CST and Nova Intertech provide
sustainable solutions for the printing industry
Peter Kesper is a well
known personality for the printing industry in Pakistan having
close relations with the sector for many decades. The screen
imaging technology of CST has a strong installed presence in
Pakistan. Pakisan Textile Journal caught up with Mr. Kesper
recently for an interview that we are pleased to share with our
readers. Also present were Thomas Heym, Managing Director, Nova
Inter Tech Ltd and M. Moazzam Baig, CEO Visitex Systems,
representatives of CST and Nova Intertech in Pakistan. The
photograph above, of Peter Kesper, and Peer Kesper, was taken at
CST stand during FESPA 2019 in Munich.
Peter Kesper and Peer Kesper at FESPA 2019.
Can you tell us about about your
We have several companies and generally, the oldest one is
Kesper printing solution. This company is 147 years old, it’s a
family own business, previously a small business. When I joined
it, I was very much interested in new techniques, so we
developed new machinery for our own use. However, we realized
that it was too expensive for us to develop a machine solely for
our own use.
It was then that we decided to make machines for others and
became a leading machinery manufacturing company that became
much larger than the original family business. Today we have
several companies making machinery. Thomas Heym and I began to
work together 23 years ago with an idea of developing a
pollution free stripping machine for cleaning screens for reuse
and recycling. We were the first in the world to develop this
machine in Krefeld Germany. I am a shareholder in Nova Intertech,
which was established in 2000 with Mr. Thomas with the idea to
support printing companies with pollution free recycling of
their rotary screens.
The rotary screens are quite expensive and because of this
today you must reuse them more frequently than in the past.
Today the customers are printing orders as small as even 2000 to
3000 meters while in the past one design would be printed on
50,000 to 100,000 meters.
CST DLE Rotary Plus
This is the reason the screens need to be recycled today.
This is also important for environmental reasons. While
stripping of the screens in the past required hazardous
chemicals, our solution is water based. This high-pressure
stripping is the perfect solution because it does not need
hazardous pollutant chemicals, keeping the screen alive so we
can reuse it. Some of our Pakistani customers are reusing their
screens more than 14 times. In Pakistan, we have 24 machines in
operation and 130 machines installed worldwide.
In 2000 you started your
collaboration with Nova IntertechCould you share with us other
siginificant technologies you have supplied in Pakistan?
We started with the scanner, that would scan the designs to
make the film which was used to expose the design on the
screen. This was how it was done in earlier days. The next
development was an engraving unit, which was, in the beginning,
a wax engraver. The wax compensated for the black in the film.
First, it was the film making followed by wax than it was ink,
masking the emulsion on the screen. Today we have direct
exposure, which is DLE, the direct line engraving, which is the
main machine now in the market. There is also a laser engraver
which is an expensive and slow method. We developed this machine
40 years ago, much earlier than any of our competitors and we
still havefive lasers. in our engraving shop. As I said it is
not a commercially viable option being very expensive and slow.
In Pakistan, there are only two or three machines for the laser
while at least a hundred ink and DLE machines.
Pakistan has always been always a very strong market for us.
But we also make machinery for other market textile markets such
as Indonesia, Thailand, Turkey and Bangladesh that account for
20-30% of our sales. We are working worldwide but Pakistan
remains a strong market for us. It is a country that has been
very progressive in investing in new technology and that is now
a major market for digital Printing printing machines.
In Pakistan, there are two types of markets one is digital
and other is rotary printing market, the digital market is very
small exclusive to some retailers and almost customized and
which is not entirely a mass market.
Thomas Heym, Peter Kesper and M. Moazzam Baig.
Yes, it’s right, but digital is also going mass market with
high-speed machinery. Like Lario and other high-speed machines
like Reggiani has introduced a new single pass. But if we talk
about digital as the replacement of rotary screen printing I
believe would be wrong.
The demand for conventional screen printing remains strong
because digital printing is still in the process of development.
Screen printing has a lot of advantages, you can print numerous
dyes, pigments, and bold colours some special effects colours
which you cannot do with digital.
In Pakistan, you can get orders of fifty thousand meters
which is mass production that may not be possible to go for
digital printing for that order as the per meter cost is still
very high in digital as compared to the rotary printing. The
digital printing is fast growing and selling in Pakistan but the
conventional rotary printing remains th most practical solution
for home textiles.
Have you sold your machines for the
rotary printing sector in Pakistan recently?
Yes, several machines. In fact, they are our best selling
machines in Pakistan. The time has not yet come to say that
rotary is finished. The digital is a technique which you can say
completed a process that was lacking previously. Other
advantages of digital are it saves water and it is
environmentally friendly as the demand for the environmentally
friendly process is getting stronger. Now, most of the digital
printing machines are reactive colours because digital pigments
are not there yet.
So the buyers are asking for even more environmentally
friendly processes and this brings us to the pigment printing
where digital printing is quite weak due to the limited
technology and also the high cost of pigment inks as compared
with reactive. Traditionally pigment printing had a negative
reputation of being cheap and of lower quality only for those
who do not have money for finishing machines like steamers. But
now things have changed and advanced pigments processes are now
used to produce high fashion brands to achieve the good look,
feel and softness. With home textiles, pigments have a definite
advantage which can only be achieved through rotary printing so
Thomas Heym, Peter Kesper and M. Moazzam Baig.
Some of the textile mills have also improved their processes
regarding pigments. The screen printing is also getting better
and better in competition with the digital machines. Because of
the equipment we are working with much higher resolutions. In
the past, it was 580dpi but now we are looking at 2400 dpi, we
also have a new engraver working with 2400 dpi.
Please share with us the benefits of
your screen stripping machines?
I think we helped quite a lot with our stripping machine for
the screens because the screens for the rotary printing are very
expensive. With our stripping machines, the screens are reusable
at minimal cost resulting in huge savings over time. That is why
we see digital as an add on and not necessarily a replacement of
rotary printing. For us, it is also motivating us to do
Another kind of printing that you will witness in ITMA is
paste printing in which gold, silver and white paste will be
used on hybrid machines. This would require screen printing at
the end of the digital process as these special colours and
effects are not yet possible with digital printing.
I would like to mention that digital printing has also
provided a lot of advantages for screen printing sector as it
helps our customers to make the digital sampling which is much
faster. However, the large installed capacity of rotary screen
printing machines allows our customers to meet the bulk of their
orders adequately with the rotary machines thanks to the
developments in screen making and recycling technologies.
Sometimes the designs by our
industry are not optimum to the capacity and potential of the
new technology. How would you comment on that?
It shows that people are not using technology as they should
be doing. For example, we don’t need a very fine 2400dpi screen
to produce a simpler design. For that, we need to educate people
to use the screens and to best utilize the technology. Even the
new persons coming from educational institutions have no
experience related to the machine functions.
I think with the solutions that we can offer to Pakistan’s
textile printing industry, the industry can achieve great
success with high quality of printing possible due to our new
DLE technology as well as our screen stripping technology
resulting in great savings.
CST is represented in
Pakistan by Visitex Systems.