Kohli boosts growth, efficiency and innovation despite Mumbai’s strict lockdown

Thea-9one8: 2020’s most anticipated gravure press

The envirommentally frindly Thea-9one8 gravure press is compatible with water-based inks and can handle a wide range of flexibles materials, including thinner aund recyclable films (Source: Kohli)

“You don‘t make progress by standing on the side-lines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.” Shirley Chisholm’s words would never be more apposite than during the covid pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. As a family-owned gravure press manufacturer, the initial weeks of complete lockdown could have left us at Kohli whimpering. We had delivery commitments to meet and a stalled production line. Instead we collectively decided to make the most of this imposed pause.

The first phase was to reorganize our customer care department. With transportation at a standstill and complete uncertainty as to when travel would reopen, we had to prepare for remote installations so there would be no inconvenience to our customers or slowdown to their production.


Along with this, we took a big step by introducing a simple plug-and-play modular approach to the design of our presses. Automation and digitization were enhanced and a step-by-step advanced online press maintenance system was created in order to make remote installation easier and to improve aftersales service. The second phase was to finally get around to achieving a personal goal. I took the opportunity to launch an online CafeGravure as a gateway and source of information for those interested in entering the flexible packaging industry.

For years I had felt that there was a need to educate young and curious minds with practical know-ledge from experts in our field. The first session of CafeGravure was a phenomenal success as I was joined by industry experts, colleagues and students. The open Q&A format brought in over 500 participants over three CafeGravure sessions. It has been a privilege to bring the best and brightest minds from the industry together under one platform. The third phase was to restart production after seven weeks of complete lockdown.

Kaku Kohli, CEO of Kohli Industries (Source: Kohli)
The envirommentally friendly Thea-9one8 gravure press is compatible with water-based inks and can handle a wide range of flexibles materials, including thinner aund recyclable films (Source: Kohli)
Athena, an advanced solution for solvent- and water-based lamination (Source: Kohli)
Hera, a multi-purpose laminator offering the combination of multiple technologies (Source: Kohli)
Gaia, an easy solution for solvent-free lamination (Source: Kohli)
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Once Kohli reopened, we were super excited to complete the final touches to our latest gravure press: Thea-9one8. We had worked hard on this state- of-the-art press and wanted to share our excitement, whilst the marketing team went the extra mile and more to stage virtual trials of Thea-9one8. We wanted our valued customers to get a feel for how special Thea-9one8 was. We hosted proactive open houses where we happily answered questions and allowed participants to direct the camera so that they could take a close look at any specific feature they wished to see.

I applaud my team, who worked tirelessly despite the continuing severe lockdown restrictions. Thanks to their efforts, we were still able to hold five open houses over this six-month period that attracted more than 1,000 participants from eight countries. Furthermore, over this same period, Kohli also successfully remotely installed 12 presses in four countries.

What makes Thea-9one8 so special?
After three years of intensive research and development and based on the feedback of press operators and maintenance engineers world-wide, Kohli designed “Thea-9one8”. Sustainable, best-in-class productivity, always online and ready to embrace the industry of the future. Thea-9one8 is ahead of its peers. This environmentally friendly gravure press is compatible with water-based inks and can handle a wide range of flexible materials including thinner and recyclable films. Kohli has listened to press operators and with Thea-9one8 it has designed and manufactured the press that they have been calling for.

Thea-9one8: “Focus on EASE”

  • Ease of job changeovers: shaftless mounting of printing cylinders, interchangeable light weight ink trolleys and sleeve type impression rollers.
  • Ease of registration: register presetting and set up of repeat jobs, high register accuracy at all speeds and fastest register correction during speed change and splice.
  • Ease of production: maximum output with minimal downtime, manpower, wastage and energy consumption.
  • Ease of information: live monitoring and live press updates any time, any place, any device.
  • Ease of maintenance: predictive maintenance, interactive manuals and intelligent electronics for complete human-machine interaction. Thea-9one8 is in a league of its own. Offering a wide range of personalization and customization options in co-operation with world leading companies such as:
  • Electronic shaft integration from Siemens Register control from BST-Eltromat
  • Web inspection from BST-Eltromat and Erhardt +Leimer
  • Impression sleeves and Ink feed rollers from Rossini
  • Viscosity controllers from Gama
  • Electrostatic Asist (ESA) from Enulec
  • 100 % defect detection from BST- Eltromat and Futec
  • LEL control from Honeywell and Nira
    At Kohli we take safety very seriously.

Thea-9one8 is equipped with:

  • Active static discharge bars along the press with explosion-proof bars on each printing unit.
  • Static monitoring at multiple po-sitions along the press with pre-settable alarms.
  • CO2 firefighting system with nozzles and temperature sensors at each printing unit.
  • CE conformity following strict European safety standards.

Kohli is not just about Gravure. The company also offers:

  • Gaia, an easy solution for solvent-free lamination.
  • Athena, an advanced solution for solvent & water-based lamination.
  • Hera, a multi-purpose laminator offering the perfect combination of multiple technologies.

Kohli offers a wide range of coating and laminating machines for diverse market needs and everchanging customer applications:

  • Solvent & water-based dry lamination
  • Solvent-free lamination
  • Water-based wet lamination
  • Extrusion lamination (manufactured in partnership with Rajoo Engineers, India)
  • Solvent & water-based coatings
  • One-colour gravure printing
  • In-register cold seal & heat seal application on pre-printed web
  • In-register coatings on pre-printed web
  • In-register (spot) UV coating on pre-printed web
  • In-line laser (window) perforati-on for product visibility
  • In-register one colour gravure printing on pre-printed web
  • In-register (window) lamination of 2 pre-printed webs
  • In-line gravure printing
  • In-line triplex lamination of three substrates in one pass
  • Automatic turret winders for non-stop production

Has manufacturing during an un-precedented pandemic been chal-lenging? Yes, without a doubt. But Kohli faces challenges head-on. By utilizing the time to re-assess, re-organize and re-structure, Kohli was able to launch four innovative new machines as well as offering online and remote services in res-ponse to the current situation.

Kohli continues to stage virtual open houses and looks forward to you joining us. To register, e-mail us at open- house@kohli.org. Moving forward, Kohli sees a bright future for gravure printing in the flexible packaging industry and will continue to set high standards for gravure presses globally.

The article was first published in the special publication “Gravure Global”, which you can download for free.

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