Automation boosted business

Rajesh Kumar, a mechanical engineer and his brother Tanuj Sawhney (B Tech), partners of Faridabad-based Dev Labels/Dev Print N Pack, say that their business dream cannot be achieved unless automation is adopted in screen printing.

13 Jul 2017 | By Shripad Bhat

The engineer brothers have two businesses under the names: Dev Print N Pack – heat transfer printing which caters to exporters; and Dev Labels – garment tags, washcare labels, size labels in satin and taffeta which caters to the garments industries, barcode stickers and stationery printing etc.

The company offers offset printed tags up to 400 gsm - and the above 400 gsm tags are screen-printed. The company also provides fusing service to customers who do not have in-house facility.

Recalling his entry into ‘screen printing’, Rajesh Kumar says: “I quit my job, after working for three years, owing to an eyesight problem caused during my work tenure as a mechanical draftsman.”

As he wished to start own business, he opted for screen printing after closely evaluating the trade in his classmate’ printing press. Once my business started growing, my younger brother, Tanuj, who is an engineer also joined the business.”

“I did not know the existence of screen printing machines. Hence I started off with manual screen printing and continued to do so; until I got in touch with the Grafica team. Buying the screen printing machine from the Vasai-based manufacturer was not only a judicious decision but also a game-changer. That’s because we were struggling hard to improve quality and production by manual screen printing. Once an advanced screen printing system was in place we could see a dramatic change in our business viz, improvement in quality and increase in production,” says Rajesh Kumar.

“Let me tell you, some people in the industry discouraged me saying that there was not much benefit in a screen printing machine. They said, it was not viable in heat transfer printing. But I was firm to opt for a change … for the better, as there was serious quality issue such as colour variation in print, rejection and wastage; and we were not able to deliver jobs on time due to slow production in the manual system."

“Let me add that mere investment in a quality screen printing machine does not introduce quality. We need to change our attitude. For example, when we had manual screen printing, we used to print with cheap inks of Rs 200/kg; but once the automation was in place we started using superior quality inks of Rs 1000/- kg up to Rs 5500/- kg. These were world renowned brands plus imported as well as high quality Indian brands. In addition, we opted for superior quality screens to get better quality output."

Automation in screen printing

Rajesh Kumar says that there is 100% customer satisfaction on the quality front, while explaining the tangible benefits about automation. “Plus customers are happy because we deliver their jobs on time. In addition, Dev has achieved over 60% jump in production, resulting in overall growth. With such impact, we felt we should have gone for Grafica machine 7-8 years ago because we made a mistake of investing some cheaper local machine which failed our automation drive.

Rajesh Kumar shares an interesting insight about the heat transfer market. “Our export market customers are quality conscious and not price conscious; whereas in domestic market customers are price conscious and often use low quality heat transfers. Our quality transfers certainly carry higher price because we use quality input."

His mantra is: quality input = quality output + higher price; and cheaper input = low quality output + cheap price.

Future plans

“We are trying our best through innovation in Heat Transfer Label field by making apart from using plastisol we are trying solvent-based, water-based, high density labels. In future we plan for one more set of screen printing and screen making machines,” he concludes.

Dev Labels’ tech muscle

Dev Labels’ three-storied 2,700 sq/ft facility houses offset and label printing machines, and a battery of post-press equipment including a screen printing unit.

22x28-inch Grafica Nano-Print Plus

Focus’ label printing machine with tape width up to 10-inch. It can print four colours on the front side and two colours on the back side simultaneously

Three-colour label printing machine

Four-colour labels printing machine

Single-colour offset printing machine

Sticker (label) cutting and perfecting machine

Sensor Taffeta label cutting machine

ALC-103 Micro computer auto trade cutter

Motorised paper cutter