Made in India: Orient X-Press Flex series from THP

With the Orient X-Press Flex range of multipurpose flexographic printing machines, which can print on both film and paper, and which promises faster ROI, TPH hope to usher in a flexo revolution in India, Rishab Kohli of TPH tells Rahul Kumar

11 May 2023 | By Rahul Kumar

TPH die-cutting machine

According to The Printers House (TPH), the Orient X-Press Flex is India’s first inline multipurpose range of narrow-, mid-, and wide-width flexographic printing machines for the packaging industry. Rishab Kohli of TPH says the X-Press flex is the epitome of innovation and customer-centric design.

“This machine has been designed to provide quality printing on almost all types of substrates ranging from films to paper to light and mono cartons. With a focus on flexibility through state-of-the-art sleeve technology, this is the machine for modern-day print shops in India and around the world.”

The X-Press Flex series provides numerous advantages to traditional equipment such as sheetfed or rotogravure machines due to its flexibility, quick and easy changeovers with sleeves, sustainable green inks and consumables, up to 50% reduced wastage, and most importantly an ROI that is much quicker than any other machine/technology on the market today.

The Printer’s House (TPH) Orient group is a diversified group of companies and an industry leader in the manufacturing and supply of a host of engineered products from India. Since its establishment in 1946 by KD Kohli, a freedom fighter and newspaper man, TPH has carved a reputation as a quality-conscious technology-driven manufacturer of a number of products. TPH’s adherence to global standards has enabled it to export its products to more than 60 countries worldwide.

Kohli says all the company’s products are produced at factory units in a 20-acre campus in Delhi-NCR. “TPH takes pride in being a company of Indian origin. The TPH Orient group is now a diversified group of companies and a market leader in printing machinery, packaging machinery, printing consumables, engineering services for defence and aerospace, and solar energy. However, it is in our humble origins we take solace and hope to continue to grow whilst supplying a product that can match any global standard,” he adds.

The technology
The machine comes in narrow (370-mm X-Press Flex ASR 370), mid (650-mm X-Press Flex ASR 650), mid-wide (1,000-mm X-Press Flex ASR 1000), and wide width (1500-mm X-Press Flex ASR 1,500) model.

Each model caters to a variety of segments from labels to carton packaging.

The machine can be used for film labels, paper labels, shrink sleeves, pouches, paper bags, mono cartons, —essentially paper and film packaging.

The narrow-web model is aimed at label converters. The X-Press Flex ASR 650- and 1000-mm models are aimed at paper packaging and film packaging printers. Lastly, the 1,500-mm press is aimed at carton packaging printers.  

The X-Press Flex is an inline flexographic printing machine. This machine has a modular structure and is suitable for paper and film packaging. “Our various models are capable of printing film from 8 microns and above and paper up to 500-gsm depending on the width and model of the machine,” Kohli says.

He adds that a key USP of the machine is the use of sleeve technology. Sleeve technology allows for job changes in under three to five minutes, significantly increasing the ROI for the client.

“We also utilise a petal design to ensure a strong end product,” Kohli said. “The same machine can be used to print on thin films and heavy paper. The machine uses a variety of inks, and it is capex and opex conscious and operator-friendly.”

Kohli says the best thing about the machine is the fact that it is made in India. “Thus, the complete sales and service infrastructure with spare parts are readily available. TPH Orient has over 20,000 printing units installed worldwide with 10 offices and over 40 service engineers in India alone. As the oldest manufacturer of printing machinery in India, we provide assurance for post-installation support to all our clients,” he adds.

The customers
Kohli says learning from many western countries, the company found that mid-run and long-run jobs on offset and short- or mid-, and most long-run, barring ultra long-run jobs (which are few) on gravure have all moved to flexo. Unfortunately, the capex of CI flexo makes it very difficult for 90% of the market to move from traditional machinery. As such, most companies and countries such as America have moved to narrow-, mid-, and wide-web inline flexo printing machinery.

He adds, “Our line of machinery provides a viable alternative at an affordable price and operating cost to offset and gravure and CI flexo, and we believe this is the key to bringing the flexo revolution to India, which is a capex and opex-conscious market. By increasing affordability, we improve ROIs, which then benefits the customer’s top and bottom line which is our end goal as machine manufacturers.”

He stressed the fact that ROI and application are crucial for a customer. “A customer looks first for an acceptable and quicker ROI to his existing machinery. Our press is able to do that for paper, film and label packaging effectively,” he says.

The market and advantages
Talking about the advantage of the machine of sheetfed, Kohli says that the sleeve technology and the nature of flexographic printing as a technology allow for quick job changes and multiple sizes to be printed on the same machine which means printers no longer need to keep three of the same machines for different sizes of printing as is commonly done in sheetfed offset. The machine can be used for roll-to-roll and roll-to-sheet, which reduces the cost of the substrate and increases the speed of the machine hugely increasing ROIs. There is less wastage due to quick changeover times with the sleeve technology. Also, films can be printed on the same machine.

Kohli says the machine also has huge advantages over gravure. He says it has a lower cost of plates as compared to gravure cylinders, and faster ROI on most jobs, including mid-run jobs, due to lower plate cost as compared to cylinder cost. “Gravure has been replaced globally by flexo due to this very reason. Flexo gives a lower cost per print on most common run lengths,” he says.

He adds that the machine can print on both film and paper, which cannot be done efficiently on the gravure. It can use water, UV, and solvent-based inks. This is more environmental-friendly compared to gravure.

On the shopfloor
Kohli says the product has been designed, like all TPH presses, as a customer-centric product. “We have automated the press while making it operator-friendly to ensure the customer experience is hassle-free,” he says.

He adds, “Our Orient servicing and training team has been training operators since 1946. Our processes and training standards are market-leading and with our scale of support in India and other countries, we ensure that operators are fully trained.”n