Creative Graphic buys its fifth Miraclon system

Creative Graphics, manufacturers of digital flexo graphic plates, is investing in its fifth Flexcel NX system from Miraclon. It is the latest stage in an investment program that has also recently seen Creative Graphics install Pureflexo printing and Flexcel NX Central Software, an automated plate layout solution from Miraclon.

16 Aug 2023 | By Disha Chakraborty

The Flexcel NX system by Miraclon installed at Creative Graphics

Creative Graphics invested in its fifth Miraclon system. The new Flexcel NX system is expected to increase the running capacity and streamline the platemaking process, reducing manual plate layout time and improving plate utilisation by around 6%. The benefits include; reduced solvent usage and energy consumption, and higher productivity by completing more jobs, faster, and at lower cost.

Converters value the benefits of the Pureflexo printing - the faster press speeds, fewer interruptions to clean the press, less waste, and so on.

Explaining the background to the investments, Deepanshu Goel, founder and CEO said, “It’s important to squeeze as much efficiency and productivity as possible in our systems. In recent years we have been very successful in demonstrating to converters and brands that flexo can match, and even exceed, gravure for quality as well as meeting their needs for a more sustainable and flexible production process.” Goel estimates that the company caters to over 50% of India’s CI presses, stack presses and woven sack presses.

Goel said, “Changing market demands are fueling a latent demand for flexo from converters and brands. Several factors are driving this. More sustainable production is a top priority, encouraged by the Indian government’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) mandate on targets for recycling of plastic packaging waste, reuse of rigid plastic packaging and use of recycled plastic content.”

He said that flexo gives additional agility to brands — the ability to modify designs quickly in response to changing market dynamics, to produce shorter runs of more SKUs. Flexo plates also take up a lot less space than gravure cylinders.

Brands have issued suppliers with a clear mandate to strive for sustainable production, and reducing spot colours reduces ink consumption. For converters, it removes the time, improves machine capacity and make-ready waste spent preparing and matching spot colours, and cuts down ink storage inventory.

Goel said that while successful gravure-to-flexo conversion depends on matching gravure for quality, Flexcel NX technology also offers advantages on the press. “The predictable, consistent printed results with Flexcel NX Plates mean converters not only come up to colour faster but also have fewer unscheduled press stops,” he added.

A key contributor to Creative Graphics’ success in gravure to flexo conversion is the ink transfer possible with the advanced plate surface patterning on Flexcel NX Plates. This has been recently enhanced with the introduction of PureFlexo printing. Accessed through the Kodak Flexcel NX Print Suite for flexible packaging, PureFlexo printing utilises patented advanced plate surface patterns designed to control ink flow during printing. This allows it to overcome the tendency of ink to spread, at start-up and throughout the run.

PureFlexo Printing has also opened up new opportunities for Creative Graphics, including exploring the potential for extended colour gamut (ECG) printing. It enhances the performance of Flexcel NX Plate technology with ECG printing by making the process even more stable. This means that when the operator dials colours in at the beginning of the run, they can be confident the colours will not shift during the print run.

Deepanshu Goel embarked on what he describes as “quite a journey” in 2001. “Looking back, I think we were in the right place at the right time, just as flexo was shedding its reputation as a relatively unsophisticated process best suited to products like corrugated packaging.” Two decades later, Creative Graphics has eight production sites across India, 425 employees and over 800 customers.

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