Esko CDI Spark 4260

P Jaichandra, MD of Veepee Graphic Solutions, says that this Esko kit with its superior technology has pushed flexo quality and productivity to a new high.

16 May 2013 | By PrintWeek India

Describe your company?
Veepee Graphic Solutions is the flexo division of Veepee Group, which was established in 1961. Our Bengaluru-based company’s processing facility is housed in an 8,000 sq/ft plant and has a team strength of 35 person. We are equipped with state-of-the-art technology from Esko, Dupont and Flint, and is one of the premier trade shop for flexographic pre-press and platemaking in India.

What does the machine do?
The Esko CDI 4260 is the full HD version of Esko’s CDI 4000. It is equipped with inline UV2 in addition to a combination of round-top and flat-top technology. With the CDI 4260 we are able to optimise quality in both, the narrow as well as wide-web segment, and produce high quality flexographic plates.
Why did you choose this particular machine?
Esko released this full HD version of their CDI at Drupa 2012, where I saw it and was impressed with the technology, which I think has the ability to revolutionise the flexible packaging segment, because it brings the flexo quality closer to that of gravure and offset. This suited our requirements perfectly. Hence we decided to go ahead with it.
Did you look at any other similar machine?
No. As we were already familiar with Esko technology, we decided to install this latest machine, our third Esko, which even today is the only installation in South East Asia.

Why did you make the purchase?
Our choice of the CDI was more or less a conscious decision. Our partnership with Esko dates back to 2002 when we installed Esko’s front-end software. Our first CDI 4836 was installed in 2006 by which we made our foray into high-end flexo pre-press and plate processing segment. We installed a second CDI 4836 HD-enabled with inline UV in 2009. And, when this new machine came along, we opted for it. 
What features do you particularly like?
The capability, which enables us to do away with pin holes and mottling. We have observed that it has considerably increased the print life of plates with stable highlight dots. This has enabled us to achieve 30% increase in ink densities.
Is there anything you wish it had that it doesn’t?
It has adequate features and the end-result of the product is satisfactory. 
How fast is it?
With 40 optics laser heads, we are able to churn out more number of plates with consistent quality.
What’s the quality like?
With the new platemaking technology, the quality of the prints produced is comparable to gravure and offset. The colour reproduction is sharp and Veepee can produce output upto 200lpi.

How reliable is it?
It is very reliable. It produces consistent quality plates and is a hassle-free technology. 
How easy is it to use?
Its easy load – a new feature – has made the machine a very convenient one to use. It is designed such that a single person can manage the whole process efficiently.
Has it won you any new work?
Yes. The new technology has helped us get new clients in the wide-web flexible packaging segment and has also enabled us to convert a lot of high-end gravure jobs to flexo.
How much time or money has it saved?
Due to the high speed of the machine there is increase in productivity and has thus improved the turnaround time for jobs. We believe, “Time saved is money earned”.
Would you say that it offers value for money?
Yes. Due to its speed as well as quality we were able to increase our productivity, reduce wastage and of course increase our profitability.
Were there any difficulties experienced during the installation or after?
As we all know, with any new technology, hiccups are a part of the implementation process. We did go through our learning curve as the HD technology was something new to all of us. But with support from the Esko and the Dupont teams, we were able to overcome it. That said, implementation of the CDI 4260 with full HD was more or less a cakewalk for us. We mastered the technology, hence the implementation process was much faster than anticipated.
What about the pre- and after-sales service?
The Esko team is based in Bengaluru, which is an added  advantage. We believe in technology upgradation, hence we signed in for the software support scheme wherein all our software will be updated with the latest release till 2015. Also, we have an Annual Maintenance Contract with Esko for our hardware to ensure that there is immediate support in case of any breakdowns.
Who do you think the machine is right for?
CDI plates offer quality and printing stability that has so far only been achievable in offset or gravure. The CDI Spark 4260 addresses the highest quality flexo applications, primarily in the flexible packaging, narrow-web labels and folding carton markets, with recent inroads in corrugated.
Under what circumstances would you invest in another?
This industry has become more localised and there is growing demand for quick job turnarounds. We are looking at multi-location operations, for which we will surely replicate the same infrastructure available with us at present. This is a part of our future expansion plans. 


User’s verdict
Speed 4/5
Quality  5/5
Reliability 5/5
Value for money 4/5