Look! Rakhi boxes have the touch and feel of UV special effects

On the eve of Rakhsha Bandhan celebrations, walk into some great fancy shops and discover Rakhis which come in fancy looking, colorful, intricate with amulets and decoration on top of it. Many shops on Mumbai’s streets adorn colourful Rakhis and attract every walker on the street. It is but natural that packaging printers too have a seasonal/flourishing business as Rakhis are now also sold in packs/box.

27 Aug 2015 | By Shripad Bhat

Raksha Bandhan is a festival celebrated in India to mark the love and duty between brothers and sisters, (not necessarily biological). I need not go into much detail about the Raksha Bandhan festival but will touch upon ‘Rakhi’ packaging, of course.  Before that, let me write that Rakhi, a sacred thread symbolizes the very festival of Raksha Bandhan. 
The widespread Raksha Bandhan celebrations in India (a country with over 1.252 billion in 2013), also requires production of millions of Rakhis, the icon of very festival. During my visit to Kolkata few ahead of Raksha Bandhan, last year, I witnessed in the busy markets MG Road, etc, almost every fashion and general shops as well as wholesale traders sell Rakhis. Rakhi manufacturers and traders put up banners over the street corners, poles, buildings, windows, indicating the arrival of Raksha Bandhan. 
As revealed by a couple of packaging printers in Kolkata, many Rakhi manufacturers, now-a-days, want shining and innovative packaging for shelf domination and thereby to boost sales during the Raksha Bandhan season, precisely about 7-10 days ahead of the festival. 
CEI Print Pack India Pvt Ltd, Howrah:
Howrah based CEI Print Pack India Pvt Ltd (CEI), makes about 20 to 30 lakh Rakhi box every year, and some lot goes with value addition. “Our Rakshi boxes are treated with various UV special effects such as glitter, reflective UV, etc, after printing by offset. We have been supplying Rakhi box to leading Rakhi manufacturers for the last 5 years, with a growth of 20-25% growth, year on year,” says veteran Govardhan Lal  Sikaria, CMD of CEI Print Pack. “Our preparatory work starts immediately after Raksha Bandhan festival every year. We make new designs (graphic design and packaging design) and make samples to get approval from customers before going into bulk production which has to be completed about one half month ahead of Raksha Bandhan festival.”
The company’s printing business has a revenue ratio of packaging 70%, calendars 20% and 10% commercial. Besides Grafica’s fully automatic Cylinder Press with inline UV and complete screen making set up to carry out high end value addition, the company has 5 colour, 4 colour  HUV and 1 colour offset press, CtP, a wide range of post press/finishing facilities such as advanced screen printing set up, Lamination, UV coating, punching, foil embossing, punching, among other facilities.
Bright Printers, Kolkata:
Bright Printers makes about 2 lakh to 2.5 lakh Rakhi boxes out of which 50% have value addition, viz, treatment of various UV special effects, glitter, texture, abrasive, etc.
Bright Printers is a complete post-press company. Their 5000 sq ft unit in Kolkata houses screen printing, Foil stamping, punching, and other finishing equipment. They offer mesmerizing value added Labels, Tags, Commercial jobs, Fancy / luxury packaging including RAKHI packaging.
Rakhi boxes are made out of 200-300 gsm paper board, as per the size. Metallic paper is also used as per customer demand. The size of the Rakhi boxes made by them is in the range of 7”-9” length x 4.5-5” width x 1-1.5” height. To give value addition touch, they have employed Nano-Print plus along with complete screen making set up and UV. 
“We innovatively use texture, sand, abrasive, crystal, emboss/3D reflective, glitter, and other UV effects,” says Binay Shaw, Production Manager at Bright Printers. “With increase in consumers’ buying taste, demand is also increasing for Rakhi boxes every year. In fact the onus is on us as Rakhi manufacturers want novelty in packaging solution such as attractive designs (structural as well as graphic design) and creative use of various UV special effects to push their sales up every year as it is a very seasonal / one time business in a year.”
Binay  says: “We have to complete production before one-half month of Rakhi day. But our work starts in March, almost 4 months ahead. We supply innovative Rakhi box with UV to pack premium quality Rakhis. And for simple Rakhis, meant for common market, we make Rakhi sheet/cards on which multiple Rakhis are fixed for display and sales at shops.” 
He concludes: “Yes, screen printing has gives us an edge over other printers who do only offset printed Rakhi boxes. In turn we are also giving an extra edge to our customers (Rakhi manufacturers) to stand out in the market. Screen printing is an important tool for value addition on packaging.”
Kohinoor Printing, Kolkata: 
Kohinoor Printing makes about 1.5 to 2 lakh specialized Rakhi box with more than one UV special effects such as glitter, crystal, abrasive, reflective, etc. “We make and supply only premium Rakhi boxes for Rakhis that cost more than Rs.30 or Rs.40.  We never make mere offset printed Rakhi boxes. The demand for value added packaging is increasing and this year we supplied Rakhi boxes to a manufacturer in Delhi,” says Nitin Jain, one of the Jain brothers managing the Kohinoor Printing.
Established in 1985, Kolkata based Kohinoor Printing, is engaged in high end commercial printing: Packaging, calendars, wedding cards, liquor labels, and money envelope for weddings.  “We started our business with screen printing and it’s the backbone of our business. Screen printing contributes for 40 to 50 % of our total revenue,” says Nitin adding, “Most of our jobs, including Rakhi box involve application of various UV special effects such as UV glitter, crystal, eflective UV, etc.”

They have Grafica’s fully automatic Swing Cylinder Screen Machine with inline UV, and screen making set up, their infrastructure include: Varnish Coating machines, Lamination machines, UV Curing Machines with Roller Coater, semi automatic screen printing machines, and Punching Machine.  Besides their old 4000 sq.ft, unit, the company had expanded their business in 2012 by setting up a new unit over a 10000 sq ft facility which currently houses 5 colour offset press as well.
Arihant Printers, Kolkata
Arihant Printers, an offset printer with special focus on packaging also makes around 2.5 lakh premium Rakhi boxes every year, of course with value addition. Printed on high quality card boards, paperboard, and other materials, the Rakhi Boxes are made in various sizes, shapes, and dimensions to meet the multiple needs of their clients, the Rakhi manufacturers. Besides packaging (for Rakhis), they also design and print Rakhi Card, Tag, Dangler & Dozen Boxes for shop promotional purpose
According Sunny Jain, the company’s total UV glitter consumption is about 20000 kg per year, over and above the other UV special effects such as 3D reflective UV, crystal UV. These effects are applied on Rakhi boxes as well, after offset printing is done, using Grafica’s fully automatic cylinder press. Arihant Printers has four units spread over 15000 sq. ft. Besides Grafica’s fully automatic screen printing machine and complete screen making set up, the company has brand new multi colour offset, complete pre press and post press facilities that include: CTP, Foiling, Punching, Cutting, Lamination, Full UV coater and Semi-automatic Screen printing machines.
Perfect Packaging, Mumbai.
Perfect Packaging is engaged in creative designing, offset printing, specialized in packaging boxes (including RAKHI BOX), duplex and sapphire mono cartons, labels and cards, UV effect on packaging materials for cosmetics, toothpaste, jewellery, etc. In fact, they had won 'bronze' in the FESPA India-2007 award competition for their entry of Rakhi box. 
“With UV special effects treatment, the box looks striking the  eyes before customers open the box to see the shining Rakhi… attraction is the buzzword in packaging,” says Chetan Shah, one of the partners. “With screen printing, we can enhance aesthetic look of the packaging vis a vis, the product including Rakhi, thereby it gives shelf supremacy over others. The product (Rakhi) inside the packaging is already striking but when the packaging gets more spectacular look, customers are delighted as their product sells more on its packaging. Their product stands out in the market.”
Spread across 14,000 sq.ft. area,Perfect Packaging (at its Mumbai plant) has: 
• 3 Heidelberg Offset Printing machines (one 4 color, one two color and one single color)
• Semi Automatic Screen Printing units for special effects
• 8 Fully-automized Heidelberg Dye Cutting machines
• Foiling attachments
• 3 Lamination Machines (One window attachment, One window patching machine, one auto pasting machine)
At Perfect Packaging, the role of screen printing in packaging is divided as under:
  • 40% only offset printing
  • 60% offset / screen printing / foil combination  (out of this 20% only screen  printed packaging by using silver or gold foil paper which eliminates use of colours and use only special effects/varnishes/foiling).