Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Pictorial walk through Drupa 2016!

I have earlier mentioned in this blog and have also received acknowledgements from readers of the blog confirming that pictures actually express more. I will surely write a report which I will post at a later date. The pictures as I walk through Drupa 2016 and click are posted here!
With Thomas Hagmaier President Finat.








With Roger Pellow Chairman Labels group Tarsus UK &
Paolo Grasso, Omet





















With Ramesh Kejriwal Mg. Dir. Parksons Packaging




















With Armin Geiger Editor Narrow Web Tech Germany




The Manohar Packaging/Renault Paper team after confirming
their order for another Omet

With John of Orthotec
With Martin Automatic Team

With Shrihari of Essel Group &
Sanjeev Sondhi of Zircon

Benny Landa's Nanography press

















Landa's Metallography on display


Vetaphone Carona treaters Stand

Pawandeep of Weldon with Jatinder Shroff of Nutech Packaging
Lto R: Kuldip Goel 7 Naveen Goel of Anygraphics, Amar
Chhajed of PPL Huhtamaki(Webtech), Paolo Grasso Omet
Pawandeep & Harveer Sahni (Weldon)

With Ahmad Kavoosi Parsian Labeling Iran



















L to R: Harveer Sahni(Weldon), Roger Gehrke(Rako),
Dena Etihad(Rako), Adrian Tippenhauer Mg. Dir. Rako Group
& Marco Calcagni Dir. Omet




















The huge HP stand, all of Hall 17

With Christian Menegon,
Global Business Development Manager HP-Indigo

With International Label Guru Mike Fairley, Lisa Milburn
Mg.Dir. Labelexpo, Vinesh Bhimani Mg.Dir.Kimoha
& Thomas Mathews of Kimoha





















With International Label Guru Mike Fairley, Lisa Milburn
Mg.Dir. Labelexpo



















With Antonio Bartesaghi Mg.Dir. Omet Italy























































With Pankaj Poddar CEO Cosmo Films

The Bobst Stand

The Gallus Stand





































The Uflex Stand


Girls in Paper Dresses at the Highcon booth

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Label Trends in India

r
Ø  Indian label industry expanding to smaller towns
Ø  Indian label growth at 15% Per Annum
Ø  Combination printing is the emerging trend
Ø  Digitalprinting of labels, still a taboo


Population continues to grow at an enormous pace in the metropolitan cities of India and infrastructure, despite the rapid growth, remains under intense pressure. The migration of rural population to urban areas has made life in big metros extremely demanding and difficult. Government of India, for many years has been making efforts to stem this shift from rural to urban areas. The effects are now evident. Mobile telecommunications, television, internet, better road, employment guarantee scheme and rail connectivity have largely been successful in bridging the gap and stemming the pace of migration. As a result, the smaller towns have in recent years experienced a spurt in demand for consumer goods. 




Decades ago Mahatma Gandhi said, “India lives in its villages”. This is largely true even now but gradually the villages are modernizing owing to availability of all modern ameneties in nearby towns. They need not commute or shift to far away expensive metros to live a life that they watch on TV. This has resulted in a steady growth in demand of consumer durables in the smaller towns of India attracting investments from leading manufacturers to cash in on this change. The Neilsen Compnay, in a report titled, ‘Emerging Consumer Demand: Rise of the Small Town Indian’ states; “Eight thousand towns, 630,000 villages, over eight million stores and 1.2 billion people! In such a diverse consumer universe, how do you measure demand, where is it strongest? North vs. South, the metros vs. Rural - the choices are endless. Despite current inflationary environment, tier II and tier III towns are showing strong momentum with an improved demand appetite. The smaller Indian towns are leading the demand surge & shopping like metros.” The label printing industry has also been witness to this trend. In the past few years we have seen investments being made to produce labels in smaller towns of India. An industry that originated and was predominantly located in the west gradually spread to the other metro cities, is now registering its presence in these smaller towns. In my effort to assess the impact I asked printers in all zones of India, “Label industry is now expanding into smaller towns and cities. Do you agree?” The response was unanimous, YES! They all felt that it will impact the label growth positively. The LMAI President Sandeep Zaveri stressed, “It is required to grow in smaller towns”.

In trying to assess the trends and growth of labels in India, I interviewed 12 established and leading label printers spread across different geographical zones of India. 10 respondents out the 12 confirmed that there is definite growth in the country, one was not sure and felt it may have grown at places and gone down elsewhere while one was emphatic in saying that the growth rate had decelerated. Anuj Bhargav of Kumar Labels, while being convinced that the label consumption graph is positive yet he cautions, “Growth exists, but increase in capacity is more than the demand escalation. This is leading to unhealthy competition”. So over 90% of printers interviewed say there is growth. When asked the rate at which they individually grew, 10 out of 12 reported double digit growth, 3 of them grew 20% and the topper Sanjeev Sondhi of Zircon reported a growth rate of a whopping 35-40%!  Two reported 7-10% and one 5-7% growth.  Answering my question as to how they estimate the national growth rate of self adhesive labels in India to be, only 9 responded and out of these 7 confirmed it is a double digit growth between 10 and 20% and 3 out of these 7 said the growth was actually 20%. 2 of them said 7-10% and one said it was 5-7%. When I look at all these three questions and the responses from printers, it is quite evident from the way printers have grown and the way they estimate the national growth rate, labels in India can safely be estimated to be growing in excess of 15% per annum.

Most of the organized Indian label industry belongs to the MSME sector (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) and that they are predominantly family owned businesses. A handful of them have been acquired by international companies but largely they remain within the control of original promoters and their families. These units were largely initiated at very small scale with a single label press. Until a few years ago most of the good presses that contributed to the evolution of labels in India came from Europe, US and Japan. Gradually Taiwan made presses came in which then was followed by the Chinese made equipment coming to India in big numbers due to the low prices of the equipment. Indian press manufacturers have also made a mark for themselves in recent times. Today label printers with these Chinese and Indian presses have become a definite and identifiable segment of our label industry. I asked all the targeted label printers, “Chinese and Indigenous label presses manufacturers have in recent times made many installations in India. This trend is creating a lot of capacity at the lower and middle segment of the market. What is your opinion?” All respondents agreed with this and feel there is enough for all at various levels of investments. Sanjeev Sondhi in response says, “In my opinion quality will finally decide who will remain in game.” Industry leader and veteran Narendra Paruchuri heading Pragati Pack, Hyderabad stated, “This is quintessential question like the chicken and egg syndrome. The markets in the smaller towns cannot afford or break even on the high tech machines. So they will opt for the cheaper ones from China. Quality will not be very good but may be that is what is needed in that market. We are no judge for this and if they can sell and make it a success, good for them.” Pragatai Pack has invested in some of the most advanced equipments to enhance their printing, converting and decorating capabilities. On my question, “What is your mantra for growth, higher volumes or highly technical & innovative products?” he added, “We have to keep on at the technology and see what is it that we can do and can do that better than others. This is a quest for all businesses and only in the answer to this question lies your success. So if you come out with a unique/innovative product, your sales will rise. Also maybe the growth rate of the country itself will give you an opportunity to grow your business. Progress is relentless and technology a great leveler. So what we thought was exclusive a few years ago is common occurrence now. So the quest has to continue. Always…”


All the respondents agree that it is time to take stock of the situation, shift focus and innovate. They have similar answers to my querry on their “Mantra for growth”. Mahendra Shah of Manohar Packaging, “Higher volumes have not paid off to any one and I guess we label printers have gone beyond lower limit, so best would be to divert on to innovations and get into more technical products”. Himanshu Kapur of J K Fine Prints Mumbai states, “Higher volumes and lower margins is a wrong growth trend , so we prefer technically innovative products”. Dinesh Mahajan Prakash Labels, Noida; “It has to be a mix of high volume and innovations.”





The trend of combination printing that helps employ diverse printing and converting technologies in a single pass has become synonymous with innovation and secure printed products. To my question “Combination or hybrid printing is attracting lot of investment. Do you see this as an emerging trend?” 8 out of 12 printers feel that combination printing is necessary to create innovations and it is the emerging trend. 3 did not respond to this statement and only one said it is not the emerging trend. Many offset printers have started to invest in combination label printing equipment as a part of their expansion into packaging. Label printers on the contrary would not really invest in offset printing. A few years ago I remember Amar Chhajed of Webtech answer this question to me. He said we are so used to doing all printing, decoration and finishing of product in-line in a single pass, it is difficult for us to imagine moving stacks of sheets around the huge shop floor with a massive workforce. 


Ahmedabad based Mahrishi Labels, had forayed into offset printing and they did not find comfort with their decision. As per Jigesh Dani, “Having entered into sheet fed business we have realised that it's not just simply printing but a different ballgame. In my opinion it may be easier for sheet fed offset printers to enter inline converting but difficult other way”.  With the advent of combination presses going wider and able to handle a wide array of substrates and thickness, the possibility to produce folding cartons inline also has become a reality. Many label printers feel this is the time to move in the direction.



Raveendran of Seljegat feels it is time for combination printing and says, “Yes we need to invest on the production of functional packaging”. Gururaj Ballarwad of Wintek Bangalore which is a part of Signode India Group feels not many label printers will move into packaging yet he says, “Investment in combination printing is necessary to sustain, maintain & enhance the capabilities.”



Digital printing in India still remains a taboo with Indian label printers due to high cost of operation and consumables. However as a slight change in their thought process the higher end printers say it is time to consider digital printing as a complimentary part in a combination press. So while they invest in a press that has offset, flexo, gravure and screen printing capabilities, they will probably also opt for a digital printing station as well that will add to their capabilities. This will also help them in proofing, as also to cater to increasing number of short run customers.

India is a large and diverse country with multiplicity of cultures, food, language, dress habits, different festivals and lifestyles. As literacy enhances and the pockets of the middle class start to bulge it becomes an imperative for the marketers to focus on individual segments of the society. Innovation at this time becomes an imperative as also the capabilities to produce segment specific short runs. Just in time deliveries is another demand coming for end users due to the short run jobs. This results in making the larger label companies to consider multi locational production facilities. The response on this is quite divided within the industry. While many printers feel that one centralised facility is better for quality production and control. With better logistics it is possible deliver anywhere in the country in reasonable time. Yet there are others who feel locational advantage is necessary to service and retain large clients. Some large printers already have invested in multiple facilities not just within India but also outside India. Ajanta Packaging has units in Daman in the west and Baddi in North of India. They also have units in Ajman UAE and Bangkok Thailand. Indian label industry continues to grow at a steady pace and is also attracting international attention however still it has not yet grown to the level of large international label companies. There is still room for much more but it should grow steadily, as the demand grows.


Written exclusively for Label and Narrow Web USA http://www.labelandnarrowweb.com/issues/2016-05/view_features/india-rsquo-s-label-market/ by Harveer Sahni, Managing Director, Weldon Celloplast Limited New Delhi India. March 
2016 The article may be reproduced by giving credit to the author and http://www.labelandnarrowweb.com

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Another successful LMAI Technical workshop; Ahmedabad responds!


L to R: Rajesh Nema, Jigesh Dani, Sandeep Zaveri,Amit Sheth
Harveer Sahni & Ajay Mehta
In scorching heat with Ahmedabad temperature soaring to 46 degrees Celsius Rajesh Nema, honorary Secretary LMAI was driving from Indore to Ahmedabad, a six hour drive to reach the venue of yet another technical workshop organized by LMAI (Label Manufacturers Association of India). That is commitment!  This is the fourth in series of  Technical workshops organized under the leadership of the young LMAI president Sandeep Zaveri. It was held at Hotel Novotel Ahmedabad on the 14th of May 2016. The LMAI leadership team reached the venue a day in advance or in the morning of the event to foresee that the Ahmedabad printer members have a perfect workshop and networking opportunity.

Sandeep Zaveri & Jigesh Dani


The host for the evening was Jigesh Dani from Maharshi Labels, a leading label printing company in Ahmedabad. Jigesh himself painstakingly made the arrangements at the hotel and also interacted with the local LMAI members to be present and ensure success of this event. 




Audience


Almost 90 delegates attended the workshop, making it a very successful event. The printers and suppliers had enough time before and after the presentation to network and exchange views on the issues their industry was facing. 





Neeraj Muni
After welcoming the guests Jigesh invited the first speaker Neeraj Muni from Electro Optics to address the audience. Neeraj extensively explained the difference in blade angle for films and paper. The angle is broader, say 90 degrees when you have to cut a paper stock because after initial penetration into the paper the rest of the paper is crushed apart however in case of films a sharper angle is imperative for the blade to pierce into the film and effectively die-cut it. He also spoke about common problems faced like through punching, uneven cutting, die wear, etc. He also advised how to clean and store the dies for better die life.

Nirav Shah of Letra Graphics felicitating Neeraj Jagga
Neeraj Jagga from Xeikon, now a part of Flint group, spoke next. He briefly dwelled on the reasons why label printers have so far stayed away from digital printing and then went on to further explain why powder toner technology was better than liquid ink digital printing technology. According to him in case of powder toner the dry powder sits on top of the paper unlike the liquid that penetrates the paper thereby interfering with the chemistry of the paper. The advantage of using dry toner technology is that it is approved by FDA, printed matter is light fast and does not penetrate the packaging paper substrates. He agreed that for long runs it is expensive to use digital however it is ideal for short runs and that so far it is recommended as a complimentary printing technology and not a mainstream system for large printing houses.

LMAI awards distribution function is a standard side event for Labelexpo India held every
Rajesh Nema & Sandeep Zaveri
alternate year. It has been observed that a very small number of companies apply to participate in this competition. As a result we see the same company going to the stage for one after another award. It is now the endeavour of the LMAI leadership to try and have widespread participation from an increased number of LMAI printer members. The LMAI honorary Secretary Rajesh Nema and the President Sandeep Zaveri took the stage next to appeal for all converter members to come forward and send entries for LMAI awards in greater numbers. As an incentive to encourage wider participation the duo announced that the first entry from each member would be free. Fees will be charged for subsequent entries. It was also felt that fancy presentations made by large label printers influenced the judges more than the actual label entry. To offer a level playing field, LMAI have distributed a standard kit in which label entries can be made. It was also informed that Premier Marketing was the firm that had been appointed to coordinate the collection, compilation and conducting of the label competition. LMAI is also organizing the next technical workshop at Kolkata on 15th July 2016 thereafter they plan yet another series that will commence from Mumbai.

Ajay Mehta

Ajay Mehta, of SMI Coated papers, a leading manufacturer of self adhesive labelstocks spoke on the various types of components in Labelstocks. He discussed different facestocks, adhesives and release liners. He also spoke on what effect storage and application temperature has on the final label.




Amit Ahuja


Amit Ahuja of Multitec, has been the front runner in taking Indian label press manufacturing being acceptable at global platforms. He spoke on nuances of label printing and converting on flexo rotary presses. He also informed about further developments being made in label presses that are made in India. 





Chirag Gokani of Wealthwiz, gave an informative presentation on wealth and estate management. He also discussed the process of creation of will, setting up of various trusts, their management and how to store the documents so that they are traceable and manageable by the inheritors.

Harveer Sahni
Finally Harveer Sahni of Weldon Celloplast conducted an interactive question and answer session. Starting with a discussion on blade height for different types of adhesives other topics discussed were reduction of waste in label production, impact on price of labelstock by supplying EXACT width not matching the deckle width,  impact of different climatic zones in the country on performance of pressure sensitive adhesives and avoiding wastages on a label press. Finally when the audience was asked to raise questions on wealth and estate management surprisingly there was absolute silence. Summing it up Sahni said, “It is a typical of Indian businessmen not to discuss their financial queries in public.”



Leading Printers who attended the program included delegates from Astron Packaging, Maharshi Labels, Letra Graphics, Pinmark, Art O Print, Unick Fix-a-Form, Nitai Labels and Ankit Graphics besides others. Media presence was from Print week, Packaging South Asia and Printing Samachar. Vote of thanks was given by Rajesh Nema followed by a networking dinner.




The above article maybe reproduced or published by magazines giving credit to author.

Written by Harveer Singh Sahni, Managing Director, Weldon Celloplast Limited, New Delhi, India May 2016

Friday, May 13, 2016

INDIA: IN-LINE CONVERTING WITH MULTIPLE PRINTING TECHNOLOGIES

India is the second most populous country in the world after China yet it is home to world’s largest youth population. As literacy levels grow, more and more young English speaking people are coming out of schools, colleges and universities seeking gainful employment. These youth on employment, have disposable incomes in their pockets and have made the burgeoning middle class, a powerful buyer segment driving huge demand of consumer products. As demand escalates for food, clothing, medicine and other consumer durables, it spells out a huge need for labels & packaging. There is further impetus to this industry segment as organized retail becomes more widespread across the country. Shop shelves need to look smart so as to tempt the consumers to reach out and lift the product that appeals due to the packaging it adorns.

According to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Indian Institute of packaging, the total market size of packaging industry in India is 24.6 Billion USD growing at the rate of 15% per annum. According to WPO and PIRA(Pira is the worldwide authority on the packaging, paper and print industry supply chains) Printed Cartons is 17 % of the total packaging market amounting to approximately 4.7 Billion US Dollars and labels is a small part of packaging, less than 3 % approximately 850 Million US Dollars which includes all of wet glue labels, self adhesive labels, plain labels, in-mould labels, shrink sleeves, wrap around labels, etc. Personally I estimate the market size of labels in India to be somewhat larger than this.

With growing usage of internet amongst industry and general public, commercial printing has received a setback. In the late seventies or early eighties when Indians visited exhibitions abroad, they carried back large number of catalogues and grudgingly paid huge amounts for excess baggage to airlines. On return they would hardly find time to go through those loads of paper brochures that would lie around on their desks till it was time to go for another exhibition. The new millennium has changed all that. Since all information is available on internet, there is no need to carry the extra baggage any more. To remind one of what all to check later when back home, the mobiles and IPads are handy and one just has speak and record in these devices to retrieve the reminders at a later date. The convenience as it came, saw a very important growing segment of the printing industry i.e. catalogue printing, starting to diminish or vanish. At this time packaging and not commercial printing is seen as the dependable area of growth and in synergy with the work offset printers are used to doing. As long as there is growth in a literate population needing food, clothing and consumer products, obviously the need for packaging and folding cartons will continue to grow steadily.


Jeetubhai of Finearts, who installed
india's the first flatbed Iwasaki label press
In the 1970s and onwards, the self adhesive label printing industry in India was evolving. From its initiation as a product of screen printed process, with time self adhesive label transformed to a product of the offset printing industry and finally registering a change from the sheetfed printing process, it went on to be produced on in-line narrow web presses. Initially in India, labels started to be printed and converted in an in-line operation in roll form on Japanese flatbed letterpress machines with flat-bed die-cutting in reels of widths 100mm or 150mm. Sometime during the 1980s there started a shift from flat bed letterpress printing to Rotary flexo printing and rotary die-cutting in-line in similar widths. Evolving further, towards the end of the last millennium in the 1990s the flexo presses started to get wider in width, from the 150mm size to 250 mm. The wider width and higher speeds due to rotary converting appealed immensely to label printers and thus started the decline in preference for cheaper flat bed presses that were extremely slow and would produce by impressions per minute rather than meters per minute. In an effort to increase productivity, the width of rotary label presses somewhere at the end of 1990s or the beginning of the decade of 2000, got wider to be at 340-370 mm. Even the speed of these presses increased from 300 feet per minute to over 200 meters per minute. Flexographic printing was preferred for line jobs but when high-quality images in halftone were needed, sheet fed offset printing was opted for. In the last few years the quality of flexographic printing, due to development in prepress process improved making it comparable to offset printing. Flexo rotary label printing flourished not only in India but generally across the world. With increased investments in these presses, intense competition was felt by the label printers. This situation called for innovation and creating more decorated and complex labels incorporating different technologies. As a new millennium dawned, a new concept came to the fore when flexo label printers started investing in equipments with multi-process printing and converting. This is also referred to as combination printing or hybrid printing whereby more than one printing, decorating or converting technologies are employed on the same machine to use the finer results from different print processes. Also the new millennium brought with it the change in narrow web label presses to go still wider to 430mm-530 mm.


A combination press at Renault, Palghar. Prints offset, Flexo,
Gravure, Screen, Hot foil, etc. with embossing and
die-cutting  in a single pass.
Once this happened, the range of products that could be converted on these machines also widened, as diverse materials of varying thickness could be handled with automatic registration controls producing a wide range of end products. Innovation and technically designed capabilities of these equipment, presented an alternative for conventional printing and converting of folding cartons to converting in-line in a single pass. This provided further impetus to the narrow web printing industry to go wider hereon. Today we have in-line presses that incorporate diverse printing processes like Offset, Flexo, Screen, Gravure and digital with finishing processes like varnishing, laminating, cold foil, hot foil, embossing, die-cutting, creasing and waste removal all in a single pass on the same machine.

The self adhesive label that is a minuscule part of the packaging industry primarily consists of three main components;

1.       Release Paper
2.       Adhesive
3.       Face Paper

Each of these components, have a whole lot of chemistry and variations as per need and requirement of the label and its application. The converting process consists of printing, decorating, die-cutting or sheeting, waste removal and rewinding for end product in roll form  or stacking in case of sheeted end products.  The evolution of narrow web label presses, to be able to produce a wider range of end products, have prompted the machine builders to innovate and make the machine not only to go wider but also to integrate diverse processes, paving way for conventional sheet fed printing to in-line printing and converting of folding cartons using multiple technologies as also handling different materials of varying thickness. While flexographic printing one can achieve exact pantone shades, offset printing delivers fine skin tones and vignettes, with gravure the impact of metallic inks is decorative, screen printing helps putting a higher deposition of ink so as to achieve the vibrancy of colours and digital can provide variable data as also help make short runs besides proofing . These web presses are now available in widths upto 850mm catering to printers producing folding cartons, flexible packaging and shrink sleeves. Not very long time ago 850 mm was considered as wide web but now it is an extension of the narrow web printing equipment merging with the mid web segment and offering dedicated equipment for the folding carton industry.

A typical Offset press shop floor
If one has to just print a large volume print job, then the conventional offset remains the best option. However given the modern day imperatives of catering to a demanding retail oriented consumer base and pressures coming from a result oriented marketing team, the need for highly decorating capabilities and producing short runs of folding cartons has become a necessity. This requires a lot of multi-process printing, finishing and decorating. It also calls for increased investments in an array of equipments so as to innovate and complement the capabilities of the offset printing press. It makes the life on the offset shop floor time consuming and cumbersome. The requirement of space and difficult to manage manpower goes on increasing as huge stacks of paper need to be moved from machine to machine to achieve the desired results.

For a highly decorated package or carton, incorporating additional security features the following processes and capabilities are preferred to be incorporated in converting operation to create the desired end product:

Flexographic Printing
Offset Printing  
Gravure Printing
Screen Printing
Digital Printing
Front and back printing using a turnbar
Fully automatic register control
Lamination
Delam-Relam: Delaminating a self adhesive laminate, printing on adhesive and relaminating.
Embossing
Primer coating for digital printing
Varnishing
Cold foiling
Hot foiling
Adhesive coating in line
Die-cutting
Sheeting

Achieving all the above the capabilities in a single sheet fed offset press is not possible. One would require a whole lot of different printing equipment, finishing equipment, large amount of space and a big manpower to achieve this. However all the above processes can be used in creating a package in a “single in-line converting press” in a single pass. To run such a press one needs just 2-3 persons. It becomes extremely convenient to load paper or board reels at the unwind station and getting the finished product at the end of line. For board usage as in case of folding cartons and large volume jobs one can integrate the press with an automatic butt splicer for continuous non-stop production.
The investment may initially appear to be high but when one sees the larger convenience and the project in complete perspective, it becomes interesting. With rising cost of real estate, the space requirement greatly escalates the project cost. Skilled Manpower is not only difficult to source but becoming extremely difficult to retain and manage due to increasing demand for press operators. An in-line printing and converting press reduces the need for a big manpower. Moreover the state of art fully automatic registration systems allows printers to achieve results without much operator intervention. Quick changeovers allow you to have many job changes effectively during a single day. This investment as stated earlier reduces the amount of space needed drastically thereby reducing the investment in real estate and making the project viable.

It is pertinent to note that consistent growth in India has prompted a number of larger printing and packaging companies to invest in these combination or hybrid in-line converting presses. There are others in the process of following suit. In time to come these printers will see the convenience to print and convert in a smaller space with lesser manpower and better capabilities. The make-ready cost that appears to be more at this time for larger runs will either be compensated by the convenience or will reduce with economies of scale in times to come.

Written by Harveer Sahni, Managing Director, Weldon Celloplast Limited New Delhi India exclusively for Narrow Web Tech Germany December 2015. 
The article maybe published with the permission of Narrow WebTech Germany giving credit to them and to the author

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

LMAI, vibrant and astir!

Label manufacturers association of India LMAI, is now an association that is vibrant and astir!



Sandeep Zaveri
It was September 2015 when a new young President Sandeep Zaveri took over the reigns of the association. In November south India’s biggest metro city suffered a calamity whereby the city was inundated by floods leaving many homeless and in pitiable state. Sandeep took upon himself to collect kits that would help sustain life for a few days till normalcy retuned. He was in Chennai himself distributing to those who had suffered. In early December 2015 on the sidelines of Pamex, a print and packaging show, LMAI organized a networking event at Hotel Courtyard by Marriot, Andheri, Mumbai where they also announced that soon LMAI will launch its own magazine “Label Legacy”. The event was attended by leading printers and suppliers, some of whom travelled from different parts of the country to also be at Pamex. On January 22nd 2016 LMAI organized a very successful and well attended Technical workshop and networking event at New Delhi’s prestigious Chelmsford Club. The show was a full house and highly appreciated by the attendees. At this event Sandeep Zaveri announced similar Technical Workshops at Bangalore and Ahmedabad.

The Bangalore event on 15th of April 2016 was a busy full day program. The day began at the Avery Dennison Knowledge Centre where at 10am, 45 LMAI members gathered for a visit to understand the nuances of flexographic printing.  Sridhara Gopalakrishna Zonal Manager South & East of Avery Dennison received the guests. After delivering safety instructions to be observed within the knowledge centre, the printers were split into two groups to tour the centre.


The printers got to appreciate the variety of labels displayed there with information on the user segment they were intended for and knowledge to select appropriate substrates. This was followed by demonstrating the art of using graphic software to highlight, sharpen, soften or alter images before proceeding to plate making. Information was also imparted on the plate making process and the impact of plate thickness on printing. Infact the full pre-press procedure upto plate making was explained.


Finally the process of checking the plates and correctly mounting them on the press was demonstrated followed by actual printing, foiling laminating, die-cutting on a running press at high speed while also controlling wastages. Welcoming the group Sridhara thanked Sandeep and the LMAI on behalf of Avery Dennison for coordinating and bring a large number of printers to the knowledge centre. Lunch was served to the visitors by Avery before the group left by two mini busses on to their next sojourn.


The next stop was VeePee Graphics, a premiere pre-press service provider. Jai Prakash Peethambaram, partner VeePee, his wife and daughter welcomed the guest and took them around the facility to showcase their capabilities in prepress. It was time then to congregate at 6 PM for the Technical workshop at The Paul, Bangalore.





The Technical workshop was attended by 125 delegates. Speaking at the event Khushal Patel from Shailesh Kumar Sharma, senior manager-technical, Flint Group India, enlightened the delegates on the quality aspects of inks as well of the role of UV light in curing. He also mentioned that the present UV curing scenario was undergoing transformation leading to the implementation of LED UV technology as a more stable and futuristic one. Other presentations were made by Arun HS of Esko Graphics and Vikas Sharma of Yes Bank.
BST explained the importance of 100%defect detection in label printing and how it improves customer confidence in label suppliers. He explained in detail the defect detection process, its technology and dwelled on the choices available. Sanjeev Atre of PGI technologies Aurangabad
Add caption
nostalgically narrated the path traversed in the last 14 years from being a narrow web label printers to becoming the only internationally recognized tooling manufacturer from India. His journey he stated, into the production of tooling was inspired by none other than LMAI past president Manish Desai of Mudrika Labels. He spoke about the usage and requirements of good toolings in label conversion and the pitfalls if care is not taken in selecting the toolings like magnetic cylinders and print cylinders. Laxminarayanan of Rotometrics spoke on the Precision in Rotary Die cutting Clearance. He explained in depth the importance of the clearance which is the difference between the height of the blade and the height of the bearers and that this is what controls the depth of the cut. To determine the proper clearance the exact thickness or caliper of the liner is required. He also explained how die cutting takes place dwelling on blade height, blade angle and the impact of liner thickness on a perfect die-cut or a through cut.

Jade Grace-Labelexo
Surprise visitors at this event were Labelexpo Managing Director Lisa Milburn and show director Jade Grace. Jade went on stage to give information on the upcoming Labelexpo, later this year in Greater Noida. Leading printers from South India who came to the show were Raveendran from Seljegat Sivakasi, Narasimha Subramanium from Essae technologies Bangalore, Dhanasekar from Protocol Solutions Chennai, Subba Reddy from SGRE Bangalore, besides many others. Printers who travelled to attend this event from other parts of the country included Sanjay Purandre of Shree Ganesh Graphics Mumbai, Anurag Mohan from Interact Kolkata and Arun Gupta from Wonder Polymers Delhi. 

The workshop ended with networking cocktails and dinner.
















Anil Sharma
On 23rd of April LMAI organized yet another event, this time to felicitate Anil Sharma, Managing Director, South Asia & Sub Saharan Africa, Avery Dennison Materials Group who is shifting to Avery, Singapore from New Delhi to handle bigger responsibilities, at Hotel Courtyard Marriot, Andheri, Mumbai. The event was attended by leading printers from across the country. Speaking at the event, Sandeep Zaveri reminisced about the support that Anil Sharma had extended to LMAI during his six year tenure in India. He remarked about the LMAI-Avery partnership for various events for the benefit of the Indian label industry and thanked him for his endeavours in growth of labels in the country. In response Anil spoke on his transformation from managing a soap business at Hindustan Lever to the label and packaging industry. He went on to dwell on the fast developments, changes and innovations in the print and label industry. 


Some of those who paid glowing tributes to Anil included Past President LMAI Vivek Kapoor, former General Secretary R L Deshpande, Gururaj Ballarwad of Wintek, and Kuldip Goel of Any graphics. Some of the other leading label printers present at the event were Amar Chhajed from Webtech-Huhtamaki, Sanjeev Sondhi from Zircon Technologies, etc. Supplier members included Ajay Mehta of SMI and Amit Sheth Label Planet besides others. Pankaj Bhardwaj, director for South Asia, labels & packaging materials at Avery who will be taking Sharma’s place at Avery’s India operation assured LMAI, continued support.









LMAI also used the occasion to launch the maiden issue of their magazine Label Legacy that has been compiled by joint efforts of many members and the editorial board. The quality of the magazine and its content were appreciated by all. The magazine design and printing is the result of painstaking effort of Kuldip Goel of Anygraphics, where the magazine was printed.












LMAI has yet another Technical Workshop coming up on the 14th of May 2016 at Hotel Novotel, Ahmedabad. Sandeep Zaveri is a man on the move, making LMAI an interactive pan national association creating bonds and platform within the industry to share thoughts and technological developments with industry peers. Platforms that bring the industry constituents together contribute to the growth in the industry. We already look forward to more news from the President!

The above article maybe reproduced or published by magazines giving credit to author.

Written by Harveer Singh Sahni, Managing Director, Weldon Celloplast Limited, New Delhi, India May 2016