Georgia, Sharavandi | Lithrone G-640+C with H-UV
(From left to right) Hamdi Kaymak, Tamaz Sharikadze, Serkan Araz and Ulrich Sause
It has been 7 years since Georgia’s and Sharavandi’s first investment in a brand-new B1 format press, the Komori Lithrone G40. This six colour configuration with coater and H-UV drying technology has been ground breaking for Tamaz Sharikadze, the owner of Sharavandi Flexo & Offset Printing House, Georgia’s largest and most advanced printing house. Last month, Tamaz Sharikadze added another chapter to this success story, with the placement of the order for yet another Komori, now a new Komori Lithrone G640+C Advance with H-UV.
Komori distributor Aras Grup received the order for Sharavandi’s second B1-size six-colour configuration, with enhanced capabilities thanks to many automation options. Following that order, we visited Sharavandi in Tbilisi, together with Serkan Araz, Chairman at Aras Makina, Hamdi Kaymak, Managing Director at Aras Makina, and Ulrich Sause, Director of Distributor Sales at Komori International (Europe) BV.
Georgia hosts around 120 printing houses, 108 of which are located in the capital Tbilisi. Sharavandi makes up ninety percent of all value-added non-stick label and packaging manufacturing in Georgia. The majority of their prints are utilizing metallised paper labels for PET bottles and boxes with its production distributed between labels and packaging, 60% and 40%, respectively. In recent years, Tamaz Sharikadze has explored and expanded to different market segments. Their new Komori G40, offers the opportunity to target the market of medicine boxes as well.
Sharavandi is a typical Komori customer. The first brand-new machine purchased from Aras Grup in 2007 marked a milestone for them, signalling the start of an era where they have preferred brand-new machinery for investment. This was followed by B2- and B1-size Komori offset printing presses. Aras Makina has become the trustworthy partner to aid in their journey for new investments.
With his fourth order for a brand-new Komori in the pipeline, we asked Tamaz Sharikadze a simple question: Why Komori? “It’s a very solid machine, we have never experienced any significant service issues. The Komori we bought 7 years ago runs 16 hours a day. The new machine incorporates many features and options we need. Furthermore we have a great working relationship with Aras Grup — should there be any problems, they are right on it.””
“It is clear to me that we need to go for highly automated machines to keep our competitive edge. The new Komori Lithrone G40 Advance, will definitely meet these requirements” Tamaz Sharikadze
Tamaz Sharikadze also explained why they needed a new investment: “Two years ago, we bought a 1650 mm extruder and a 1650 mm flexo printing machine to be used in packaging printing, followed by purchases of slicing, cutting, and lamination machines. We also bought two cutting machines for producing bags to hold products like napkins. Once we were done with flexo investments, we felt the need to buy an offset machine again and placed an order. Our machine will be here in about six to seven months.”
So what new features are included in the configuration of the newly ordered Komori GL-640+C Advance with H-UV?
This new press incorporates all the latest updates and upgrades, the “Advance” model of the Komori GL-Series. With a very stable performance, the press prints on dimensions up to 750x1050mm with a speed of 16.500 sph, both on conventional ink as with H-UV. With many options standardly equipped on the Advance Series, the press offers exceptional ROI characteristics. A good example is the ‘Air Preset’ technology. With specific feature, it is possible to save all air settings at the inlet and outlet. When the same job runs again, these settings can be automatically retrieved saving time and recources.
We also added soft- and hardware called “PDF Comparator”. This technology checks PDF files on the press. It compares the pre-print PDF data with the printed substrate and produces a report. Thanks to a specialised scanner working on our colour reading and management system, PDC-SX, the substrate currently being printed on can be fully scanned, and the gathered information can be compared with the memory, enabling an automatic check on both text and colour settings.
Sharavandi mainly operates in the labelling industry and manufactures packaging in the Georgian market. With this new investment, they are also targeting the manufacture of medicine boxes. The machine, integrated with PDF Comparator, will check the text on medicine boxes down to the tiniest detail, providing an extra layer of safety.
Thinking about the domestic market, what do you expect the future to bring?
The global pandemic surely has left their marks on printers, the need for printed matters, catalogs and brochures. Recoveries here and there, did happen, but it seems like we need a bit more time to reach the pre-pandemic levels. In the meantime, commercial printers, especially the ones printing books, have had a significant increase in their business. There has also been an increase in the capacity utilisation and exports for the export-focussed printing houses as well. In the domestic market, considering we are in a pandemic, it would not be right to say packaging and labelling printers were impacted negatively. On the contrary, at a time when single-use production has exploded, some companies have recorded a significant growth. During this period, in addition to maintaining our competitiveness in packaging exports, we made big strides in commercial printing as well, particularly in the European market.