Sheet-Fed Offset Printing: Set to be More Focused and Growth-Oriented

There have been positive sentiments across the printing industry as India seems to be on the growth path. As CN Ashok, MD & CEO, Autoprint Machinery Manufacturers Pvt Ltd, puts it, “India is in the growing phase with the new government in place and the moment the growth reaches 8-10%, the per capita consumption will go up. With this, the printed products consumption will go up.”

“The status of offset printing in India looks good and we hope that with the implementation of GST, the market will boom further. In packaging, we do see a growth of 17 to 19 percent while in commercial we do see the growth of 16 to 17 percent. The semi-commercial segment (customers who are in the migration stage from commercial to packaging) is likely to grow by 18 to 20%,” says SangamKhanna, president & managing director (Komori Division), Insight Communication & Print Solutions India Pvt Ltd.

While, NeerajDargan of MR Sheetfed India Pvt Ltd, says that offset printing has become more focused, based on segment and products. Some segments are high growth areas whereas some are being challenged by different technologies like digital, internet, desktop printing at home, etc. “This intervention or segregation is going to be widened in times to come with packaging and special applications will continue to grow at double digits,” he adds. Neeraj was present at PAMEX ‘15 as a visitor.

“With ‘Make in India’ campaign, we need to produce products that are globally competitive. In this situation, printers need to come up with consistent quality with affordable pricing. They also need to have an effective management, minimise waste and enhance productivity. Right now, the skill levels are poor with the workforce in printing and this needs to be addressed on an urgent basis,” adds Ashok.

Digital vs. offset

Digital printing has, undoubtedly, changed the way we print. But, the technology is going hand in hand with the offset technology. A few offset printing manufacturers are now offering digital solutions as well. For example, Komori will be launching the digital press in Drupa 16. Besides, Komori has opened a new chapter in the very short run offset on demand using the HUV technology and they have installed now 12 machines in India over the last two to three months.

“The end use is redefining the introduction of digital as now all commercial printing applications, previously done on offset, are needed just in time with corresponding lower print orders, hence digital is more viable. This situation is to be accepted and it’s time to find newer methods/markets to replace revenue,” advises Neeraj.

Few of the players in the industry…

InsightKomori is a dedicated company which manufactures only offset printing machines and no post press or pre-press solutions. “But, it is backed up with a very strong R&D which is one of the highest in the industry globally,” shares Sangam. “Komori is a reliable print engineering service provider and a reliable partner to grow with your printing requirements, which may come from a commercial basic Enthrone to Lithrone 26/29/32 for high volume printing. For the packaging and value added printing, we have the Lithrone 26/29/32 with coater UV & HUV and in the large segment we have the GL 40 and LS 44 with and Coater UV & HUV technology. For the publishing low and high volume, we do have the Komori 40” dedicated perfector and the Komori System 35 and System 38 web presses. The Komori dedicated perfectors are also very popular in the pharma inserts in the packaging segment. For the customers who need high speed bulk volumes like the liquid and mono carton, we have the Komori Chambon which is capable of producing roll to blank in 12 sec mainly.” At Insight Communication stand at PAMEX ‘15, Komori is showcasing a Komori Enthrone 29 with full automation, and they have already closed a deal for the same.

While, ManrolandSheetfed’s USP is proven technology with continuous innovations. “Customer first approach to respond to all needs of existing customer base of several generations, improvements on Roland 700 HiPrint and the new Roland 700 Evolution, already launched in November 2014, will be at live demo in DRUPA 2016,” told Neeraj.

Autoprint focuses on both commercial as well as packaging industry. While, for the commercial segment, they cater to the rural and semi-urban belt, their packaging solutions are for hi-end customers. “Our USP is identifying a problem, pin-pointed by a printer and designing an innovative solution at affordable prices,” tells Ashok. At PAMEX ’15, Autoprint is showcasing print inspection system and die-punching machine for the packaging segment. While for the commercial printing segment, they are showcasing a 4-colour non-woven bag printer, single-colour non-woven printer, offset machine with variable data and automated creasing machine. Talking about the ongoing PAMEX ’15, Ashok shares, “The quality of crowds is encouraging. The good number of footfalls on week days proves that we have very serious customers.” Autoprint has closed 10 deals for various products at the show.

ProvinTechnosPvt Ltd is the pan India agency for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Printing and Packaging Machinery Ltd for sheet fed and commercial web presses. They offer printing machines from Ryobi MHI Graphic Technology Ltd, Japan. RMG has introduced the state-of-the-art LED UV curing system. They also represent Rotatek S.A, Spain for narrow web label and offset presses. The company also represents BW Paper Systems UK for complete range on Reel to Sheet machines in India; Mitsubishi Heat Set Web Presses and Paper Guillotine Knives.

As a message to printers, Ashok says, “Investment must be made but with caution and payback on investment will be there within 3-5 years.”