25 Jun 2017
The best option machines in corrugation segmentBased on the individual’s capital budget, the market potential of that location and host of other factors, the choice of plants is made. I feel there is a market for all kinds and makes of the machines going forward. Generally, people start with lower-end Chinese machines and as they gain experience they move upwards to expensive varieties. Best practice you implemented across your shopfloorMaterial wastage in corrugated box industry is a big challenge and one of the main reasons for the same is poor housekeeping habits of the people working on the shopfloor. We have put housekeeping as a top priority and every operator and supervisor has been trained to ensure that their work area is maintained neat and clean at all times. It was basically change in mindset. This itself helps to reduce the wastage to a great extent.
Print innovation you created in the past 12 months?With the efforts of our R&D team, we have taken our printed heaters to the market and launched electro-luminescent displays. Also, the instant issuance of banking card through our digital bank branch solution is also something we are proud to have introduced successfully. A recent small-and-effective investmentA camera inspection system for better quality control. An important point to note would be that such kits get developed in-house by our R&D and IT teams.
A best practice at UflexThe practice of ‘running handover’ between the outgoing and incoming shift personnel is a great shopfloor practice, wherein the machine does not stop whenever the shift changes. The worker of the incoming shift arrives 15 minutes before the shift starts and the worker of the outgoing shift leaves 15 minutes after the shift gets over. This overlapping window of 30 minutes helps smooth transitioning in terms of machine performance and production streamlining.
The Repro transformationTo produce 12,000 POD (print-on-demand) books a day from 6,000 a day. The plan: set up two additional units in New Delhi and Chennai in addition to the Mumbai facility. The two new plants will each produce 2,000 books a day, and the Mumbai facility will produce 8,000 books per day. Repro’s book printing revivalBook printing industry is struggling to manage their businesses profitably. With the transformation that Repro has undertaken from being just a printer to a value-added book distributor cum printer, we feel that we will be able to improve our profitability.
A big print shake-up?I think all the print and packaging segments have become very competitive. It’s just that there are many firms in our industry who are working for lower and lower margins. One should not grow at the cost of someone else. Some of the print firms are embarking upon the sort of pricing that – always – eventually proves terminal. Many print firms offer rates to fill slots. But I feel, when you start offering ‘cheap rates’ all the time then that’s where the trouble starts for the entire industry. Best practicesAt TCPL, we are sticklers for cleanliness and hygiene on our shopfloor. We have organised our entire organisation based on the 5S principle.
A Drupa 2016 technologyHeidelberg PrimeFire. I thought it was a high power mixture of offset and digital. A big print shake-upConsolidation is the name of the game. It started with label firms and flex-pack firms. Now it is the turn of commercial printing and carton packaging.
A new print technology at DrupaBenny Landa’s Nano-Metallography solution. I am sure you remember the “mountain” of used foils they kept on one side to tell us that it is history. Landa’s technology is not yet commercialised, but when it does, then printers don’t have to worry about the width of the foil or how to plan for least wastage. Truly wonderful. A best practice at PragatiWe always print by measuring and hitting the standard colour densities. We have been following it for over a decade and a half. We now have scanning densitometers on all our machines. This has empowered us with the ease of measuring and adjusting the ink levels. Personally, I feel very happy about this.
Two best practicesThe (implementation of) Theory of Constraints has bound Thomson Press from sales to dispatch and everything in between, including shopfloor and various other support functions into one aligned team, with a single goal to become the “world’s most reliable printer”. The measure of our performance will be to consistently deliver “On Time, In Full of the Right Quality”, job after job. The other thing which we are trying to achieve is, development and sourcing of spares for printing and binding machines locally or from alternate sources due to exorbitant costs from OEM (original equipment manufacturer) as well as electronics going obsolete. A bullish print verticalHigh-end packaging which calls for high-end sheetfed printing with in-line foiling, UV printing, embossing, security printing, coating, metallic and Pantone colour capability, etc. This is an expensive investment but will pay off as organised retailing and high-end branding establishes itself in India.
A mantra to select your partnersChoose a technology partner who is constantly investing in research and development. The future will be ruled by people who innovate and adopt newer technology ahead of others. The mantra is simple – innovate or perish. Adoption of new technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), are key to make the machines smart. Everything is going to be digital in the coming years. The printing industry is no exception. Companies have to be ready for digital transformation. The best tool at PrintechA machine to precisely record downtime to calculate the losses in business and for future precautions whenever we buy new equipment.
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