According to Rohan Shirke, director, Premier Printers, the die-cutting operation was proving to be a bottleneck with its existing rotary cylinder die-cutting machines. “The die-cutting operation was not able to match the printing speeds leading to a lot of work-in-progress material lying on the shopfloor. We needed a high-speed machine that could throughput at 8,000 sheets per hour and match our printing output,” said Shirke.
After an unsuccessful attempt at exploring the second-hand machinery market for a European-make die-cutter that could fit the requirement, Shirke decided to look for brand-new machines with a budget of not more than Rs two-crore.
Shirke added, “We saw SBL die-cutting machine deployed at one print house in Hyderabad and were impressed with the machine performance. We then visited SBL factory in Taiwan in order to finalise the machine specifications and seal the deal.”
One of the USPs of SBL, Shirke said, is the longevity that SBL machines offer and also the fact that SBL has been a vendor to Heidelberg was reassuring. “Besides this, we know TGS and its managing director Muralidhar Nalli for many years. It gives us confidence in making an investment in SBL knowing that TGS will take care for the service and maintenance of the machine.”
(from left) Yen of SBL, Amit and Ranvir Shirke (Premier Printers), Hank (SBL), Muralidhar Nalli (TGS)
Besides the recent investment, Premier Printers’ facility houses a six-colour KBA Rapida for UV printing and MetPET applications, a Planeta Super Variant, a Manugraph Starline S-30 web offset press, a Bobst folder-gluer, a PaperPlast dry laminator, a Eurotecnica PUR perfect binder, a Meccanotecnica Aster book sewing machine, and a Kodak Thermal CTP platesetter.
With the new SBL die-cutter Premier is able to “efficiently handle variety of substrates” ranging from 200-450gsm; three-ply corrugated sheets; and 320+320gsm sandwich board. “The machine is equipped with an inline stripping unit, which has minimised the manual touch-points in the process to a great extent,” said Shirke.
For SBL die-cutter, Shirke hopes to achieve the return on investment in the coming two years. “Anticipating the growth in packaging, we plan to make investments in another folder-gluer, and an eight-colour UV offset press. Plus we are also exploring opportunities in rigid box market,” informed Shirke.
A major player in the textbook printing segment, Premier Printers shifted its focus in 2012 as it ventured into packaging for liquor and FMCG sectors. “We realised that investment for serving the publishing market for government agencies was huge compared to the returns that we received. Hence we decided to exit the textbook business looking at the greener pasture in packaging. This was a challenging decision as it involved large investments and zero cash flow for a period till we established ourselves in this new field. Five years on, I can say it was a right decision,” concluded Shirke.