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North Indian label printers at a LMAI technical workshop

After Sandeep Zaveri took over as the new president, LMAI (Label Manufacturers Association of India) organized the second technical workshop and networking opportunity of his tenure at Chelmsford Club, New Delhi. The first event was held in Mumbai in December 2015. It was interesting to note that almost all the LMAI printer members from Delhi NCR pre-registered for the show and more than 100 delegates attended the workshop as against a targeted and expected 80 members. This was despite the fog, chilly weather and an extremely difficult traffic situation in New Delhi that day.

The four pillars of LMAI

Welcoming the guests Kuldip Goel, vice president LMAI and managing director of Anygraphics, speaking in Hindi (India’s national language) likened LMAI to a devotional place like a temple. He said a temple is built on four pillars, each of which has a special significance. “In our association” he said, “the four pillars are members, suppliers, sponsors and the media!” Initiating the technical part of the workshop, Shailesh Kumar Sharma, senior manager-technical, Flint Group India, spoke on the quality aspects of inks and the role of UV light in curing. He also discussed the present UV curing scenario undergoing transformation leading to the implementation of LED UV technology as a more stable and futuristic one.

LED – the future of curing

Explaining the capability of LED UV to cure ink on thinner substrates and provide better adhesion, Carston Barlebo of AMS (Air Motion Solutions) cited a case study conducted with their AMS Flexo Series LED UV system for the narrow web label industry at a food packaging converter in Italy. This system is fitted on a seven-colour 530 mm (21”) Omet VaryFlex F1 530. He commented that this is the largest UV LED system ever installed and it provides savings in energy, replacement costs and increased productivity. The system is compatible with LED-optimised inks and varnishes from leading manufacturers.

Flexo in the growing label industry

Manish Kapoor of Nilpeter spoke about the growth and increasing market size of the flexo printed label segment and it’s extension into the packaging industry. He also commented on the need for printers targeting the huge packaging industry to invest in combination printing so as to derive benefits from each technology to create innovative and highly decorated packages. He stated that even though the label industry was growing at 15% per annum yet it was a miniscule portion of the packaging industry whose size he estimated to be Rupees 1.5 lakh Crores or about USD 24 billion. He emphasized that it was opportune time for the industry to invest in these emerging technologies.

Prepress the foundation of quality

Flexo printing is highly dependent on the quality of pre-press. Deepanshu Goel of Creative Graphics, a pre-press company, spoke on the importance of pre-press in plate making. He also explained the importance and proper use of mounting tapes and anilox rollers.

Planning for finance

Finance and wealth management are a sensitive part of growth in any business. Chirag Gokani an expert on the subject spoke on the importance of financial planning leading to wealth management. Sandeep Tiberwala from Yes Bank commenting on Kuldip Goel’s remarks on the constituents of the association being the pillars of association remarked, “Banks are an inherent part of this structure that provide strength to the pillars” He also spoke on the procedures and requirements for getting adequate finance by label printers for their businesses.

Asking the questions

Finally there was an interactive session chaired by Harveer Sahni, managing director Weldon Celloplast Ltd. where all the speakers constituted the panel. Most of the questions were about LED UV and were answered by C P Paul of APL and Carston Barlebo of AMS. Harveer Sahni commented, “Pre-press is the heart of flexo printing that has evolved in quality over the years” in response Deepanshu Goel further elaborated on the imperative need for good pre-press in flexo printing. Shailesh Sharma of Flint while replying to questions informed the gathering that Flint will be hosting many open house sessions for LED UV inks in the near future.

Final thoughts

Finally the host for the evening Naveen Goel invited Aditya Chadha of Update prints to deliver a vote of thanks. Aditya in his concluding remarks stressed the need for the label printing fraternity to be more interactive, so as to share the importance of better prices for raw materials, selling prices, employee retention, etc. and more profitability. It was evening where one saw a big number of next generation young managers which included Aditya Chadha of Update prints, Anuj Bhargav of Kumar Labels, Naveen Goel of Anygraphics, Rishab Jain of Jain Transfer, Parshav Jain of Jain Transfer, Pawandeep Sahni of Weldon, Gurdev Jandu of Jandu Engineering.

Happy at the success

The evening ended with a networking cocktails and dinner. Happy at the success of this event, Sandeep Zaveri President LMAI and Rajesh Nema Secretary LMAI announced that the next similar workshop would be held in the south of India, probably at Bangalore, followed by one in Ahmedabad.

Harveer Sahni, http://harveersahni.blogspot.com

Harveer Sahni

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