked as a consultant and trainer to the Indian print and newspaper industry. Visiting faculty of IDC at IIT Powai in the 1990s. Also founder of IPP Services, Training and Research and has worked as its principal industry researcher since 1999. Author of book: Miracle of Indian Democracy.


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