Kohli’s Thea 9one8-3.0 demo adds XYS & Iris automation

Interactive highspeed water-based & toluene free gravure press demo

Kaku Kohli, the CEO of Kohli Industries, during the virtual event
Kaku Kohli, the CEO of Kohli Industries, during the virtual event

Mumbai’s Kohli Industries organized a virtual demonstration of its 10-color Thea 9one8-3.0 gravure press on 15 July. Because of the success of the first open house and owing to strong demand from the industry, Kohli Industries organized the virtual open house to demonstrate the press for the second time within a month. The event was attended by more than 300 participants and cheerleaders across the globe.

“The last open house [organized on 16 June 2021] shocked and sent ripples throughout the industry. We got many requests from customers, partners, industry experts, and even our competitors who missed out and wanted a repeat performance. So here we are again, welcoming you to our 8th interactive live performance,” Kaku Kohli, the CEO of Kohli Industries, said.

10-color Thea 9one8-3.0 gravure press during the demo session
10-color Thea 9one8-3.0 gravure press during the demo session

Intelligent, sustainable, and unbeatable 

Kohli said that the press was designed with machine operators in mind. All operational parts and assemblies are positioned at a convenient height for quick and easy accessibility. In addition, the press has a unique catwalk along with the machine and across the units so that operators can walk inside each drying area for quick and safe web threading, easy cleaning, and maintenance of rollers and nozzles.

The Thea 9one8 3.0 repeat demonstration emphasized its XYS, IRIS, K-Online, and K-Live automation and IoT features. These automation modules provide the press its smart recipe management. It can memorize the print cylinder position for length inside registration, web tension, temperature of drying hoods, and web speed.

These are the four critical parameters that any traditional gravure press requires and memorizes. Kohli added that the Thea 9one8 3.0 even remembers the impression nip pressure, doctor blade pressure, lay on roll pressure, the ambient temperature, and the cold-water temperature for the chilling system.

With the K-Online tool, real-time monitoring is available for energy consumption, compressed air pressure, the static charge on the web, the print repeat of the web under production, and earthing leakage resistance. In addition, K-Online offers online access to energy management, recipe management, machine time management, production management, historical trends for temperatures and web tension, and web speed.

The K-Live feature provides live production data anytime, anyplace, and on any smart device. Also, the K-Smart feature offers QR codes for easy traceability of each rewind throughout the production workflow processes.

The press is highly environmentally friendly as it is compatible with water-based inks, and customers can also use in-line LED-UV and EB curable inks and systems. Using the LEL sensors, customers can safely recirculate the air in each dryer unit to achieve an average for the complete press, reducing energy consumption by a minimum of 30%.

Thea 9one8-3.0 ease of job changeovers, ease of registration, ease of production, ease of information, and ease of maintenance. 

The Thea press also offers smart safety features as it is CE compliant following strict European safety standards. In addition, it has static monitoring at multiple positions throughout the machine with pre-settable alarms, active static-discharge bars, and explosion-proof bars on each printing station. The press also has a CO2 fighting system with nozzles and temperature sensors at each printing station.

Live demo by Kohli 

Just like at the last open house, Kohli Industries ran the press for the guests and notched up a printing speed of 501 meters a minute with water-based inks and 651 meters a minute with toluene-free solvent-based inks. The 651-meter speed was 50 meters a minute faster than the previous demonstration in mid-June with toluene-free inks.

The console screens reflected all ramp-ups, slowdowns, and splicing. Details were brought on camera, and questions were answered. Kohli asked his audience to direct the performance and take the camera wherever it wanted to.

It was another world-class, patient, and friendly demonstration where the performer looks everyone in the audience in the eye and calls them out by name, thanking and acknowledging them. Kohli emphasized that this press and demonstration reflect years of experience, talk to customers, and work collaboratively with the best global suppliers. His press and team building inspired his sympathetic audience.

After all, what makes a machine world-class is not the metal or the mechanical but the confidence it inspires in its potential customers and operators, and this is where Kohli is a leader. The press on show will be dismantled and dispatched to a Kohli customer in the Americas.

Kohli concluded the demonstration by thanking all the partners – Shilp Gravures, Siemens, Hi-Tech Inks, Scuba Inks, BST eltromat, E+L, SAAPL, Rossini, Enulec, Gama International, Festo, SMC, and AxisValence.


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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