Noel D’Cunha (NMD): Congratulations Sandeep. You are getting a new Lombardi Synchroline, your first?
Sandip Zhaveri (SZ): Yes, it’s Sychroline 430, a ten-colour 17-inch press with a Bravo screen printing unit, two stations foiling and two stations die-cutting with a conveyor. It’s a fully-loaded machine, which has been shipped. We expect the machine to be installed next month. We have also invested in a Vinsak USAR slitter rewinder to complement the press.
NMD: What’s the plan?
SJ: The idea of investing in a Lombardi press is to get into packaging, even as we continue to do label application like in-mould, shrinks sleeves, wrap-around and if all goes okay, lamitubes as well.
It’s a press which offers us the flexibility of printing both labels as well as cartons, it’s easy to use and above all, I think we are dealing with good people.
NMD: It’s a new territory for Total Prints, and it’s easier said than done.
SJ: Labels business has become very competitive, and despite the volumes, the margins are shrinking all the time. There’s little scope to add value to labels or there are very few segments where we can supply labels with innovations. Labels have become a business of mass production. After making such a huge investment, I would rather not do that, but rather concentrate on specialised jobs like in-moulds, lamitubes, shrink sleeves and cartons.
NMD: New customers?
SJ: We already have set customers to whom we supply labels. Initially, it will be these customers who we will tap. We have a marketing team at our Dadar (in Mumbai) office.
Tapping in the market where we are already supplying labels to set customers, is where we will initially pitch ourselves into.
NMD: Are we going to see more and more label converters move into packaging?
SJ: The label industry is growing, no doubt, but it’s very competitive. Hence, the players in the label segment are also looking towards packaging. There’s the trend of short runs which has also started to show up in the packaging segment, which might be viable to run on flexo presses, rather than offset, because many of the operations to finish the packaging are available online on the flexo presses. Plus, the quality of flexo and offset is now at par.
NMD: There are quite a few presses on display at the show, isn’t it?
SJ: Yes, and most can also print cartons. You find the versatility needed to print both labels and cartons on the machines.
NMD: What are the features in the Lombardi press which tilted your decision in its favour?
SJ: I would not like to compare the machine with others, but what I liked the most of the Lombardi press was the ease of use. I was in Italy for two days. On the first day, the Lombardi team showed me the press running on 12 microns to 450 gsm, and explained the operations. On the next day, I could mount the plate, and run the machine. It’s an electronically controlled machine, and that is what excites me of the machine.
NMD: What percent of your jobs is going to be labels and cartons on the Lombardi?
SJ: I really don’t know, but I guess to begin with the bulk of the jobs will be labels, and going forward I would not like to do more than 20% of label jobs on it.
NMD: Your existing press set-up?
SJ: We have three flexo presses and two letterpresses.
NMD: Your converting firepower after the Lombardi installation?
SJ: We convert around 3.5- to 4-lakh sqm per month and with Lombardi coming in we plan to double our production capacity, including labels and cartons.
Ranesh Bajaj, director at Vinsak
We are delighted to have sold these machines to Sandeep Zaveri of Total Print Solutions, who was also the recent past president of LMAI. I have a personal attachment to his company as in the year 1991, I had visited his erstwhile venture Preeti Arts and provided technical service to his Iwasaki RUH machine that his father and he then owned and operated.