Newer designs, healthier habits

Packaged food in India comes of age

Biscuits have always remained an integral part of our food habits and the overall transformation of the entire industry towards providing newer varieties along with distinctive packaging has been quite intriguing to watch. Photo PSA

Hot and cold foil stamp labels at new Rudrapur plantWintek Flexo Prints installs a 9-color Gallus EM 280Bengaluru-based Wintek Flexo Prints is a part of Signode India and one of the leading printing and converting firms for the supply of self-adhesive labels to various segments such as FMCG, pharmaceuticals and industrial sectors. By mid-June 2015, the company will install a 9-color Gallus EM 280 upgraded with online screen printing, and hot and cold foil stamping at its Rudrapur plant.

Gururaj Ballaward, managing partner, Wintek Flexo Prints. Photo PSAWintek is a leading user of Gallus label presses in the country. Gururaj Ballarwad, managing partner, Wintek, said, “In Bengaluru, we recently installed one more Gallus, the ECS 340. For Rudrapur, other brands were also considered but with Gallus, there is hardly any need to train our production staff. Moreover, jobs can be transferred from Bengaluru to the Rudrapur plant as similar plates are used in both units.”

“Due to the exemption of excise duty and to offer our services in the northern region we invested in the Rudrapur plant. Because of the kind of work we are expecting there, we chose the Gallus EM 280 which is economical and with auto-registration produces fine-quality label printing on paper, film and paper laminates. It is a good option for long-runs, easy to operate and to switch between flexographic, screen, hot foil embossing and cold foil printing units. The press consists of a water cooling system, is noiseless and has a long service life with nominal wastage. With the Gallus EM 280 we can increase production capacity by 20% and can expect a commensurate increase in revenue,” said Ballarwad.

Elaborating his reasons for choosing Gallus, Ballarwad stated, “When we made the first purchase,  Gallus was represented in India by Heidelberg with its after-sales service. Due to availability of local support from Heidelberg, we opted for Gallus machines. Other brands were available but lacked proper after-sales support and so we stuck with Gallus. Moreover, Gallus has been a trusted brand since many years in the printing industry.”

Currently Wintek has a single press line in Rudrapur and wants to make it a hub for the northern region. The Rudrapur plant includes production and quality control systems but does not have a prepress unit. Plates to the Rudrapur plant will be supplied by the unit in Bengaluru which has a complete in-house Esko packaging design and prepress system including a digital flexo imager. “With the help of the new plant, we can easily offer services to our customers at a lower cost of input material and transport,” says Ballarwad.

Recently Wintek received an award from the Asian Flexographic Technical Association at Bangkok for quality in printing. Wintek is also an environmentally conscious company that has tackled difficult to recycle label production waste. The waste generated at Wintek is converted into edge boards and other recycled industrial products. Speaking about flexography and the label industry Ballarwad says, “It is witnessing a growth of around 15 to 18% every year. With the advent of new technologies, flexo printing is gaining popularity with enhanced print quality, modular designs and less changeover time.”

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.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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