Labelexpo 2022: Zircon orders two Omet presses

Dehradun-based Zircon Technologies, the Dehradun-based label specialist, has ordered two Omet flexo presses, one of which is an X7 flexo press. With the new additions, Zircon will have five Omet flexo presses.

12 Nov 2022 | By Noel D'Cunha

Sanjeev Sondhi (c) with the Omet team at the show

The multi-locational Zircon has five plants in Dehradun and one in Chennai, and another coming up in Mumbai. Besides the Omet presses, the label converter uses narrow-web flexo printing presses from Mark Andy and others.

Zircon’s managing director Sanjeev Sondhi, speaking to PrintWeek/WhatPackaging? said that one of the two presses would be utilised for the expansion of label operation. In contrast, the second press, the X7, a 670-mm wide press, will be utilised for the company’s entry into shrink sleeves and stand-up pouches. 

“We have researched creating extra features or embellishments on shrink sleeves and stand-up pouches.” He explained, “Today, nothing can be done on the surface of the sleeves or pouches. We are looking to create those features on the surface. And we found that the X7 will allow us to add those extra features.”

With the trend of flexible packaging now moving to the flexo process using UV inks, PrintWeek/WhatPackaging? asked Sondhi, if we will now see more mid-web flexo presses being installed since he, too, has opted for one. “If you talk about labels, it will be narrow-web, but if you look at flexible in the label realm, such as shrink sleeves and stand-up pouches, it will have to be mid-web flexo presses. Producing these on narrow-web presses may be a challenge.”

So, what is driving the demand for shrink sleeves and stand-up pouches? According to Sondhi, the market is moving from horizontal to stand-up pouches. Also, brands are looking for such products with special decoration, which was impossible on the gravure. The other factor is sustainability – reducing plastic usage, which the brands drive.”

Sondhi, also informed PrintWeek/WhatPackaging? that he is now taking a re-look at bringing in digital. “We are weighing the pros and cons of going the digital way. I must be convinced that shrink sleeves and stand-up pouches can be produced economically using the technology. The volumes still don’t count as short-run. Yes, but producing the quantity presently in demand, gravure is certainly out of contention,” he said.