‘Game changer’ digital flexo solutions at VEEPEE

A ‘game changer’ investment has enabled leading Indian tradeshop VEEPEE Graphic Solutions to become one of the first Asian companies to adopt Esko “Full HD Flexo” and obtain the Full HD Flexo Certification. “The installation of Esko’s CDI with Full HD Flexo technology and the subsequent certification has put us in a select group of elite operations, globally certified to Esko Full HD Flexo,” stated Jai Chandra, VEEPEE’s managing director.

As a longstanding Esko customer, VEEPEE followed the development of Esko’s Full HD screening and Inline UV technology. “With numerous developments in the flexible packaging industry favouring flexographic printing, there was a need for higher solid ink density and better ink lay to match the quality of gravure printing,” says Chandra. “Though there were a few competing technologies, we decided, again, to work with Esko as Full HD Flexo has proven to be a stable, consistent and reliable technology.”

Leading edge technology

Jai Chandra, Nalini Jai Chandra of VEEPEE and Shrihari Rao of EskoVEEPEE’s relationship with Esko started in 2006 with the installation of a CDI (Cyrel Digital Imager). “This was a conscious decision. Esko has a strong focus on flexo prepress solutions, both for software and hardware, and we already had our entire front-end on the Esko platform,” explains Chandra. “Following a detailed research of all technologies available on the market, we realized that CDI accounted for most of the CtP systems installed in the world during that period. Our trust in Esko and its technology was the decisive factor to invest in our first CDI. Going digital was the order of the day then - otherwise we would have been out of business by now. Esko helped us to easily enter the digital market.” Other investments over the past years include licenses for a raft of Esko prepress software solutions such as PackEdge, FlexRip and Plato to name a few.

As the flexo printing process evolved over the years, and with lot more packaging jobs shifting from offset and gravure to flexographic printing, the challenge was to reproduce high quality graphics. This is when Esko launched their inline UV technology with HD Flexo screening. VEEPEE once again leveraged on the technology evolution by installing the first CDI with the inline UV and HD screening in the Asian region by the end of 2009.

Last year, VEEPEE adopted Full HD Flexo from Esko, which enabled the company to increase production capabilities. “Working with Esko Full HD Flexo, we achieve higher solid ink densities with the existing press parameters. It can print clean solids and extend the colour gamut due to the microcell technology; and can eliminate the halo around text and lines - a common phenomenon with flexo printing. Thanks to these benefits, we took label and flexible packaging printing to the next level and produced results that can be readily compared to offset or gravure. A lot of trials are being undertaken in corrugated post print, which is the next emerging market for flexographic printing. Our decision to invest in Esko Full HD Flexo was a game changer,” says Chandra.

He continues, “With full HD Flexo, our existing customers achieve better print quality with their existing machines and dispel the myth that flexo is unable to produce quality as good as offset and gravure. Full HD Flexo also enables to maintain predictable and sustainable print results. Today, with an end-to-end solution from workflow to plate imaging, we can handle more complex jobs, enhance productivity, increase job turnaround time and reduce errors, thereby increasing our profitability. We can be assured to expand our customers base without any compromise on our bottom line.”

Embracing emerging trends

VEEPEE is now poised to embrace the emerging possibilities. “The flexo prepress business is expected to grow in the next 10 years, with an important part of that growth in the flexible packaging and corrugated sector. As business is getting more localized, we will be looking at a ‘spoke and wheel’ module, where prepress will be done at a centralized location and multiple plate processing units close to our customer sites. This will help us service our customers better with faster turnaround times and also reduce investment costs on software and infrastructure. As the Esko CDIs with Full HD Flexo are very stable imaging systems, we are confident we will make this business module a big success,” concludes Chandra.

VEEPEE Graphic Solutions

Established as a design studio in 1961 by V Peethambaram, the Bangalore operation, part of the VEEPEE Group, supplies flexo plates to flexo converters. Among its key customers are Pragati Packaging, Sai Packaging, Multiflex, ITC, Ajanta Packaging, Positive Packaging, Kalpana, Propack and Universal Print Systems. In the early 80s VEEPEE became the first business house in South India to introduce the water wash photo polymer plates for letterpress. In the early 80s it was also one of the first companies in South India to offer scanning, imposition and CTF capabilities. Later, in 1995 it became the first operation in the country to introduce environment friendly water wash flexo plates. Four years later they moved to a newly constructed 8,000 sq feet facility which today is one of the state-of-the-art flexo prepress facilities in the country. Today the family owned group is managed by Leela Peethambaram, Jai Prakash, Jai Chandra, (sons of founder V Peethambaram) and Nalini Jaichandra.

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