The bold, the beautiful and the bountiful - The Noel D'Cunha Sunday Column

PrintWeek India’s Ninth Anniversary special issue tracked India’s unique print scene - and mapped data from 111 firms. One section focused on the Print Navratnas. These Navratnas have been a prudent mix of heavy duty Investments plus nifty buys.

A look at what the industry leaders have to say.

In this Sunday Column, we share the high-tech and clever-tech suggestions from the Maharathis of Indian print and packaging

25 Jun 2017 | By Noel D'Cunha

Kirit Modi, chairman and managing director, Horizon Packs


The best option machines in corrugation segment
Based on the individual’s capital budget, the market potential of that location and host of other factors, the choice of plants is made. I feel there is a market for all kinds and makes of the machines going forward. Generally, people start with lower-end Chinese machines and as they gain experience they move upwards to expensive varieties.

Best practice you implemented across your shopfloor
Material wastage in corrugated box industry is a big challenge and one of the main reasons for the same is poor housekeeping habits of the people working on the shopfloor. We have put housekeeping as a top priority and every operator and supervisor has been trained to ensure that their work area is maintained neat and clean at all times. It was basically change in mindset. This itself helps to reduce the wastage to a great extent.

Gautham Pai, managing director, Manipal Technologies


Print innovation you created in the past 12 months?
With the efforts of our R&D team, we have taken our printed heaters to the market and launched electro-luminescent displays. Also, the instant issuance of banking card through our digital bank branch solution is also something we are proud to have introduced successfully.

A recent small-and-effective investment
A camera inspection system for better quality control. An important point to note would be that such kits get developed in-house by our R&D and IT teams.

Amit Ray, group president for packaging business at Uflex


A best practice at Uflex
The practice of ‘running handover’ between the outgoing and incoming shift personnel is a great shopfloor practice, wherein the machine does not stop whenever the shift changes. The worker of the incoming shift arrives 15 minutes before the shift starts and the worker of the outgoing shift leaves 15 minutes after the shift gets over. This overlapping window of 30 minutes helps smooth transitioning in terms of machine performance and production streamlining.

Pramod Khera, executive director, Repro India


The Repro transformation
To produce 12,000 POD (print-on-demand) books a day from 6,000 a day. The plan: set up two additional units in New Delhi and Chennai in addition to the Mumbai facility. The two new plants will each produce 2,000 books a day, and the Mumbai facility will produce 8,000 books per day.

Repro’s book printing revival
Book printing industry is struggling to manage their businesses profitably. With the transformation that Repro has undertaken from being just a printer to a value-added book distributor cum printer, we feel that we will be able to improve our profitability.

Saket Kanoria, managing director, TCPL Packaging


A big print shake-up?
I think all the print and packaging segments have become very competitive. It’s just that there are many firms in our industry who are working for lower and lower margins. One should not grow at the cost of someone else. Some of the print firms are embarking upon the sort of pricing that – always – eventually proves terminal. Many print firms offer rates to fill slots. But I feel, when you start offering ‘cheap rates’ all the time then that’s where the trouble starts for the entire industry.

Best practices
At TCPL, we are sticklers for cleanliness and hygiene on our shopfloor. We have organised our entire organisation based on the 5S principle.

Ramesh Kejriwal, chairman, Parksons Packaging


A Drupa 2016 technology
Heidelberg PrimeFire. I thought it was a high power mixture of offset and digital.

A big print shake-up
Consolidation is the name of the game. It started with label firms and flex-pack firms. Now it is the turn of commercial printing and carton packaging.

P Narendra, chairman, Pragati Offset


A new print technology at Drupa
Benny Landa’s Nano-Metallography solution. I am sure you remember the “mountain” of used foils they kept on one side to tell us that it is history. Landa’s technology is not yet commercialised, but when it does, then printers don’t have to worry about the width of the foil or how to plan for least wastage. Truly wonderful.

A best practice at Pragati
We always print by measuring and hitting the standard colour densities. We have been following it for over a decade and a half. We now have scanning densitometers on all our machines. This has empowered us with the ease of measuring and adjusting the ink levels. Personally, I feel very happy about this.

CJ Jassawala, executive director for printing at Thomson Press


Two best practices
The (implementation of) Theory of Constraints has bound Thomson Press from sales to dispatch and everything in between, including shopfloor and various other support functions into one aligned team, with a single goal to become the “world’s most reliable printer”. The measure of our performance will be to consistently deliver “On Time, In Full of the Right Quality”, job after job.

The other thing which we are trying to achieve is, development and sourcing of spares for printing and binding machines locally or from alternate sources due to exorbitant costs from OEM (original equipment manufacturer) as well as electronics going obsolete.

A bullish print vertical
High-end packaging which calls for high-end sheetfed printing with in-line foiling, UV printing, embossing, security printing, coating, metallic and Pantone colour capability, etc. This is an expensive investment but will pay off as organised retailing and high-end branding establishes itself in India.

Prasad Bhagawath, managing director, Printech Digital Imaging


A mantra to select your partners
Choose a technology partner who is constantly investing in research and development. The future will be ruled by people who innovate and adopt newer technology ahead of others. The mantra is simple – innovate or perish. Adoption of new technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT), are key to make the machines smart. Everything is going to be digital in the coming years. The printing industry is no exception. Companies have to be ready for digital transformation.

The best tool at Printech
A machine to precisely record downtime to calculate the losses in business and for future precautions whenever we buy new equipment.