Leo Designs & Packaging installs Kodak CTP. Standardizes plate production and brings the process-free plate production capability in-house.
Nalagarh, Himachal Pradesh-based packaging and label converter Leo Designs & Packaging had gone for the state-of-art Kodak Achieve CtP to simply go for chemical free process – moving along their environmental friendly commitments – and to have Kodak capabilities by way of quality and technological superiority. One key factor that played an important role in their decision to go for Kodak Achieve CTP was its being virtually a plug & play device. While comparing different options before deciding to install Kodak, they observed that there were many process steps involved in the nearest competitor model, which also required more manpower. Moreover, the other option didn’t meet their core objective of eco-friendly technology adoption.
It was a smooth transition for Leo Designs & Packaging to shift to CTP in-house; earlier they were either outsourcing plates’ requirement or preparing them on their in-house PS imagesetter. “Kodak team has been especially helpful in creating the right set-up which matched perfectly to our needs and existing workflow,” says Varun Rao, MD of the company. Sharing his installation experience, he adds, “They calibrated the system as per our need and everything was working in no time. Before we installed it, we already had this impetus of having extremely flexible payment options; then during the installation, we found the transition extremely smooth; and even after installation, we received the perfect Kodak backing for the robust system – with extended warranty and service offerings.”
A clean green technology
Kodak and Leo association has been longer than their recent CTP. They had been using digital flexographic plates from Kodak for their flexo printing unit. Mr.Ashish Sharma from Aarushi Agencies (Kodak’s representative) used to visit Leo facility for technical guidance on those plates. Their discussion on the prospects of bringing a plate production facility in-house first took place during those times. “With Kodak process-less system, they had the foremost advantage of saving 15-20 percent on capital and chemistry that the Kodak eliminated by way of doing away with the processor,” points out Ashish.
The second key advantage was the device’s attractive figures of power saving – it stood about 30-35 percent less than other available options. Besides, Leo was not only seeking an environment friendlier technology, but also keenly looking for the standardization of their plate production. They very much did so by eliminating the need for a processor and associated processes, labour, time and consumables with their Kodak. The press got calibrated with the CTP and they had a clean green technology in place for their press. “Leo has been a trendsetter in the Indian market by being among the first installers of this trendsetting technology,” declares Natesh Puri, National Manager- Plates & Chemical and Packaging Segment at Eastman Kodak Company.
Leo started in 2008 with a small setup and doing flexo labels. Starting with Mark Andy, they added Nilpeter and then Gallus down the years. They presently boast a full-fledged digital printing setup for a wide range of solutions it offers to its equally diverse clientele. In the last five years Leo has invested in some of the best technologies and has come up as one of the top leaders in the segment. The packaging giant has regularly consulted with its clients to know about their upcoming demands and areas where they could both expand. Defying the notion that ‘a jack of all trades is master of none’, Leo has tried to expand to diverse fields so that they are their clients’ one-stop-shop for all their needs. “We not only provided them a single window opportunity to meet their printed products’ needs but also ensured that we deliver them a complete product package and save them the hassle of running about many shops to get different constituents of their final product,” says Varun. Leo has a full range of packaging and labeling solutions that include labels, mono cartons, boxes to lamitubes and much more, all under one roof. In the cartons division they have Heidelberg, Dominant and Polygraph for printing and automatic die-cutters (semi and fully automatic), gluing and pasting machines along with other equipment for finishing and converting. Each division of Leo is independently managed and run by a team of professionals adept in their respective fields.
Going processless with Kodak – Handling 1500 to 150000 impressions with ease
Varun is very happy with the results of the Kodak Achieve and the quality that their processless plates bring out on printed products. “When you have good plates, you get the result quickly – there is less waste while sorting; you get your registration right with less waste of paper; all in all, saving on manpower, time and energy!” emphasizes Varun. The processless plates do an average of 15000 to 20000 print runs though the capacity can go well up to 150000 impressions. With the flexibility and economy the plates offer, Leo easily caters to the short run job demands of as little as 1500 print runs. However, print-runs are not a deciding factor for Leo to decide whether to do a job on Digital or Offset, according to Varun. Though they have both capabilities always ready to produce and their Digital Press capability can easily handle heavy carton material, the cartons have been kept exclusively for Offset production. “The process, efforts, quality of printing and economies involved are some of the factors that we put as criteria before classifying print technology to be used for each job,” he summarizes. “We have clients who usually get long-run big volumes from us and they also have their short run jobs. We accordingly decide which ones to put on the Offset and which ones on the Digital machine as per machine availability and available deadlines,” he adds.
Before the Kodak CTP installation, Leo would use its plates for repeat jobs. But, after Kodak installation they have found it convenient to use the plate just for a single job and have instead used a fresh plate for each repeat job. “The plates re-used tend to have some issues with texts, the loss of time and money by way of press stops, material and paper wastage and redoing things was a nuisance. We can easily avoid these issues by simply using fresh plates for repeat jobs,” maintains Varun. “Though short-run jobs are a challenge this way because the same run capacity plates have to be used for both short as well as long run jobs,” he says.
Leo has a diverse client base – there are regular major customers, small volume customers and there are also walk-in non-repeat customers. Varun believes more in long term relations than in price based competition. He caters to a significant number of new customers and keeps adding to his repeat customers’ list. This is how he sees at expansion and a sustainable business model. “For printers based in metro cities, it can be ok to start a business and depend upon walk-in variable clientele, but it is quite different here (Nalagarh region). We have to keep building long term relations with the customers and continue providing ever better service to them,” emphasizes Varun.
Leo is a first generation company. Varun’s elder brother, who is a high court lawyer also, looks after the technical aspect of the business; including the creative and production part. Pharmaceutical is a flourishing industry in their region and they cater to the industry in a big way. They also create printed packaging products for the FMCG and cosmetics industries. Varun looks forward to expanding further into FMCG and cosmetics segments along with adding more products and applications to their portfolio. He also plans to expand into the lamitubes including those for the oral healthcare segment in near future.