Indian cigar maker installs fourth K2 flexo press

Published April 5, 2010
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Desai Brothers Ltd., of Pune, India, has installed its fourth press manufactured by K2 International Trading Ltd. The press was supplied through K2’s representative in India, Raja Consultancy Services, Mumbai. The 500mm (20”) wide, six-color K2-500 press integrates printing processes at Desai and is equipped with IR dryers optimized for use with water-based flexo inks.

Desai Brothers manufactures Indian cigars and foods on a 365-day schedule and purchased its first K2-500 flexo press in 2003. On average the company manufactures 70 million cigars a day and requires up to 3.5 million wrappers. Mukul Raja of Raja Consultancy says, “This purchase was essentially one of backward integration. The cigar wrappers were being produced on a variety of presses in various sheet sizes mostly by four-color offset machines. We recommended the flexo process with additional colors and metallic inks, which not only increases shelf-appeal for the product, but also provides anti-counterfeiting measures. So far the market response has been good and counterfeiting has dropped significantly.”

The K2-500 press is equipped with PLC controls and user-friendly touch screen for fast job setup, and includes automatic web tension control and electronic web guide to optimize print registration and diecutting accuracy. Print and die stations are designed to be at the same height for ease of use and greater operator comfort and safety.

Concludes Raja, “The customer wanted to print on 35 GSM unsupported poster paper and sheet in-line at high speeds. In our opinion, the K2-500 is perhaps the only press that can do the job with this weight of paper. The press offers significant value for money and is flexible and simple to operate. The company can now manufacture wrappers at an average speed of 75 meters a minute.”

K2 Flexo – formerly KDO – is based in Kidderminster, England.

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