Exhibitor Speak: Abraham Prabhakar of Kodak

PWI speaks to Abraham Prabhakar and Bhalchandra Nikumbh of Kodak, an exhibitor at Labelexpo India 2012.

30 Oct 2012 | By Rushikesh Aravkar

This is the second time Kodak has exhibited at Labelexpo India where we have highlighted Kodak Flexcel NX system and Kodak’s direct laser engraving (DLE) technology along with software demonstrations of Kodak’s Prinergy Powerpack workflow.

Kodak's Technology
Bhalchandra Nikumb:
While Flexcel NX system offers quality printing for high-end applications, the DLE technology is well suited for sleeves and seamless wide web presses. We had unveiled the DLE technology at Drupa and planned to bring it to India by third quarter of 2013 but now we are expecting an installation of the technology in first quarter of 2013.

Abraham Prabhakar: We have installed seven Flexcel NX systems in India, which include four in-house systems while remaining are at trade shops. Unlike offset where the printers desire to have the platemaking systems in-house, the flexo printers prefer to outsource it to the trade shops. This is because offset platemaking is a science while flexo platemaking is an art. There are many processes involved and the time spent on each process has to be precisely controlled to obtain the quality.
Bhalchandra Nikumb: In 2010, we sold 12 brand new Thermoflex systems in India. Later, the Flexcel NX was launched, which is a step ahead and overcomes the limitations of Thermoflex. Considering the features and benefits of Flexcel NX, we expect our Thermoflex customers to switch to the Flexcel systems.
Trends in label industry
Abraham Prabhakar:The label segment is attracting attention and everybody wants to be a part of its growth. One of the trends, which I observe in the industry, is the mergers and acquisitions of leading label companies in India by large converters: Wintek was acquired by ITW; Skanem bought 51% shares of Interlabels; Positive packaging acquired SGRE. The converters wish to include label as a part of their portfolio and hence they are looking to acquire the leading label printing firms which have high-end infrastructure as in case of Positive Packaging. I strongly feel that these markers signify the growth in the label industry. Also, a substantial number of label printing presses are being installed. This shows the tremendous potential in the segment. 
Advice to label printers
Abraham Prabhakar: The label printers who are using a particular technology should open up and look into the market for the technological advancements that are coming in and also study the firms who have adopted the new technologies. Also one must look at sustainability which can be achieved by just reducing the number of plates used. As Kodak says 'do more with less', using NX technology one can achieve double the densities with a single plate which otherwise would require two plates with LAMS technology. This reduces the entire set of plate processing. I would say that the printers must take the advantage of the new technologies available in the market.