Labels: An emerging market in Hyderabad

Hyderabad is a pharma hub and the new Pharma City will further enhance the capacities and this in turn will boost the need for packaging and labels in the region. Taking a cue, one of the top label printing firms in the country, Navi Mumbai-based Webtech Labels, has set up a 40,000 sq/ft unit in Hyderabad., Business

17 May 2016 | By Rushikesh Aravkar

Amar Chhajed of Webtech Labels says, “Hyderabad is a pharma hub. Having a set-up in the city helps us to tap the growing requirements of the pharma companies plus cater to our existing clients locally.”
The plant which commenced its operations in the second quarter of 2015 houses one label printing line fuelled by a nine-colour Gallus press. This new plant employs 25 people and produces self adhesive labels for top pharmaceutical and agro chemical companies in and around Hyderabad.
Speaking of Gallus, a brand new Gallus ECS 340, the company’s 100th press in the country, came to Hyderabad in the first week of April at Pravesha Industries. 
Pravesha is a sub-division of Aurobindo Pharma and besides serving the captive requirements, it also caters to the packaging needs of other major pharma companies in the city. It is equipped with two Orthotek intermittent presses, a six-colour Heidelberg press, an HP Indigo label press and fleet of folding machines from Vijuk and H&H for manufacturing pharma outserts.
This is the first narrow web press for the company. B Sivaprasad Reddy, chairman, Pravesha, said, “The investment in our first narrow web flexo press is inline with the group policy of backward integration for its parent pharma company. The new Gallus will help us with printing challenging value-added jobs.”
Digiflex in Hyderabad completed one year of flexo platemaking on 28 March 2016. The first digital flexo pre-press service bureau in the city, headed by Muralidhar Nalli and  K Shyam Sunder, has eased the lives of the label printing firms in Hyderabad.
For the start-up, the first year has seen unparalleled growth. The production has surged from 50 sq/m in the first month to 300 sq/m in March 2016. It has added more than 60 customers producing labels and flexible packaging, carry bags, corrugation and notebooks. In addition, they have recently invested in Inox water wash letterpress platemaking unit.
The Digiflex plant is inspiring. Great stress is laid on the hygiene and climate control. K Shyam Sunder of Digiflex likes to “go by the basics”. “Epoxy flooring, dustproof environment, 26-27 degrees celsius and 55% RH. This is how we work,” says Shyam Sunder.
Shyam Sunder and team ensure flawless flattop dots and micromanage little details like dot gain for every anilox for each client.
The Flexcel NX system at Digiflex leverages Kodak’s square spot imaging technology at an optical resolution of 10,000 dpi to produce digital flexo plates that enable a broader tonal range, use of higher line screens, more efficient ink transfer and a higher level of quality.
When catering to a new client, the team at Digiflex first fingerprints all the machines at the client’s end to measure anilox dot gains and create special curves for each machine. This helps the pre-press firm to ensure perfect print quality time and again.
Shyam Sunder explains how the DigiCap NX patterning of Kodak enables print firms to control the ink transfer even in the solid areas, thanks to the application of a micro surface texturisation pattern to the surface of all elements on the Kodak Flexcel NX plate.
“The print applications that traditionally struggle with efficient ink transfer can now be produced with higher print densities, smooth solid area ink coverage and expanded colour gamut with process printing,” adds Shyam Sunder.
Within a short time span Digiflex has earned a reputation of finest plate makers and its clientele is the testimony to that. Digiflex provides plates to Webtech Labels, Pragati Pack, Printersden, Teamlabels, and Zodiac among others. 
According to Nalli, the total potential for flexo plates in Hyderabad is 700 sq/m per month.
“There are 30 label converters, one wide web flexo player, 50 carry bags suppliers, 70 corrugation and 15 notebooks makers in Hyderabad and we have been able to secure 50% of these.”
Moving ahead Shyam Sunder and Nalli have already chalked out plans to continue the momentum of growth. "The next investment will be in the form of a very large-format flexo imager, exposing device and washer. There are three reasons: One, few big flexible packaging converters are setting up wide web flexo machines in Hyderabad. We want to tap their requirements. Two, we want to provide an uninterrupted service to our existing customers, and in order to do that we cannot afford breakdowns. So an additional platemaking line will enable us to have a back-up and ensure non-stop supply of plates. Three, VLF platesetter will give us the benefit of size, that means less wastage and minimum use of consumables since we can have more plates developed in one go."
"At Drupa, we will evaluate all the available technologies and if we find something that matches our quality requirements and the budget, we will sign a deal then and there," adds Muralidhar Nalli.