Indian label converter Kwality Offset Printers expects to increase turnover by up to 15 percent following its acquisition of a Xeikon 3030 Plus digital label press.
The New Delhi-based offset and flexo operation caters mainly to FMCG companies, including liquor, food and healthcare. Among its clients are brands such as Pernod Ricard, Nestle, Radico Khaitan, GlaxoSmithKline, Dabur, Heinz, Wrigleys, Perfetti, Cargill and the DS Group.
Run lengths for these customers are beginning to vary greatly, which is what prompted the investment, explained owner Rajeev Chhatwal: ‘We are seeing a number of flexo jobs that are 1,000 meters, 2,000 meters and even as low as 500 meters in length. These take up a significant amount of time with conventional production technologies. By moving these jobs to digital production, we are able to free up production on our flexo and litho presses for the longer runs for which they are better suited.
‘We chose to partner with Xeikon because Xeikon label presses do not require any special coatings or substrates. This means we can take advantage of our normal inventory to produce these shorter runs. We looked at other options, but we chose Xeikon for two primary reasons. The first was that I found Xeikon was more in touch with us as a label printer; they understood our industry, our needs and our challenges. The second was there was a greater focus on teamwork. They wanted to work with us as a true partner and be there throughout our journey into the digital world.
‘We also felt that Xeikon’s focus was more on label printing than other suppliers of digital technology in this space. They seemed keener to develop a good relationship with us, and that was a big factor in our decision.’
The ability to quickly develop a strong digital service with the help of Xeikon was vital, continued Chhatwal: ‘This is our first digital press. We spoke to our customers about the production of their work. We also tested some proofs, and our customer were happy about the results. So the first stage following installation will be the focus on moving smaller orders from traditional production to digital printing.
‘Then at the second stage, we will talk to customers we haven’t really been interacting with because of the small volumes they were looking for. Our Xeikon digital label press now enables us to work with them to cost-effectively meet their demands.
‘For the first three or four months, we will be learning about digital technology so that everyone on our team is confident as we move in this new direction. We will also educate existing customers on the benefits of digital printing. Then next year, we expect to add five or six customers and grow our 6 million USD turnover by 12 to 15 percent. The partnership we have with Xeikon is critical to achieving these objectives.
‘If we hadn’t moved into digital, our competitors would have. For the last six or seven months, customers have been talking about digital more and more. They are looking at shorter runs now, as well as variable print. Digital is the best way to respond to these emerging requirements, and we wanted to be on the forefront of offering those services in our region.
‘These are not the kind of jobs we can do on our flexo press. We have had conversations in the past about offering these services, but those conversations never matured since we didn’t have the capabilities. Now we will have the ability to meet those needs, and Xeikon will be there to help us explore the opportunities.’
The installed Xeikon 3030 Plus was shown at Labelexpo India 2016; the show organizer having hosted roadshows, which visited Sivakasi, Vadodra, Ahmedabad and Ludhiana, in the weeks running up to Labelexpo India 2016 to invite offset printers keen to diversify into label printing to the show.
The Xeikon 3030 Plus has a variable web width of 200mm up to 330mm. It runs at a resolution of 1200 DPI at a top speed of 15m/min and handles substrates without specific pre-treatment. It emits no VOCs and has high light-fastness. The new press will be installed by Kwality Offset Printers at the end of the year.