Köstlin Prepress Services commits to high-quality flexographic platemaking

Plates for customers with the Kodak Flexcel NX Ultra Solution

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Köstlin
Köstlin company building

Köstlin Prepress Services of Ditzingen, near Stuttgart in south-west Germany, recently added Miraclon’s Kodak Flexcel NX Ultra Solution to their range of flexo platemaking technologies for high-quality packaging printing.

While Köstlin offers a broad portfolio of flexographic printing options and photopolymer sleeves, the production of Kodak Flexcel NX Plates accounts for 60% of all flexo plates produced. The company first began using a Flexcel NX Wide 4260 System in 2013 because, as Köstlin managing director Marc Talmon Gros puts it, “more and more of our customers were asking for Flexcel NX Plates.” This system has now been joined by the Flexcel NX Ultra Solution, which unites all of the quality and performance benefits of the well-established Flexcel NX System with solvent-free, VOC-free, water-based processing of the flexo plates.


“Flexcel NX Ultra will help us systematically reduce our solvent consumption and produce plates in a more environmentally friendly way,” says Talmon Gros when prompted to comment on his firm’s reasons for investing in the new Miraclon technology. “Added to that, the Flexcel NX Ultra Solution will give us even more flexibility and enable our printers to get the plates much faster, which is a big advantage in many situations.”


During the few weeks since it was put into operation, Köstlin has already completed the first production runs using the Kodak Flexcel NX Ultra Solution in cooperation with a few selected printers with great success. Talmon Gros concludes, “Not only are our customers extremely satisfied with the achievable print quality, stability and handling capabilities of the Flexcel NX Ultra Plates; some are already specifying using only these plates going forward.”

The family owned business, which employs around 50 staff, specializes in repro and prepress services as well as platemaking for the most popular packaging printing processes. Established 40 years ago, Köstlin traditionally caters to packaging printers, although over the last decade international brand owners have constituted an increasingly large part of the customer base. The business portfolio is dominated by premium prepress services for flexible packaging, mainly foil and film, with more than 70% of all orders coming from the highly demanding food and cosmetics sectors.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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