Indian CI Flexo Press Industry- On The Double

In 2009, we had surveyed the Indian flexible packaging industry and had tracked all CI flexo press installations in the country. The market has increased double-fold, since and more than 45 presses are running in the country now. A look at the eminent players, the installations carried by them and the prospects of the industry in coming years…

The Indian packaging market, projected to grow at a CAGR of 12%, is expected to reach the size of INR 22,950 crore by 2015. The demand of improved solutions to enhance printing quality, improve waste management and manage cost impact of the converting production on to the package, have fuelled the recent upsurge in CI flexo press installations in the country.

The greatest advantage of the CI press is its ability to hold excellent register, even when printing on extremely thin, extendable packaging materials. “And it is cost effective as well!” says Rakesh Shah, Managing Director, Windmoller & Holsher India. The company ranks first with eleven CI flexo press installations in the country. Starting the flexo movement with its first order placed at Mehta Flex, W&H moved on to install another SOLOFLEX in the same company. The third SOLOFLEX is at Parakh Agro, which has also installed a MIRAFLEX soon after.

MIRAFLEX, the most popular amongst all of W&H presses, is also installed at Propack Industries, Kanodia Technoplast Ltd. and Uflex Ltd. The PRIMAFLEX press has been installed by the company at Glory Polyfilms, Bilcare and Cargill Foods and the NOVOFLEX XS press is operational at IDMC Ltd. “We have more orders in pipeline for the year,” informed Rakesh Shah.

Following close in number of installations is Kuen Yuh Machinery Engineering Co. Ltd. (KYMC) – Taiwan with an installation base of 6 wide web presses in the country. “KYMC has received enthusiastic response from the Indian market, which is evident from the increase in the installations of our CI flexo pressess from 2 to 6 in a short span of two years,” says Kunal Mehta, KYMC India. In the year 2010, the Taiwanese company established its full-fledged office in India for marketing as well as providing after sales support to its customers. The company has two of its CI flexo presses running at Multiflex, Chennai. Other installations are at Sangeeta Print N Pack, Daman; Poppys Plastics, Tirupur; Dev Aakash Plast India (P) Ltd., Sivakasi and Rishabh Industries, Hyderabad.

With two more installations slated in this financial year, Kunal Mehta adds that the benefits of CI flexo process are now being realized by its users and the company does its bit to create awareness amongst printers. “The tremendous development of consumables and pre-press technology has been the prime catalyst which has bridged the gap between CI flexo and other printing processes. Trade shops across India have been equally quick to adopt the latest global technological developments in pre-press area and kept themselves equipped with the latest equipments thus assisting the user base of CI Flexo printers at par with their global counter parts,” he states. The company also has two high speed & sophisticated stack type presses running at Karthick Polypack, Sivakasi and one at Bullion Flexipack, Vadodara.

Bobst offers the market its technology driven F&K range of CI flexo presses from Germany. “With more than 125 years’ tradition in excellence, Bobst has actively contributed to the development of the printing industry” says Nilesh Pinto, Bobst India.

The first F&K press made its way to India through Mehta Group in the year 2004. Mehta Group once again confirmed their confidence with the second F&K Press. Uflex Ltd., has recently placed an order for the latest generation F&K 20SIX press. Bobst CI flexo presses are also in operation at S.B. Packaging, Delhi and Radha Madhav, Daman. The Bobst press installed at RT Packaging, Delhi has recently been resold to Vijay Printech, Rajkot.

“Besides India, we also have a good CI Press market in the neighbouring country. In Sri Lanka Bobst has no less than 5 installations up and running”, asserts Nilesh. Bobst in total has 11 CI Flexo Presses in the Indian Subcontinent.

Comexi is supposed to be one of the first CI flexo presses making its way to India through Dynaflex Pvt. Ltd. in the year 1986. After a gap of fifteen years, aiming to expand itself in India, Comexi, Spain handed over its distributorship to Reifenhauser India, which currently is busy with the second installation of the press at Dynaflex. The Comexi CI flexo presses have also been installed by Reifenhauser at ICM Packaging and Uflex Ltd.

UTECO, Italy is another leading player in the segment with three CI flexo press installations in India at present. Ashling Impex, the Indian agent for the company started with first installation of the machine at IDMC Ltd. four years ago. Today with one UTECO each, Kalpana and Mother Dairy come under its client list.

Feva, the Brazilian press manufacturer, report two installations- one each at Taurus Packaging and Kris Flexipack. Ravi Exports, which had initially taken the distributorship of the press in the country, is not associated with Feva anymore. “Presently we have two machines running in India and several others in the neighbouring countries like South Africa, Russia, and Nigeria,” states Natan Alves, International Sales Manager, Feva.

Pelican Rotoflex’s, first indigenously designed CI flexo was sold to Narendra Polyplast, Daman. In 2008, the company sold its second unit to Radha Madhav Corporation (RMCL).

Neo International started representing Bielloni, Italy in India just a year back. The first Bielloni CI flexo press was bought by Hitkari Industries, Noida. The machine was then resold to Colourmarks, Chennai. “We are providing customer service to the Colourmarks now, helping them with spares and technical guidance,” says Rajeev Sharma from Neo International. “We see a steady growth of flexo in India in the coming years. This is because it is more flexible and also economical for short batch size production,” he adds.

Wolverine Flexographic Mfg., USA installed its first CI flexo press at Tetra Pak Flexible Packaging Systems, Pune in the year 1996. In 2002, Multifilm Plastic, Mumbai purchased this Wolverine Press from Tetra Pak. “We do not have an agent in India. All sales and services are handled from our home office,” informs Cheryl Flynn, Vice President – Sales, Wolverine Flexographic Mfg.

Carraro, Spain entered India in the year 1994 with Self Seeker Packaging, Delhi purchasing a pre used Carraro CI flexo press from Polygraphics UK. “In 2004, we sold this machine to another company based in New Delhi,” informs Shelley Arora, Director, Self Seeker Packaging Ltd. After having acquired the licensee of Carraro Carint’s brand few years ago, C&C Flexo S.r.l. has now taken over the entire production and in addition all the authorized assistance on the Carraro Carint machines.

The marketing and distribution of Soma Engineering, the Czech manufacturer of wide web UV flexo CI presses, was taken up by Heidelberg India in the year 2005. The press, however, could not penetrate the Indian market in the span of six years. In the year 2012, Insight Communications & Print Solutions India (P) Ltd. took over the sales and marketing of the press and is very bullish about making a break-through the Indian market. “We are promoting the advanced presses manufactured by the company at extensive level and will soon come up with some news on our first installation in India,” says Bhupendra Srivastava, Sales Manager, Insight Communications & Print Solutions India.

Besides these eminent players from the industry, some of the companies have also taken up the dealership of pre used CI flexo presses. The price of such machines, being low, attracts several medium and small enterprises.

To sum up, we realize that with the increasing penetration of organised retail and the preference for branded products, the demand of flexible-packaging solutions is bound to rise. Globalization and the influx of multinational companies is another factor that shall boost the industry.

Flexo printing, carving a niche for itself amid this robust scenario of the industry, is certainly here to stay and grow!