ABOVE: Mustafa Khokhawala, vp-Operations, and MD Nikos Gkanetsos in front of the MASTER RS 6003 gravure-printing press in the production plant of Bhojraj Industries Ltd in Nigeria.
As a full-service provider, Bhojraj Industries offers film extrusion lamination, gravure printing, slitting and converting. A recent increase in demand for flexible packaging coincided with the need to upgrade its older printing equipment and improve on output.
First established in the 1960s (as Bhojsons Industries Ltd), the food packaging specialist is part of Bhojraj Chanrai Group (formerly Bhojsons Group of Companies) with other interest in West Africa.
To facilitate the transition, the company chose to partner with BOBST and invest in its gravure technology to produce added value, top quality packaging for big brands.
“Packaging printing in Nigeria, which is Africa’s largest market, is developing rapidly and we are determined to retain our position as a leading manufacturer with the best kit, gear and practices. Gravure printing in particular is set for significant growth over the next few years, so we are investing in the best possible printing presses to help us take advantage of this opportunity and serve our customers with highest quality products,” explains Mahesh Sadhwani, chairman-Bhojraj Chanrai Group.
High speed and high quality
The first step in the process of upgrading production came in the form of a nine-color BOBST MASTER RS 6003 press, which was installed in 2019 and is the first machine of this specification to be installed in West Africa. As the first of its kind in the country, it is an investment that has given Bhojraj Industries a unique proposition in Nigeria. The advanced features have enabled the company to produce food-grade packaging for a wide variety of products, catering to food, pharma, beverages and agricultural products industries in Nigeria.
Running at speeds up to 500 mpm, the RS 6003 offers superior web handling of films, laminates, paper and aluminium substrates, including delicate materials such as very thin LDPE. The press configuration at Bhojraj Industries has also been specified with pre-conditioning, Electrostatic Print Assist (ESA) system, detection and control of solvent concentration levels, extended double dryer, web viewer with 100% inspection and in-line heat seal capability. The extended high duty dryers of this machine drastically result in substantial reduction of retained solvents up to <5mg/mtr2. This helps in production of solvent taint free laminate which will be food safe for the industry to the highest specifications.
No other machines can match the capabilities of the MASTER RS 6003. Furthermore, printing thin unsupported LDPE film at high speeds of 400 mpm on a gravure press is a completely new feature, which means that the company does not require flexo-press technology to print such substrates.
“BOBST’s gravure presses produce the best print in the market, while the fast running speed and minimum waste keep the unit cost on long runs low, which helps us compete on both quality and price,” adds MD Nikos Gkanetsos. “And with these new machines, we can make the most out of gravure print and color sharpness in terms of quality, consistency and repeatability across all substrates, something that the brands we work with demand. It is a real game-changer for us.”
The MASTER RS 6003 is soon to be joined by a NOVA RS 5003, another highly productive press that delivers superior performance on a variety of flexible materials, including new eco-friendly packaging substrates. Both machines will be housed in a brand-new production hall that has been built specifically for this purpose.
Speaking about the experience with the first BOBST press so far, VP-Operations Mustafa Khokhawala says, “I can’t believe how easy it is to work on the RS 6003 press. We have cut down to the time it takes to make a job ready and only need two operators to get it up and running, plus the production environment is so much safer and nicer for all our staff.
“And the high efficiency of the twin flow dryers means that we experience much lower solvent smell in the production area, as well as low solvent retention on the final product, so our working staff as well as our customers are happy, too.”
More info: www.bobst.com