Faridabad-based APL Machinery, a leading manufacturer, supplier and exporter of printing machines including UV LED curing equipment, displayed different curing systems at PackPlus Delhi. “At PackPlus we always focus on the flexible packaging industry as visitors and exhibitors here are predominantly from the rotogravure industry,” said CP Paul of APL Machinery. “For us, rotogravure is an important market, and we are focusing on the curing segment in this market. Since the market for LED UV curing is growing in India, we are targeting this segment quite aggressively.”
This was APL’s fourth PackPlus and Paul was happy with the encouraging response from visitors. “In the next edition of PackPlus, we will have a bigger booth,” quipped Paul.
According to Paul, APL was the first company to introduce LED UV in India in 2013, and since then the company has installed a good number of systems across the country. The company introduced LED UV systems in partnership with Air Motion Systems (AMS), a world leader in UV and LED UV curing systems used in sheetfed offset, flexo, narrow web, and inkjet digital printing systems. “The future of curing is LED UV. Our association with AMS, in addition to our strong domain knowledge, has helped us position ourselves as pioneers in the market for these kind of systems,” Paul said.
The company’s LED UV journey hasn’t been a smooth one though, as it had to overcome many challenges along this five-year and counting period. “When we started, LED UV was completely a new concept and educating people about it was definitely not a cake walk. Another big challenge was the availability of UV ink which came at a higher price. However, things have changed in a better direction now,” said Paul.
Speaking about the LED UV technology, Paul said that LED-based system can offer superior control and stability of output while providing reduced downtime, long lifetimes, and low costs of ownership. “It is a green system. UV inks are free of solvents, so LED UV curing eliminates the release of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and avoids the environmental issues caused by them. Even the energy costs and heat-related hazards of heatset drying can be bypassed,” said Paul.
Make in India
“Our strategy for this product (LED UV curing system) is ‘Make in India.’ We are in discussion with AMS to start a manufacturing unit in the country. If this happens, our customers will be benefited – we will be able to provide them the same product at a lower cost,” Paul shared.