Coats & Pack invests in AVT web inspection system

Efficiency gains at Mumbai-based label printer

AVT inspection system installed at Coats & Pack in Mumbai. Photo PSA
AVT inspection system installed at Coats & Pack in Mumbai. Photo PSA

Over the last few years, Andheri East-based label printer Coats & Pack has regularly adopted and enhanced technology in its continuous endeavour to increase efficiency, stay competitive and expand capacity. The label printing house was founded in 1990 and ventured into flexo technology around 2007 when it bought its first Chinese made Zonten press. Three years later it added another Zonten. In 2012 it took a big step forward by installing an 8-color Gidue Combat M1 flexo press and last year it added a 10-color Gidue Combat M3 press. Both the Gidue M1 and M3 were installed through Reifenhauser, which is Gidue’s representative in India.

With the addition of the new press, Coats & Pack now has two Gidues, two Zonten flexo printing machines and 12 small slitter-rewinders. In addition to strengthening its printing capabilities, it also focusses on ushering in greater efficiency in overall operations. With this in mind, in 2015, it bought its first web video inspection system from ENL. Continuing the trend for regular investments, in March this year, Coats & Pack installed a second web inspection system, this time from AVT.

“Every investment we make is driven by what the customer demands. We were facing a lot of complaints from customers about small and minor defects. Then we realized a video inspection was needed and we opted for our first web inspection system last year. With the second system from AVT we are just continuing that process. There is marked decline in these defects and errors,” says Ashish Chitale, a partner in the firm. With the two systems in place Coats & Pack is able to cover 50% of its output through video inspection and requires another two systems to be fully covered. “We would love to have everything under video inspection but that needs capital and therefore we would move gradually. However, I would like to point out that after working with the web inspection system for more than a year I am of the opinion that the system should be installed on the printing press rather than on the rewinder,” he says. Coats & Pack has installed the web systems on rewinders. Chitale says he would like to install the two systems on printing presses but current engagements are not giving him enough time to work on this project.

A new unit in pipeline
When Packaging South Asia met with Chitale during the inauguration of Gidue Combat M3 last April, he stated that he would like to continue to operate from Andheri East (it operates from multiple galas in Ansa Industrial Estate). However, he still maintains that he prefers the current location but certain practical difficulties have now forced him to think about adding a parallel unit outside the city. “Again even this decision about a new unit is because of customers’ demand,” he says. In terms of technology, Coats & Pack is expected to continue on the path of regular investments but for the next six months to one year there might not be any major developments. However, adding more inspection systems is something that is at the top of Chitale’s list. In the press department too there are plans for investment but nothing has been decided about the brand and technology.

“Yes we will surely invest in a new press but not in the near future. Also, we have not decided on any brand or any technology. It could be another Gidue or it could be a digital printing press. I will not rule anything out,” he explains. Chitale believes digital is a technology which has now become important and no printer can survive without it. A print house has to have a digital set up along with its main technology, he argues. “We are open to digital technology and we are even thinking about it but current economics is not working out for us. But let us see what unfolds,” he concludes.

Packaging South Asia is the cooperating media partner for drupa 2016 which is scheduled to be held from 31 May to 10 June at Dusseldorf, Germany.

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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