India-based pre-press specialist Vintex Rubber Rollers Industries has launched new products for the flexo market including laser engraved sleeves and elastomer plates in several thicknesses and sizes, polymer HD plates, plate mounting sleeves, end seal for ink chamber and anilox protection cover.
The company was established by current director Mayank Chhabra’s father LN Chhabra in 1999 in Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon. It gradually expanded to five units to serve customers across India. The company supplies offset and gravure consumables and has introduced flexo products as well.
‘I joined my father’s business in 2004 and gradually we increased our presence across India. We are supplying to almost all OEMs in India,’ says Mayank Chhabra.
Vintex also exports its products to the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Current roller production capacity is at 2,000-4,000 a month; Chhabra says it will increase in the future.
Two years ago, the company began producing flexo consumables after observing growth in the segment. The company invested in Esko and DuPont equipment to support this expansion.
Vintex has launched laser engraved elastomer plates in several thicknesses – 1.14mm, 1.70mm and 2.84mm. It has also introduced polymer HD plates in 1.14mm, 1.70mm, 2.84mm, 3.9mm and 4.7mm thicknesses.
Vintex is the only company in India that refurbishes sleeves for reuse. We can use the same fiber base to refurbish the sleeve and send it back to customers who can use it again
The new elastomer plates are claimed to be similar to polymer plates but are relatively more resistant to inks and solvents and are durable, according to Chhabra.
Another new product, elastomer laser engraved rollers or engraved sleeves have ‘excellent’ ink transfer properties, he says. They offer optimum registration, exact dot reproduction and are resistant to solvents such as ethyl acetate, ethanol, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK). Chhabra adds that the rollers are environmentally friendly, highly resistant to light and ozone, and offer jointless printing.
‘The rollers eliminate the cost of mounting double sided tape and offer high print speed in comparison to plates. There is also hidden benefit of downtime by faster change-over and minimum waste.’ The rollers are suitable for long run jobs and continuous runs. They are claimed to be five to six times more durable than plates.
‘Being elastomer it has better resistance to chemicals and good transferability. It has micro holes which give better coverage and ink transferability especially in the overprint varnish,’ Chhrabra highlights.
Print results often show joints if plates are used. ‘The advantage of DLE sleeves is that it gives jointless results which can be seen in gravure. First, we make rubber covered sleeves to a certain size. And
then we engrave it according to the design by the customer. They can go for all sleeves according to colors or they could go with a combination of polymer and elastomer plate or sleeve. Sleeves can be used for any color that is required to be seamless. The rest of the colors can be printed with plates. It is economical and customers get the desired results.’
He explains that the major reason for converters choosing gravure over flexo is seamless printing. With laser engraved sleeves, the print results are comparable with gravure.
The company provides custom sleeves and rollers. ‘Even though they are used in the same machine, the use might vary from customer to customer and minute changes are required by each one. This is how we have gained preference in the industry.’
Products such as plate mounting sleeves previously had to be imported into India. Vintex is making these products available locally with its manufacturing facilities in Gurgaon. The company receives expert support from its UK partner North West Rollers Services, which has been in this business for the last 30 years.
Vintex also refurbishes used sleeves to repurpose them for the next job. ‘If a customer has plenty of sleeves and they are of no use, they have to be discarded. Vintex is the only company in India that refurbishes them and saves the customers’ costs. That is also environmentally friendly since the fiber that is discarded is not easy to dispose. We can use the same fiber base to refurbish the sleeves and send it back to customers who can use it again,’ Chhabra explains.
The company can refurbish sleeves in any size, color and hardness. Vintex Sleeves are fully compatible with any machine make. It also makes sleeves for gravure, laminators (solventless or combi), coating and embossing.
The company is targeting the flexible packaging segment due to the growth Chhabra sees in it. ‘Plastic is a part of daily life and cannot be avoided. And there is a growing demand for it. The demand did not diminish despite the pandemic because it was an essential service. We invested in our machines to stay up to date with the coming trends in the flexo market. The demand for short runs in flexo will rise next. When there is sufficient demand and customers, we want to ensure that we are ready.’
The company is seeing an encouraging response from the market. The flexo customer base is the same as gravure. ‘Customers who bought gravure products from us have the same confidence in our
Vintex will expand its roller business and production capacity by adding new equipment in all its manufacturing units. It plans to multiply production by three times by 2025.