Interview

Walks the talk with Mr.Biku Kohli, of SP Ultraflex

2014-12-26 By Abhishek Patwa, Mumbai

1. Tell us about yourself and your company profile?

  1. SP Ultraflex was founded in 1985 by our chairman Mr. Ravi Kohli with a vision to manufacture Rotogravure Printing, Lamination and Slitting Machines which were ahead of the times. Fittingly, the very first Printing machine supplied was equipped with an automatic tension control system, centrally operated pneumatic impression roller/ doctor blade system and pumps for ink circulation, among other technologically advanced features yet to be effectively deployed in such machines.

By constantly remaining at the forefront of technology, SPmade its presence felt in the Flexible Packaging and Converting industry within a few years of inception. By the time Mr. Biku Kohli joined the operations in 1995, the company was already an established player, having supplied the first Rotogravure Press with an ARC to Hemant Plastics and Chemicals, Baroda. Over the next few years we brought to the country the first 10 color Rotogravure Press with Turret Unwinds and Rewinds, Solvent-Less Laminator, Triplex Laminator and Shaft-Less Unwind and Rewind technology to name a few.

  1. How did you develop your business?

By the year 2005, we had established ourselves as the preferred source of Rotogravure Printing Presses, Solvent-Based and Solvent-Less Lamination machines and Slitting Rewinding Machines. We also had a number of exports to our credit, starting with United Flexible Packaging Company Jebel Ali, UAE which in 1992 was the first flexible packaging company in UAE. (Yes, the first Rotogravure Press installed in UAE was made in India, by SP Ultraflex.) United Flexible has since been taken over by the Positive Packaging Group to whom we have regularly been supplying machines to their Indian, UAE and Nigerian plants in a relationship which is well into its third decade.

In the year 2005, the management, vide an arguably adventurous move realigned its portfolio by discontinuing the manufacture of Printing and Lamination machines and utilizing it’s ample resources to develop technologically advanced variants of duplexSlitter Rewinders for plastic films, paper, foil and flexible laminates. Distinguished primarily by their layouts and diameter handling capacities, the three basic variants- DSR FL, DSR RL and the ULTRASLIT® OHP enabled us to address specific concerns of customers vide standardized and hence amply researched solutions. This move was soon rewarded by a stream of orders, many to be repeated,by an increasingly elite list of satisfied customers who become ambassadors of goodwill referring SP machines to prospective new customers.

  1. Currently what are the numbers of lines of machinery manufactured?

Our machines are broadly classified as Slitter Rewinders and Rewinding machines.

SLITTER REWINDERS:

  1. DSR FL – Duplex Slitter Rewinder- Front Loading
  2. DSR RL – Duplex Slitter Rewinder- Rear Loading
  3. ULTRASLIT® OHP -Duplex Slitter Rewinder with an Over Head Path
  4. ROBOSLIT® - Dual Turret Slitter Rewinder

REWINDING MACHINES

  1. WIR REV – Web Inspection Rewinder – Reversible
  2. ULTRASPECT - Web Inspection Rewinder – Reversible
  3. DRM REV – Doctoring Rewinding Machine – Reversible
  1. How many number of machinery you have installed till date?

We have supplied more than 200 slitting and rewinding machines since 2005 in various regions of India and in 17 other countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.

  1. Tell us about your exports percentage and repeat customer percentage?

From our total sales 35% of sales consist of exports and 40% of machines manufactured are supplied to our existing customers.

The following is an extract from our reputed clientslist with multiple installations in India (in alphabetical order)

  • Apex Packing Products P Ltd , Goa
  • DharampalSatyapal Ltd., Guwahati
  • DLK Design Pvt Ltd., Haryana
  • Essdee Aluminum, Daman
  • GLS Industries Pvt. Ltd., Noida
  • JhaveriFlexo India Ltd., Silvassa
  • Modern Packaging Company , Pardi
  • Parle Biscuits Pvt. Ltd., (Bahadurgarh, Kanpur, Khopoli, Nashik and Neemrana)
  • Positive Packaging Industries Ltd., (Ambernath, Khopoli, Bangalore, UAE, Nigeria)
  • Rajhans Enterprises, Bangalore
  • Shrinath Rotopack Pvt. Ltd. , Hyderabad
  • Umax Packaging Ltd., Jodhpur
  • VenkateshwaraFlexo Pack Pvt. Ltd., Hyderabad

7) Tell us about your new innovations?

During the course of a decade over which we have specialized in slitting and rewinding technology, we have repeatedly, at regular intervals raised the bar by introducing new concepts and technology to improve performance, automation levels and increase productivity by the two fold approach of increasing process speeds and reducing changeover times.

With our latest endeavor, the dual turret ROBOSLIT® we have introduced a turret rewind system on our machine which permits an online rewind set up, reducing changeover time to a small fraction of that on conventional duplex slitter rewinders.

The first such machine has been installed and commissioned by us recently at one of our reputed customers’ end.

The ROBOSLIT® has a capacity to handle unwind reels having diameters of upto 1000 mm and web-widths of upto 1300 mm. It is possible to produce rewind reels with diameters of upto 600 mm at speeds of upto 700 mpm.

In combination with the motorized ejector and one touch finished reels off loader, the dual turret mechanism introduces a rhythm and sequence in the production cycle which deskills the single operator required to handle the machine, ensuring the realization of forecast output levels consistently.

Other notable features of the ROBOSLIT® which are supportive to or concurrent with the dual turret mechanism include a motorised ejector which displaces the rewind reels, a one touch automatic off loader to bring the off loaded reels to pallet level, laser lights to assist in quick and precise rewind core positioning and linear movement carriages for the lay on section.

  1. Do you find any difficulties in operating in Indian Market?

Availability of cheap manpower often discourages the buyer from investing in automation, especially in the area of mechanization and reel handling. As a result, machine manufacturers are unable to standardize many features aimed in this direction. These are offered in option to a handful of the bigger customers at prices which could have been lower if standardized. We see this ground reality as the biggest hurdle to innovation and progress.

  1. Do you plan for any tie-up or JV?

Although we have been approached for a joint venture by leading European brands, we are treading very cautiously and want to weigh all factors before committing ourselves to any sort of partnership. The aim of entering into a collaboration or partnership is to progress at a rate faster than we would on our own else it is not worth it.



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