Mumbai's Inkspired MetalPrint orders India’s first K&B MetalStar and MetalCoat at Drupa

Mumbai-based Inkspired MetalPrint, a part of steel specialist Zarhak Steels, has ordered the Koenig & Bauer (K&B) MetalStar 4 metal printing line during Drupa. In addition to the Metal Star 4, a six-colour press with a coater and UV LED printing press, Inkspired also opted for the MetalCoat 470 coating line, with an LTG drying oven that includes the integrated EcoTNV incinerator for effective energy savings and reduced CO2 emissions.

14 Jun 2024 | By Noel D'Cunha

Ralf Hipp (c) CEO of Koenig & Bauer MetalPrint with Surana (r) and Shashank (l) at K&B’s Drupa stand

The MetalStar press features K&B's unique transfer technology for printing on metal sheets. "It can print and coat at speeds of over 8,000 sheets per hour and cure inks and coatings using advanced UV LED drying systems. The MetalStar4 is the only press that runs like Rapida, our proven and successful paper printing press," said Samarth Surana, director at Indo Polygraph Machinery, K&B's sole representative in India, while confirming the order during Drupa. "K&B is the only company that has figured out a way to handle tinplate sheet transfer in the same way as paper. The press realistically doesn't have any competition and is in a league of its own, far ahead of any other metal printing technology,"

What sets the MetalStar 4 apart from the rest of its competition is its high speeds, supreme print quality, and unique single-grip technology. "The single-grip technology means that the sheet never leaves the grippers from feeder to delivery, unlike every other machine in the metal printing market with a grip feature. This ensures perfect register and print quality across all printing units," explained Surana.

Shashank Surana, executive director at Indo Polygraph Machinery and Surana's elder brother, said that Inkspired MetalPrint has selected the K&B presses for their industry-leading speed, accuracy, and sustainability benefits over older metal printing technologies. "We are sure that with the MetalStar and MetalCoat, they have the best possible technology on their hands."

The Indian metal printing market is dominated by pre-owned one-colour and two-colour presses, with only a few having three-colour or brand-new presses in India from other press brands. "In such a market, getting the state-of-the-art MetalStar 4 and a MetalCoat will offer a considerable advantage to Inkspired over the rest of the industry and allow Inkspired to pursue many unexplored opportunities." 

Zarhak Steels is a fourth-generation independent family business with over 100 years of experience in tinplate distribution. Its managing director is Ashraf Chitalwala. The company's portfolio includes tinplate, tin-free steel, black plate for the steel packaging industry, and CHQ wires for the automobile component industry. Additionally, we are engaged in international trade to reach global markets. 

Inkspired MetalPrint is the new company Zarhak incorporated for its new metal printing business. "We wanted to enter the growing metal printing market with the best available technology," said Chitalwala. The KBA MetalStar4 provides our customers with the highest print quality and shortest turnaround times. Its energy-efficient LED drying also helps reduce our environmental impact.

The press will allow Inkspired to offer printing services for a variety of metal packaging applications, including aerosol cans, bottle caps and other metal closures. 

The company plans to leverage its relationships with major can manufacturers and brand owners to capture market share in India's expanding metal packaging industry.

"The installation of K&B's first metal press in India marks an important milestone for the growing metal printing sector. Inkspired is well positioned to drive innovation and set new standards for print quality, efficiency and sustainability in the Indian metal printing industry," said Surana.