Kolkata-based Libako Packaging, a print and packaging specialist, recently boosted its production efficiencies with the installation of the Gallus ECS 340, a flexographic press with UV application, inline foiling, lamination, and die-cutting.
Libako Packaging was established in 1981 with a vision to provide quality print solutions. The company saw a great opportunity and potential in the print and packaging industry with printing labels for footwear and cotton garment manufacturers in Kolkata, by using screen-printing. Within a few years, it diversified its portfolio to include offset, commercial printing, packaging, POS, wood, metal, and plastic fabrication.
Other than the Gallus, which was installed on 20 May and which has the provision for adding a screen unit/printing stations as and when required, the company currently has two Komori presses along with a CTP plate-making kit and post-press equipment. The HUV Komori kit was purchased in 2013 which was probably the first HUV press in Eastern India.
“We are very happy with our existing machinery, especially the print quality, minimal job changes over time and downtime. This has not only helped us in archiving faster ROI, also we could maintain faster turnaround time,” says Balai Adhikary, director at Libako Packaging. He adds, “We have also added high-speed slitter, offline hot- foiling and flatbed die-punching machines with a conveyor. We also have an offline screen-printing machine and coaters.”
The company works in four segments — label and flexible packaging; offset printing; fabrication and merchandising and designing and pre-press — in a single shift with around 100 employees.
The company has one factory in Matheswartala road, which is spread across 45,000 sqft dedicated to offset, digital, and large format printing, pre-press, and post-press along with other fabrication machinery, while the second newly constructed 9,000-sqft eco-space at Jalpath, Kolkata is a one-stop solution provider for premium quality products output.
Ankan Adhikary, the next-gen entrepreneur who joined his father’s business, is involved in day-to-day operations. He added, “We want to become a complete packaging solution provider with wide service offerings. We are also concerned about the environment, and hence, we have set up our new factory adhering to all eco-friendly norms at Jalpath. We want to grow as an environmentally responsible company with versatility, quality, and innovation.”
A commercial printer, Libako specialises in printing on PP, PET, PVC, PE and paper, along with labels in sheet forms and mono cartons. “Currently, we cater to the FMCG sector, tobacco, the lighting industry, and the cosmetics and pharma sectors by manufacturing labels, mono cartons, commercial printing, POSM and BTL activities,” Adhikary says.
Besides 45,000 sqft plant in Matheshwartala, Kolkata, Libako also has this 9,000 sqft plant in Jalpath
About the Gallus investment, Adhikary says, “We prefer to invest in proven technology along with innovation, brand value, and versatility. We examined all the presses and their configurations, where the Gallus flexo press stood out as the leader for us. We were awestruck by the print quality, registration with minimal wastage, and the support from Heidelberg India’s service team.”
Adhikary also added that process flexibility and ease of use were among the other highlights of Gallus ECS 340, which helped to seal the deal.
During Drupa 2012, Adhikary had a keen interest in labels and convertible packaging solutions. Then in 2016, team Libako revisited Drupa and found that there is immense potential with flexo printing and labelling. Finally, the company decided on the flexo press during the pandemic of 2020 and signed for the Gallus ECS 340 flexo press.
“We are happy with the full journey of Gallus ECS 340 discussion, along with the services provided by Heidelberg India. Amid the pandemic and lockdown, they did a fantastic job of installing the new press in a record time
of just six days upon receipt of the equipment at our site. The whole Gallus and Heidelberg team were cooperative and supportive.” Adhikary added.
The overall equipment efficiency of the press is defined by various factors, including available time, quality, machine production speed as it is the mantra towards the success of label converter. “The equipment automation in Gallus ECS 340 ensures the highest level of OEE to us, the dedicated service and print application support from Heidelberg and Gallus team helped us to reduce material waste and time loss in production and job
changeovers, resulting in high productivity. These are some of the driving factors to be with Heidelberg and Gallus,” Adhikary says.
Before the Gallus investment, the company could supply prints only in sheet form. “We couldn’t convert those jobs which needed to be produced in reel form. With the new machine, we have realised the potential of delivering jobs in reel form,” he adds.
The Gallus ECS 340 press comes with a technical core granite base which eliminates the vibration during printing operation. The modular design and low carbon footprint ensure minimal space requirement. The shortest web path reduces the production waste. The quick process change over on the primary level of the press ensures maximum available time in production and OEE levels. The automation feature includes easy job setup, pre-register job data storage and recall, format length correction, easy and special design of chamber doctor blades and it’s change over.
Brand owners in east and north-east India usually procure prints from other states. Adhikary says with the new Gallus ECS 340, the company wants to service these players with faster turnaround time, cut down freight cost and make overnight delivery possible, and besides supplying excellent and defect-free prints.
“As this is our new division, we are confident we will be able to convert more business now, resulting in overall growth for our company,” he adds.
The growth story
Adhikary says, over the years, the company has been growing slowly but steadily. “We are stable with our performance. We aim to improve our performance by implementing various international systems,” he adds.
According to Adhikary, each and every job of the company passes through a workflow. “We have standardised the process in each and every step, from job processing, to incoming raw material inspection, standardised raw material storage, creation and storage of job and shade cards and SOPs, pre-press inspection, online inspection, inspection of printed jobs using latest technologies, to pre-dispatch inspection,” he explains.
Today, the company is open to all market segments and is ready to grab any opportunity it can find. For this, the company has built its setup following the international norms and standards.
In the past 12 pandemic months, Adhikary says, initially, it was tough as everything was uncertain. The supply chain was affected a lot resulting in constant rise in raw material cost. “We were still able to convert businesses which also resulted in us investing in this new division,” he adds.
On the awards and accolades, Libako Packaging and The Ad-O-Graphy (the sister concern of Libako) had achieved a perfect 100 on L’Oreal Paris’s social audit in 2018.
Today, the company is in the process of obtaining the SEDEX SMETA 6.1 (four pillar), GMP, and FSC certifications.