Director Pranav Bhalara ushered the over 200 flexible packaging technocrats to the machine demonstrations across the greenfield factory situated in the outskirts of Rajkot.
The new Heliostar II at Multiflex is a nine-colour gravure press with a width of 1400mm and maximum printing speeds of 500 metres per minute. During the demonstration, the machine printed a seven-colour print job on a 15-micron BOPP film. Running at 82 metres per minute in the beginning, the machine speed was ramped up to 500 metres per minute within a few seconds without losing the registration. Noteworthy is that the machine is extremely quiet even when operating at a high speed.
This is the first European gravure printing machine at Balaji, which has been predominantly using Pelican printing and converting equipment since its inception in 2002. Balaji Multiflex, which now houses five gravure printing machines, is a major flexible packaging supplier to Balaji Wafers, which clocked sales in the excess of Rs 2,121 crore in 2017.
Speaking to WhatPackaging?, Bhalara said, “We have to be ahead of Balaji Wafers so that when they grow we are poised to support their increased demand. And that’s why the new investment – to be future-ready. Balaji Multiflex started with a manufacturing capacity of six tonnes a month, today we can manufacture 35 tonnes of flexible packaging per day.”
During the visit, one realises the conscious efforts towards cleanliness and hygiene and the company’s vision of sustainability. Balaji Multiflex was the first Indian flexible packaging converter to invest in a solventless lamination machine. Today, when the industry discusses the need to opt for toluene-free inks as the authorities contemplate a ban on toluene in food packaging inks, Balaji, since 2015, has been using Hi-Tech inks which are not only toluene-free but also ketone-free. Going a step further, the company plans to install a solvent-recovery plant at the new factory, informed Bhalara.
The open house at Balaji Multiflex was part of the Image to Print roadshow organised by W&H, Janoschka, Rossini, Siegwerk, and Nordmeccanica.