“I think flexo is both the most challenging industry and the most rewarding. The more you put in, the greater the benefits.” For Shyam Sundar, partner at Hyderabad-based flexo pre-press specialist NS Digital Flexo, meeting the challenges – and helping customers reap the benefits – started in March 2020, when the company opened for business with a new KODAK FLEXCEL NX System, supplied and supported by Miraclon.
Sundar (pictured left), describes NS Digital’s service offering as ‘all things flexo – wide web, labels, folding cartons, corrugated’. A notable feature of the company’s philosophy is the effort and time it puts into building relationships with customers and showing them the potential of the Flexcel NX System. Sundar explains, “We really engage with each customer, so that we can see things from their perspective and understand their current capabilities and practices. Then we show them how simple adjustments to their production practices – fingerprinting the press, for example – can improve efficiency without additional investments or press set-ups, because if we can work with the available resources, we save customers time and money.”
He continues, “Next, we explain the further improvements and enhanced benefits achievable with Flexcel NX plates – how we can change anilox rollers and inks, reduce impression and generally introduce better control into the press environment.”
With the Flexcel NX System, it’s relatively easy for NS Digital to help customers become more efficient. Sundar continues, “The biggest benefit for us is the simplicity of making Flexcel NX plates. The flexo process can have many variables, but the NX System either eliminates them or makes managing them really simple, which yields substantial savings throughout the whole packaging printing process. So as a service provider we can be totally confident we can provide customers with consistent, repeatable results. It also makes it easier to solve any print issues that arise, because we can eliminate the plates as a cause straightaway. With other solutions, the investigation is more complex – is it the file, or the software, or processing, or exposure, or the press?”
As an example of a customer who benefited from the NS Digital approach and the NX System, he describes a reverse-print packaging job. “We discussed how Flexcel NX plates could improve the overall print quality, especially on the whites. Then we worked with Miraclon on the fingerprinting. This approach gave the customer confidence to proceed – and the 20% reduction in ink consumption was persuasive too.”
Mohan Rao, partner at NS Digital Flexo, singles out two features of the NX Technology as especially valuable. “KODAK TIFF Assembler Plus software – TAP 5.0 – is a really fantastic product that makes our life easier, from layout optimisation to automating job settings. And DIGICAP NX Patterning is a huge advantage. We can use it to create a ‘micro anilox’ on the plate, which produces efficient ink transfer and overcomes the usual challenges of maintaining ink density and controlling dot gain. Used in conjunction with press fingerprinting, it makes it easy to select the best pattern for each job.”
Looking ahead, Shyam Sundar speaks of his expectations for NS Digital and the flexo industry in general. “It’s great to be part of a journey that’s transforming flexo into a modern, standardised manufacturing process through technology such as Flexcel NX. This will always be my passion – to work with the latest, most advanced technologies and to continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible with flexo.”