Expert to expand biz with its CI flexo solutions
Alejandro Signorelli, sales and marketing manager, spoke to the WhatPackaging? team about Expert products and services at Plastindia 2023 held from 1 to 5 February 2023
14 Mar 2023 | By WhatPackaging? Team
WhatPackaging? (WP): How was the response at Plastindia?
Alejandro Signorelli (AS): Plastindia 2023 was our first participation in an exhibition, of this huge magnitude, in India. We have had a couple of interesting meetings and the response was good.
WP: What did Expert showcase at the show?
AS: Our prime focus is CI press, as in India, CI market is going to grow rapidly. So, being a 20-year-old company, we have more than 300 installations, and our expertise is present in India through Emerging Graphics.
We have already sold one press in Bahrain and a second press exclusively for India and Plastindia was a very good platform. We had a lot of good inquiries, especially with new customers.
WP: What kind of machine do clients usually demand for?
AS: If you are looking to offer quality, or if you are looking for a wide machine, or a machine for long repears, our CI flexo machines deliver the state-of-the-art technology. Customers usually want a wide machine.
WP: How is the CI flexo market in India?
AS: The Indian market is still rotogravure-dominant. Currently, only strong businesses from this segment are present in India.
Now, the switch is happening because of the government regulations; recyclability and sustainability. However, gravure does not have much offering in those areas. That's where flexo comes in. There are countries in Europe and the US where it's 80% flexo and 20% gravure. India will convert towards this ratio in another 10-15 years.
WP: What do you think about the market growth of both rotogravure and CI flexo?
AS: The quality of flexo 20 years back was not as good as rotogravure. But now, flexo has levelled up; it offers advantages in terms of better visual appeal than gravure. For instance; on LDPE, the printability using CI flexo is unbeatable while rotogravure can't even print on these materials.
The PE market is growing and the market is volatile. In India, milk packets are designed using a single colour. The reason is that they are printed by using rotogravure. However, it cannot print more than two-three colours on LDPE. The registration will not hold, and will eventually lose the consistency.
Also at present, we have PET pouches, laminated with LDPE pouches. Instead, a special type is coming up, PE with PE, which is good for recycling since they belong to the same family.
WP: The choice between flexo and gravure has been quite debatable. However, which according to you is the optimum solution?
AS: In general, the consumption of chemicals is far in flexo compared to rotogravure. Also, the latter requires huge warehouses to keep cylinders whereas the storage space required for flexo sleeves and plates is less.
WP: There are European brands already and only three to four Indian manufacturers in the CI flexo space. Why is it so?
AS: CI flexo technology is fascinating but to design such a system requires specialised engineering skills. The challenge is the manufacturing and assembly of parts such as the ink chambers, especially the CI drum for which apparently has no manufacturers in India. But there are manufacturers in Italy. However, Indian manufacturers are getting stronger globally.
WP: What is Expert’s plan for 2023-2024?
AS: It’s our first time in India. Slowly and steadily, we are looking to expand our business here as well by meeting as many customers as possible in the market.