During the last half a decade or so, Mumbai-based labelling solutions provider Duralabel Graphics has been strengthening its flexo printing capabilities. The company has had a remarkable run in recent years as it has notched up high double-digit growth and acquired many new customers. In 2011, it bought an 8-color Mark Andy 2200 press and then in early 2016, Ravi Patnaik, owner of Duralabel, decided to invest in a Bobst M4 8-color flexo press. The press, installed in April last year, was supplied by Reifenhauser India.
Duralabel’s present converting capacity is about 400,000 square meters per month. It caters to a wide range of industry segments such as FMCG, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, chemicals, and automobiles. It mainly buys label stock from Avery Dennison while a small portion is bought from other sellers and some are imported.
This year Patnaik has been focusing on injecting efficiencies in the working process and reducing costs. “In this current environment of hyper competition, rising raw material cost and increasing overheads, a convertor has no option but to cut costs since raising prices is next to impossible,” says Patnaik.
Earlier this year, Patnaik did an assessment of the proportion of wastage that Duralabel was incurring. He was astounded to find that overall wastage was a staggering 10%. This triggered his desire to take various steps to make the complete functioning of the company more efficient.
“Our wastage rate was very high and I was compelled to take corrective steps such as automating our back-end and better manage things such as pay order, quotations, inventories, etc. We are working towards making everything process driven and modernizing our ERP,” he says.
The whole process of back-end upgradation is expected to be complete by October and according to Patnaik once this is in place, the wastage percentage will come down to just 2%.
Not only is Duralabel making its IT infrastructure more efficient but it is also embarking upon a training program for its shop floor staff so that they can minimize errors in dies and plates, which also leads to a lot of wastage.
In addition to enhancing efficiencies, Duralabel has also turned its focus on offering value-added services to its customers. About two months ago, it bought an automatic inspection system from Guangzhou Pulisi Printing Technology.
“We have invested in Pulisi inspection system because we wanted to minimize errors on our labels and now I can safely say that the error rate has gone down to almost zero. We did not opt for an inspection system owing to customer demand but because we wanted to add value to our services,” argues Patnaik.
The Pulisi AIM 330S model has automatic inspection with full-servo and slitter rewinder and has maximum inspection speed of 150 meters per minute. Its maximum slit speed is 300 meters per minute.
Another flexo press in the offing
Patnaik plans to further enhance Duralabel’s flexo printing capacity by adding another press. However, plans are in early stage and any concrete decision is only expected next year. “We are yet to decide on the brand as we have not thought about this in detail,” he says.