The time when Indian packaging printers invested predominantly in second-hand and less automated sheetfed offset presses is coming to an end. In recent months three leading and fast growing packaging companies have installed new medium-format sheetfed offset presses from KBA, among them two high-end Rapida 106s.
Last year TCLP Packaging, one of the largest manufacturers of folding boxes in India, fired up a Rapida 106 with a Corona unit, six printing units, a coater and double delivery extension. TCLP currently owns four production plants – three in Silvassa in west India about 180km (112 miles) from Mumbai and one in Haridwar, near the city of Delhi. Every plant is DISO 9001:2008 and ISO 22000:2005 accredited and follows strict standards set for vendors of food packaging (BRC/IOP). Additionally, the plants in Silvassa are FSC certified. Alongside the production of packaging for food, spirits and cigarettes plus folding boxes for other areas of the consumer industry, TCLP claims to be the biggest exporter of printed carton in India. Its customers are primarily from the UK, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates and other countries.
The Rapida 106 carton press in the Haridwar plant in northern India has an additional package for film and plastic printing. The plinth-mounted press’s infeed and delivery have non-stop facilities. Other automated features include DriveTronic SIS Sidelay-free infeed, automatic plate changers plus roller, blanket and impression cylinder washing units during ink changes (conventional and UV). Additionally, the Rapida 106 is equipped with DensiTronic Professional to monitor and control image quality. This high-performance press shares a pressroom with two Japanese sheetfed offset press lines and a sheetfed gravure press. The plant has also purchased a punching and folder-gluer from Bobst plus a unit for gluing windows from Heiber & Schröder.
ITC also opted for a Rapida 106 with eight inking units, a coater and a delivery extension, which was delivered in June to ITC’s packaging plant in Tiruvottiyur near Chennai. Founded in 1910 as Imperial Tobacco Company of India, the company has subsequently changed its name to ITC. It is split into divisions for consumer goods, board and packaging, and has a large amount of agriculture and hotels. ITC belongs to the largest packaging manufacturers in India. The company creates a huge range of packaging for the food and drink industry, cigarettes (alongside TCLP they are the biggest manufacturer of cigarette boxes in India), spirits and consumer goods from over 70,000 tonnes of paper, board and coated substrates a year. ITC’s customer base includes prominent brands such as Nokia, Colgate, Palmolive, Pernod Ricard, British American Tobacco, Philip Morris International and many others.
The new Rapida 106 has gone live in a cutting-edge environment. It is equipped for UV mixed operation, has additional packages enabling board and film printing, is mounted on a 675mm plinth (26.6in) and is embedded in an automatic pile logistics system. DriveTronic SIS sidelay-free infeed, automatic plate changers and CleanTronic Multi automatic washing units during ink changes are just some of the additional automated units featured in this up to 18,000sph press. An emissions extraction system (EES) ensures a healthy work environment by eliminating process-related odours at the delivery/console. The Rapida 106 is networked with pre-press and management systems via a KBA LogoTronic workstation. Furthermore, DensiTronic Professional monitors and controls image quality online.
The third big packaging manufacturer, which installed a new Rapida, is Parksons Packaging with over 50 years of experience in print and packaging production. Parksons mainly produces packaging for consumer goods, food and drink, the electronics industry plus pharmaceutical product packaging for the domestic market as well as global players. The company has three production plants – in Daman, Rudrapur and Pune. Production has already started at the plant in Daman on a KBA sheetfed offset press featuring cutting, punching and gluing units used to add the finishes touches to folding boxes. Every plant has its own ink kitchen enabling conventional and UV inks to be individually made.
The two new Rapida 105 sheetfed offset presses which were delivered in spring 2012 meant that now the plants in Pune and Rudrapur have also benefitted from KBA sheetfed offset technology. The six-colour presses with coater and delivery extension are not only typically equipped for packaging printing, but are also capable of UV mixed operation for printing on film and aluminium-coated materials. Automatic plate changers, combined washing units for blanket, impression cylinders and rollers during ink changes, and non-stop facilities at the delivery are just some of the presses’ automated features. Additionally, the press features DensiTronic Professional to measure and control image quality.
The Indian market is focusing increasingly on technology and is characterised by its awareness of quality, which is based on the global market. KBA is benefitting from this. Along with the press mentioned, KBA has delivered further presses to Indian printing companies. Additionally, follow-on orders placed by large printing houses will be shipped in 2013.