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New print plant for Kolkata-based York Print

22 July 2013

York Print Group, the Kolkata-based packaging specialist, has announced that its new unit-3 located in Assam, its second in the state, will initiate operations in August. The new unit, according to the firm, will enable conversion of an additional 350 tonnes of paperboard.

yorkprint York team after buying a Rapida 105 with UV and plastic printing capabilities at Drupa 2008

Ankit Mehra of York Print, said, “We have been facing capacity constraints in our post-press set-up. The new unit will be a fabrication unit supported by our plants in Meghalaya and Assam. It will also specialise in manufacturing of fluted cartons.”

The new unit will house an array of post-press machinery including Bobst die-cutting machine, flute lamination machine, folder-gluer, window patching machine, G-flute corrugation machine and a single-colour gravure press.

York is also planning to install a six-colour offset printing machine at the Assam plant by the end of the current fiscal year, and as part of its expansion plans, it hopes to set up additional arms in Meghalaya, upper Assam and Bangladesh. “It will be a boost to our print activities,” said Mehra.

Established in early 80s as a screen printing firm in Kolkata, the company set up packaging plant in Meghalaya and started commercial production in November 2002 and later its first unit in Assam, which houses the six-colour  KBA 105 Rapida UV press, bought at Drupa 2008. It’s headquarters remained in Kolkata. 

“Today, York Print Group, which includes York Print, York Print & Pack, Wide Angle Packaging and Oxford Packaging, generates surplus revenue of Rs 125-crore out of which Rs 96-crore is generated by units in Assam and Meghalaya,” said Mehra. He further added that York Print has grown by 22% in FY 2012-13 in comparison to FY 2011-12. “Total sales for the last financial year were Rs 88-crore. This was excluding the sales of our other sister concerns,” said Mehra

The family-owned business of York Group has been operating for more than three decades. “The biggest challenge for us is to transform the family-managed company to a professionally-run corporate house,” said Mehra. In bringing about this transformation, York has hired industry experts as consultants. Besides various certifications, the firm has implemented quality concepts such as 5S, Quality Control Circles (QCC), Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), in order to create awareness at grass root level in the organisation.       

Mehra feels that in the years to come, inhouse packaging development will be key to sustaining printing houses. Mehra said, “Packaging development is gaining impetus among print buyers.”

The average run-lengths at York is 20,000 sheets, which is a combination of five- or six-colour jobs. “We do not print anything less than 5,000 sheets,” added Mehra.

He cited a finest print job produced by York, which according to him, showcases strides taken by print technologies. “One of the greatest print jobs, which we have executed is Fair & Handsome SPC, wherein the printing is done on foil stamped sheet. The greatest challenge with this job was getting the registration of printing to match that of stamping and hence embossing. However, thanks to experts on our team, we were able to successfully execute the job with minimum wastage.”

Speaking about the pros and cons of setting up units in Meghalaya and Assam, Mehra said, “The only advantage of setting up an unit in Meghalaya and Assam has been the volume of business, which we have executed in last 10 years. However, there are lots of disadvantages especially in terms of location, human resource and social disturbances.”

According to Mehra, York’s vision for 2020 is to be able to convert 4,000 tonnes of paperboard and become Rs 500-crore plus company.

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