Ramu Ramanathan: You keep tabs on the trends in the packaging area. What would you say to the brand managers and design specialists about the HP Indigo 30000 in your factory?
Siddharth Kejriwal: It is a new concept in India. And I think, the first thing is there should be no inhibitions or no fixated ideas. It is the only way a new breed of cartons can be produced.
RR: What can the HP Indigo 30000 create?
SK: Over the last few months, we have seen the full potential of what this machine can do. Our eyes have opened up as to what more is possible with this machine. We are constantly brainstorming with our marketing team plus our production team. The possibilities are infinite.
RR: One tip you have for the creators?
SK: My tip is: be open.
SK: Think of whatever ways you want to connect with the consumer. I feel, with this machine, you have a solution.
RR: Please explain this with one example.
SK: We saw a beautiful cereal carton produced on this machine in Japan. This carton had multiple motifs of animals which could be downloaded with an app. Then there is augmented reality. This was a big hit among kids in that market. This is one simple example.
RR: Impressive. What more?
SK: The most important thing is, about brand owners telling us how they hope to create a connect between the consumer and the packaging. At Parksons Packaging we hope to create such type of products, which we can build and develop with the Indigo 30000. The whole idea is the consumer remembers that this packaging has such-and-such feature. And then, the buyer says, we loved it, or we enjoyed it, or we could use it. That is our objective.
RR: How do you respond to the usual cliché about digital versus offset debate?
SK: We don't want to replace work from our offset presses at the Daman factory. Nor do we want to focus on run of the mill jobs. Our aim is to bring uniqueness to the brand owner and to the consumer. Which is why, as I mentioned earlier, the product recall or brand recall has to be very high. That's the main objective with this machine.
RR: Why did you select the two coaters from Tresu along with the HP Indigo 30000?
SK: HP has installed 50-60 presses of the Indigo 30000 across the world, which are dedicated to folding cartons. Only two or three machines are bundled with the double coater. The reason for a double coater is, we want to ensure that it's not just about the features and the value addition. Ultimately, the carton should travel through the entire supply chain, very comfortably. As you know, most of the folding cartons have a single coat or a double coat, or a combination of water-based, UV and matt gloss. The coating helps protect the surface in terms of rubber resistance and other things. Plus it adds aesthetic value.
RR: How do the two coaters benefit a brand?
SK: It provides a degree of comfort to a brand owner who realises they are getting great features without compromising on quality. Also there is time reduction in the duration to complete a job.
(r-l) Ramesh Kejriwal, Siddharth Kejriwal and Chaitanya Kejriwal
RR: Pretty quick?
SK: Yes, you can take a job and print it, coat it, finish it very fast. That's the main advantage of having an in-line double coater with the Indigo 30000. It allows us to be flexible and not have changeovers between water-based and UV coating.
RR: Siddharth, this is the same site at the Daman factory where Parksons Packaging had installed its KBA UV press. That was the beginning of the UV being a game-changer. What are your expectations with the Indigo 30000?
SK: Oh yes. First time in India, and it was the first UV machine in India. Since then, we've replaced that machine. Now we've got the latest KBA UV presses. But to answer your question, it's great to see a new technology in the same location.
RR: The advent of UV was 14 years ago. What do you anticipate with digital packaging, 14 years from now?
SK: Fourteen years ago, we didn't know what digital print will be. We didn't know it's going to be such a strong presence in the print industry. It has progressed significantly in the commercial print. Now it's making a statement in packaging. And I don't think it's easy to think about what's going to happen in 2033.
RR: Why so?
SK: Time is contracting every year. And so, within another seven years from now, we shall see something new, something different, something beyond our imagination.
RR: An exciting phase in the industry?
SK: Oh yes. We are technology buffs. And we love to see what more can we do for the industry. I always say, we are in the business of folding cartons, not in the business of offset printing or digital printing. So whatever value we can bring to the folding carton industry, with the latest technology, makes us happy.
RR: Any inside information you can share. For example, something about substrates?
SK: From a substrate perspective, this machine is quite flexible. It can print on all sorts of paper, high quality as well as virgin board. Also, it can print high quality, recycled board, and surfaces, like PET and propylene. Furthermore, the range of thicknesses is quite good. And so, any substrate, which converts into a folding carton, can work on this machine.
RR: What about VDP?
SK: The other advantage is you can print every sheet, or every carton within a sheet with a different variable data. So it could be different artworks, it could be different messages, it could be multiple codes, it could be assorted security features. It's a question of how you connect the software and the data-points with the printing press. This is next-to-impossible to produce on an offset press. That's the strength of variable data printing on this machine.
SK: Very nice. And mind you, you can do it at pretty decent speeds and print in a pretty decent format. So we're able to also do good mass volume products with variable data printing.
RR: How is Parksons Packaging hoping to reach out to young designers and young creators who have a fancy for print, but do not know how to maximise the utilisation of using this technology?
SK: Well, the technology is very new. And so, we need to bring a lot of awareness among everybody who's part of delivering the right packaging to the end consumer. Whether it is designers, advertising agencies, brand managers, we will engage with all of them. I feel it will be a learning process for all of us. We have had conversations with the HP team, and they have a lot of solutions. But every day, something new comes up. So it's about how creative you can be because the machine is capable to do a lot. So, I think there has to be a lot more interaction, a lot more discussions of what the brand stands for, and what our packaging can do for the brand. I think the most important aspect of this machine is you have the opportunity to connect with the consumer; the brand owner is able to connect with a consumer. That's the fundamental objective.
RR: How do you intend to pass on the message?
SK: We have to get the consumer interest, stimulated. That is going to be our focus.