UFlex installs Kodak Flexcel NX at Noida

Achieving flexo image quality, robustness & sustainability

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Parwez Izhar, CEO Cylinder Business at UFlex at Noida with the new Flexcel NX system Photo Miraclon
Parwez Izhar, CEO Cylinder Business at UFlex at Noida with the new Flexcel NX system Photo Miraclon

On our recent visit to the Uflex Cylinder Division in Noida, its CEO Parwez Izhar showed us the new Flexcel NX system, explaining why the technology is important for his company. He said, “The Flexcel NX plates because of their laser square spot imaging technology and their flawless flat top dots and lack of polymer oxidation, help printers achieve greater printing consistency.”

UFlex, the largest flexible packaging producer in India and a global player with plants in Dubai, Egypt, Poland, Russia, Mexico, and the USA, has added to its extensive flexo platemaking capabilities, a Kodak Flexcel NX 4260 system purchased from Miraclon. The new Flexcel NX technology is installed at its extensive prepress site in Noida that also houses the company’s modern cylinder division.

Apart from being able to make Flexcel NX plates for its own flexible packaging division, Uflex will also respond to the growing demand for these high-quality flexo plates from other trade shops and converters who are its customers. Apart from the exceptional image characteristics of the Flexcel NX plates, on-press robustness, lower ink consumption, and length of run make the technology more sustainable.

Shifting in-house print from gravure to flexo

Izhar, who is the CEO of the Cylinders Business at the company (which also includes its flexo prepress) says, “For our in-house packaging printing, the Flexcel NX plates enable us to convert an increasing number of jobs from gravure to flexo, underscoring our commitment to producing sustainable flexible packaging without impacting quality. We also expect to see additional benefits from quicker make-ready times and minimizing wastage by coming to color quicker.”

This is a significant statement from a company that has historically excelled in gravure and set great store by its quality, reliability, and consistency. Izhar explains, “The simple but robust technology portfolio from Miraclon is another big advantage. With the Flexcel plates, we are able to optimize inventory management and can concentrate on the benefits we can achieve with one plate instead of having to use different plates for different jobs.”

He explained that these plates may be used to print on various surfaces and work with a variety of inks, including water-based and solvent-free inks. Converters, printers, and brand owners can achieve high-quality print impressions while still working toward their sustainability goals because of their print efficiency and compatibility with sustainable inks.

On our visit, Izhar explained the productivity of the new system, “Kodak Flexcel has increased the efficiency and reduced the time of making a plate. The other machines in the whole process of making the flexo plates take 75 minutes more. So it’s a benefit for us to make two plates in the time it takes to make a single plate using other digital imaging and processing technologies.” He also added that the imaging quality using the square spot technology is unmatched.

As a supplier to trade shops and other converters in the region, Izhar says, “Many of the companies we supply plates to have been requesting Flexcel NX plates to help them realize better on-press efficiency without impacting the quality of print produced – it’s really been established as the technology of choice for wide web flexible packaging printers. With our own Flexcel NX system up and running we can meet that demand and demonstrate its benefits to other customers too. A win-win for everyone.”

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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Correspondent-Delhi & NCR Girish has been working and editorially contributing to both Indian Printer and Publisher and Packaging South Asia since 2021, covering the western regions of India. He has extensively covered a variety of verticals in both the printing and packaging industries. Skilled in taking Interviews and Story Writeup, Communication, Writing, and Research. Strong education professional with a Master of Arts - MA (MASS COMM.) focused in Mass Communication/Media Studies from Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh.

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