Rutul Zaveri, partner of the firm says, "Our expertise is on achieving better control over fine vignettes and skin tone, resulting in better visual impact on shelf."
When asked about the biggest change in the capability of the flexo process since 2008, Zaveri gave a rather clever answer: "Instead of using before and after 2008, I will term it as pre- and post-Kodak Flexcel NX technology."
Zaveri says till 2008, flexo was mainly used in narrow web. For wide-web, it was limited to milk, oil and carry bags. Consistency of result across the print run was a big issue.
Flexcel NX, a game changer
"The introduction of Flexcel NX changed the vision of brand and product managers, as we could now offer a solution that addressed these limitations with flexo. Other companies had to innovate in order to try and match the Flexcel NX quality. Now, in 2020, printers are confident to use the flexo process for almost any type of packaging print job. In fact, flexo has a distinct advantage – for example, reverse printing in flexo is much better and easier than rotogravure in a number of cases," he adds.
However, Zaveri admits that as packaging evolves and the designs reflect even more demanding brand needs, we must push ourselves to meet and deliver on these needs. "Adding more colour to the printing gamut and improving on ink laydown for crisp print results are areas that we work on," he says.
The 'Aha' factor
When PrintWeek asked Zaveri to share one product that created an 'Aha' moment, he gave an example of an European packaged food brand. "We had developed some SKUs of the brand. These jobs were printed in Europe by the gravure process. Our customer, Pentaflex, worked hard with us to take on the challenge of achieving gravure-class quality. The design was a tough one where the background had a picture of woven sack bags along with different food products that the company offers.
"Achieving the exact visual texture of woven sack bags was very difficult, as it had a number of shades of whites. Another challenge was to create the exact food product likeness colour on print. But, with our experience in pre-press and our customer's efforts, we delivered an excellent print result. The customer found it hard to believe that it was printed using flexographic technology and was very pleased with what we achieved visually," he elaborated.
However, Zaveri predicts that the consumer behaviour will change drastically in the near future. "This will present an opportunity for brand and product managers to innovate, and to test new methods and products to cater to a dynamic market."