Rajoo-Kohli show new extrusion laminator and coater at Rajkot open house

Building high-quality equipment for flexible packaging in India

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Rajoo, Kohli and Multipgraph Machinery team with the Lamex
Rajoo, Kohli and Multipgraph Machinery team with the Lamex

Rajoo Engineers and Kohli Industries organized an open house on 5-6 September at Rajoo’s manufacturing plant near Rajkot to showcase the new Lamex extrusion coating and lamination machine. Announced just around a year ago, the machine has been manufactured in a joint effort by Rajoo Engineers and Kohli Industries in record time. The two-day open house demonstrations were attended by present and potential customers from across India.

 

Sunil Jain president of Rajoo Engineers says an extrusion coating and lamination line offers multiple benefits compared to the solvent-based or solvent-less adhesion of conventional laminators. “When you are performing a solvent-based or solvent-less adhesion there is a curing period involved. However, in the case of an extruder laminator, there is no curing period – it is instant. This helps in increasing the turnaround time and productivity,” Jain says.

 

According to Jain, an extrusion coater laminator machine also helps in reducing the total cost of materials as a melted polymer is cheaper than adhesive. “Not only is melted polymer cheaper, but it can also help in increasing the barrier properties of the laminate,” he adds. 

 

The machine on display at the open house event at Rajoo’s factory in Rajkot can be used for extrusion coating and lamination of paper, film, metalized film, and aluminum foils. It has extrusion capabilities for LDPE, LLDPE, PP EVA, EMA, and EVOH, among other materials. It has single and tandem automatic or manually controlled thickness die stations, with or without co-extrusion.

 

The co-extruder uses universal feed-block technology. The new Lamex contains fully automatic turret unwinders and rewinders. Surface treatment can be performed by a corona treater while chemical priming is also available. Also, there is a gravure coating station.

 

The extrusion coating and lamination machine – Lamex – during the open house
The extrusion coating and lamination machine – Lamex – during the open house

The Lamex runs at 200 meters per minute for extrusion coatings between 10 to 40 gsm. It has a die width of 1450 mm. The plasticizing capacity of the extruder is 60 mm or about 140 kilograms an hour. The machine will be marketed by the Mumbai-based Multipgraph Machinery.

 

Great potential is seen in India

Although there are now several other Indian companies manufacturing extrusion coating and lamination machines, Jain believes the one manufactured by Rajoo-Kohli has an edge. “Rajoo has solid expertise in extrusion while Kohli has great expertise in web handling and lamination. If you look at our competitors, they do not have any expertise in extruding. That is why we have an edge,” he says.

 

Jain sounds extremely optimistic about the future of the Lamex and expects Rajoo-Kohli to sell about 20 to 25 machines every year. “We see the market for about 40-50 extrusion coating and lamination machines every year. Out of that, we are aiming to have a share of 50%, that is we plan to sell 20-25 machines per year. It may not happen this year but by 2021 we should get there,” he says.

 

Indian customers need to recognize high-quality manufacturing 

Khushboo Doshi, executive director of Rajoo Engineers says the top tier Indian machine manufacturers like Rajoo and Kohli are now respected in India and overseas. “The technological gap between Indian machine manufacturers and the global tech leaders are narrowing each year,” she says.

 

Kaku Kohli, the chief executive officer of Kohli Industries echoes Doshi’s sentiment but says that Indian converters need to accept that world-class technology is now available from the best Indian manufacturers but it comes with a price. “Indian customers now have to open up to that fact that Indian machine manufacturers can offer world-class products but they should be ready to pay the premium. Unfortunately, Indian converters are not yet convinced that Indian manufacturers can provide world-class products,” Kohli argues.

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.

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