Made in India: Five offset washes to choose from

With five offset washes in its kitty, Delhi's Chemicals Udyog may be new to the market, but it has years of experience in the chemicals industry and a young leader who wants to make it in India. Rahul Kumar reports.

06 Sep 2016 | By Rahul Kumar

Delhi-based Chemicals Udyog may have started manufacturing pressroom chemicals in the last 18 months, but as a chemicals company it has a long and layered history since its inception in 1986.

In pressroom chemicals, Chemicals Udyog offers five varieties of offset washes – Offset Wash, Offset Eco Wash, Offset Wash Green 40, Offset Wash Green 60 and Offset Wash Green 80. All five are for different levels of specialisation.

Beside washes, Chemicals Udyog also manufactures three fount solutions additives – Alt Fount, ECTAR Fount and All Care fount solutions.

Ajay Bhatia, the second generation of the family owned business, says, “We started manufacturing chemicals for the graphic art industry towards the end of 2014. Today, we supply our chemicals to more than 20 printers in Delhi-NCR.”

The company’s client list includes Faridabad-based Dynamic Offset, Ballabhgarh-based Falcon Printers, and Okhla-based JK Offset and Kangaroo.

Bhatia is not in a hurry. “We know that a new product takes time to establish itself. The same will be the case with our chemicals,” he says.

Chemicals Udyog is the brainchild of Ajay Bhatia’s father Sant Ram Bhatia. The Bhatia family has been in the chemical business for more than five decades. “In 1980s, we separated from the extended family and established the chemical manufacturing company,” says Bhatia. “We got licences for solvents in 1986.”

Bhatia is a chemical engineer from Pune University and join-ed the family business in 1996.

Four MSc and BSc graduates work at the company’s in-house R&D team. “We have our own GC (GAS Chromatography) for testing purity of raw materials. Our research and development is a continuous process. We are developing some new products for the industry and working to enhance the existing ones. Hopefully, after six months, we will come up with few more products,” says Bhatia.

In 2009, Bhatia got an opportunity to work with few multinationals and expand his portfolio. “We were their OEMs. We developed products for them according to Indian standards. Following this, we decided to service the industry on our own,” he says, adding, “Our manufacturing is 100% made in India as we develop all components in our factory. Most of our customers are commercial printers, print books and are in commercial jobs. We are now looking to attract newspaper printing presses and packaging printers.”

The ISO 9001:2008 certified company grew by 20% after adding washes to its portfolio.

The washes
Use of washes depends on machine to machine. The main point is speed of the printing press. Use of volatile products on high-end printing press is not advisable, but on low-end and old machines, one could use it. Volatiles make the wash cheaper.

All the five washes can clean all types of blankets and rollers. They are available in quantities from 20 to 200 litres. The main active ingredient for Offset Wash and Offset Eco Wash is petroleum distillate and for Offset Wash Green 40, 60 and 80 is de-aromatised hydrocarbon fluid.

The flashpoint (degrees centigrade) for Offset Wash, Eco Wash and Wash Green 40 is 40 and for Offset Wash Green 60 and 80 are 60 and 80 respectively.

Biodegradability of Offset Wash and Eco Wash is inherent and Offset Green Wash 40, 60 and 80 have ready biodegradability.

Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) content percentage wise in Offset Wash and Offset Eco Wash is between 95 to 100 and 97 in Offset Wash Green 40, 60 and 80.
The washes cost from Rs 90 to 150 per litre. It depends on variety and quantity.
The company has a licence to store 2,00,000 litre of chemicals (basic solvent). The company can produce 15,000 litres of washes per day in different segments.

The quality
Says Bhatia, “We follow the basic rule that the washes must not harm the machine, rollers and blankets. There are many aerodynamic components in the basic solvent, which can destroy the basic smoothness of rubber. If the wash damages the blanket and the roller during cleaning, printing is affected and no one wants it.”

For testing, the company puts blankets and rollers (used and new) in its chemicals for six to eight months to check the impact of the chemicals on those.