Focus on getting the most out of flexo at FlexoKITE open house

FlexoKite, an experience centre that houses a fully equipped integrated workflow of the latest flexo equipment in Sinnar, Nashik in Maharashtra, organised an open house on 26 August.

29 Aug 2022 | By Rahul Kumar

Nick Harvey, technical director, Apex said the demo centre is open for all

FlexoKite is run by Apex International, one of the world’s largest anilox solutions providers.

Called Flexo Simplified CEG, the open house was attended by flexo converters from all over India, especially from the western part of the country. 

FlexoKITE is a workshop, press floor, seminar series, and tradeshow rolled into one robust flexo user experience. KITE is the abbreviation for knowledge, innovation, technology, and exploration, and according to Apex International, these are the driving forces that unify flexo industry leaders to deliver real-world technical content not limited to a single product area.  At the centre, packaging suppliers, brands, and retailers can gain instant access to the best practices in the full flexo print process via in-person demos and live webinars.

FlexoKITE runs a fully-equipped integrated workflow of the latest-version equipment from Apex International (anilox), Bobst (inline flexo press), DuPont (plate, Cyrel Fast thermal platemaking equipment), and Esko (pre-press).

The open house also marked the inauguration of FlexoKITE Nashik for the public.  

Nick Harvey, technical director, Apex said the demo centre is open for all. Converters can visit the centre and reap the benefits. “The extended colour gamut (ECG) project goal was to showcase both the quality and efficiency benefits of ECG printing. Understanding the process and being able to identify the key production parameters that need to be controlled is the only path forward to successful ECG printing that will enable you to realise the significant cost savings,” he said.

Surender Kumar, director, Pinnacle Traxim, said, “We are already using the Bobst narrow-web flexo printing press in our production unit at Sonipat. So, we are aware of its capabilities. For us, the new thing was pre-press and workflow. After seeing it, we may opt for in-house flexo pre-press solutions. We are impressed with the Apex facility and the production process, especially the kind of international parameters it uses for anilox manufacturing. We will go for its products soon. The facility was impressive. It was a great experience.”

Karan Talwar, sales director – South Asia, Esko, said, “FlexoKITE has come up as a great world class facility to help the flexo printing industry with the best of innovations from top solutions providers under one roof. 

He said the success of the first FlexoKITE open house is a testament to the fact that the packaging converting industry is bullish about the future and is willing to learn and adapt the best of technologies, helping them to differentiate in market, serve their customers better and produce more effectively.

“We are happy that the open house focused on extended colour gamut printing technology. Esko provides the real heart of this technology with our software-based Equinox ECG technology for seven colour separation and CDI Flexo CTP for high resolution and consistent digital platemaking. Esko showcased the simplified and automated flexo pre-press and platemaking setup, which generated lots of interest with converters to adopt this technology in-house and have complete control on their production, eliminate waste and improve profitability,” Talwar added.

At the event, Madhumita Chakravarty of Bobst shared information about Bobst’s offerings for narrow-web flexo and capabilities of the press during the demonstration. 

“We are committed to solving the flexo printers’ problems and provide them with appropriate solutions according to their needs. We are happy to be a part of FlexoKITE. We have implemented oneECG, our extended colour gamut across analogue and digital printing processes in labels, flexible packaging, folding cartons and corrugated board industries for saving and consistency in production.

The open house included a tour to Apex’s world class facility of anilox rollers manufacturing and production process of narrow-web flexo, from pre-press to the final products.

Four samples were produced on Bobst M5 narrow-web flexo printing press with Esko Crystal Screening Equinox; DuPont Thermal Fast EFXR flexo plates and Flint UV Force low-migration printing inks at the speed of 100-mpm during the open house.

Vivek Kapoor of Creative Labels said, “It was a great experience. The workflow of making anilox was well explained. The quality check parameters implemented at each stage deliver the best quality. The plant meets the requirements of domestic and international markets. The GTT concept and the demonstration on Bobst, production of the extended colour gamut (ECG), CMYKOGV, four jobs in less than an hour with channel partners like Esko, DuPont, Numex, Flint, Tesa, Cosmo Films, Swedcut and Avery Dennison was worth the experience. The best part was that it was time well spent.” 

Kapoor attended the show with his son Vidhur Kapoor, who is studying in the UK.

Abhijit Ugar of Pune-based Ugar Labels said, “I found the open house to be informative as well as transformative. The Apex anilox rollers plant was a treat to watch. The pre-flight software and CTP from Esko, the nylon plate processor from DuPont and Bobst M5 all were equipment that any converter would long for. The demo was truly inspirational. To top it all, there were interactions among the industry people.”

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