"Technically, with Kodak Flexcel NX, we do a lot of simple combinations of patterns and change in ripping process parameters to get the desired results very close to the master file. We learnt it with hard experience," says Nalawade.
Acceptance of flexo
According to Nalawade, the knowledge of flexographic process technology was at a nascent stage among the printers and end users/brands in 2008. Hence, acceptance of process was a huge challenge.
"We took the bold decision of investing in Asia’s first Kodak Flexcel NX system in 2010 and since then, with all flexo partners working together, we have been able to raise the profile and demand for flexo in a gravure-dominated market," says Nalawade.
However, he cautions that there's one issue that needs to be addressed ¬– the machine operator's knowledge. "Knowledge about flexo in India is more with managers and heads than with the actual people on the shop floor – the printers. We should focus on how to enhance the knowledge levels of all shop floor staff by means of virtual training or webinars."
He also says that the end-user confidence is still not great with flexo.
Innovation and sustainability
Parakh Agro's main focus has been on innovation, says Nalawade. "Our team is regularly on the move to make future-ready packaging, which is sustainable yet cost effective. We are also working towards achieving a circular economy in many packaging sectors, such as milk packaging."
He says he was amazed with an offset job printed with almost the same or even better resolution with Kodak Flexcel NX on different substrates. "The customer was very firm in not changing the input file, so it was a big challenge to get it right when changing to flexo process workflow. With Kodak Flexcel NX and Prinergy, it was spot on without effort. That’s what we like the most about Flexcel NX."
Meanwhile, Nalawade has a few messages to share with others in the industry. "Work in trust with partners to make the supply chain cheaper and revive the economy; make packaging more cost-effective, yet sustainable, with good mechanical and barrier properties; and focus more on a simple circular economy model to make products cheaper in this tough economic crisis. It should be easy to make, pack, transport, store while also being shelf-attractive and environment-friendly."n