Big brands play the secondhand song

Today, there is a huge choice of sheetfed presses. Representatives of the top three German press manufacturers explain how Indian firms should choose and import a pre-owned model

16 Feb 2011 | By Staff Writer

Aditya Surana: Indo-Polygraph Machinery
Managing Director

"For us, the best year in terms of sale for new sheetfed machines was 2007. Then came 2008 and the economic recession. And although this did not affect India as much as Europe and USA, it did make a difference.

Due to an uncertain future, the Indian printer opted for pre-owned machines. In the past, pre-owned machines were 13-15 years old. Today that’s not the case. In the last 12 months, Indo Polygraph has sold around 75 units of pre-owned presses.

We’ve observed that the customers are seeking a kit which is backed up (supported) by the company. These machines are not more than six to seven year old and costs a little more than half the cost (50% to 60%) of the new ones. Indo-Polygraph Machinery (IPM) sells both new and pre-owned machinery.

This enables us to target the non-KBA customer and convert them to brandnew KBA sale. Besides a pre-owned machine offers one the advantage of flexibility.

Why buy a new machine when you cannot afford it? In a case where you have already purchased a new machine a year or two ago and need another one to meet your demand; a well evaluated press, properly refurbished will be able to perform to growing production demands and increase profitability.

What the recession in 2008 has done is, made operations more efficient by streamlining the cost and therefore, focus on other areas of sales. KBA has a department that exclusively caters to pre-owned machinery sales.

The pre-owned machines are evaluated, refurbished, stocked, sold and transported by KBA. A list of such machines are provided on a monthly basis. This arrangement works nicely for us as we know of the equipment that is stocked up and how it can be sourced from. We install and service the machines which we sell.

We’ve been blessed with good sales. The recent trend in currency exchange rates has certainly favoured the European machine manufacturer – instead of the Japanese. The cost of the machines on both sides are now on equal footing. That is because the Indian printer has more faith in German technology.

We expect 2011 to be better than 2010. In the pre-owned sector, I am expecting a growth of 10% over 2010."

Ajith Kumar: Heidelberg India  (HIN)
Regional Sales Manager

Heidelberg in India has notched up ten installations in the financial year 2010.These machines were sold across India. What is equally interesting is, most of these customers were new to the Heidelberg platform.

Heidelberg tries to achieve secondhand installations without undermining its brand position. We do this, by offering machines which are pre-owned by Heidelberg abroad. Our office checks the condition of machine and gives a machine information report. We share this with our prospects. To make double sure, we depute an engineer from our office to inspect the machine along with our prospect.

All our offices are networked and make information sharing easy and fast. Heidelberg’s database on the machine is very accurate, with a file being retained by Heidelberg for all machine sold across the globe.

Therefore seeking information on a given machine is not an issue. The main thing is, we work independent of the dealers and everyone having net access is a competitor to HIN when it comes to used machinery business.

We work to our strength, that of providing good quality inspected machines, service spares, installation, training and warranty support. We work on ethics and customers have also seen a reason to
support us.

The other important thing is, we have finance options available and if all papers are in order as needed by the finance company, the process would not take more than 30 days. A maximum of 75% funding is available for the pre-owned machinery. Of course, this is subject to the strength of the balance-sheet of the customer who seeks finance.

Since we’re Heidelberg, we are transparent in our business and work on ethics as per Heidelberg policy and cannot deviate from the framework of rule on any aspect. We do not differentiate between new and pre-owned, when it comes to paperwork, transportation, insurance, installation, training and service warranty.

Volatile swings in the European market or exchange rates of currencies are beyond our control. But we do advise our customers not to take a risk when it comes to currency. In fact we have been hit by currncy fluctuations like any other player in the market.

In addition to the heavy-duty sheetfed presses, I believe, there is a good market for cutting and folding machines in India. Post-press is seeing tremendous traction among the Indian print companies. We are evaluating the possibility of including these products in our scheme of things.

There could be a great opportunity for Indian printers to upgrade their technology. I believe, our printers can afford or have the capacity and capability to buy in this world scenario.

I expect the pre-owned segment to grow by 15% (within our business portfolio) in this financial year.

Awtar Singh: Manroland India
Sales Manager for sheetfed (West India)

Manroland has been actively involved in the pre-owned press segment in India over the past few years.

We have installed double digit number of pre-owned presses in the three years of our direct presence in India. Currently we offer logistics support, installation, service and spare parts to these customers. We have created special service and spare modules for pre-owned press owners.

Pre-owned presses will be a major focus area for Manroland India in the coming years. The segment has grown dynamically. Which is why,  we are evaluating our options to directly offer our customers pre-owned presses.

We have several big packaging and commercial players as our clients in the pre-owned segment.

Interestingly, most of these customers are repeat buyers of Manroland presses and vouch for Manroland’s printing quality. Manroland caters to all segments of customers and has a diverse product portfolio to meet a wide range of printing requirements. In the emerging markets, the customer requirements and market dynamics offer a wide scope of demand for both new and pre-owned presses.

Customers of new and pre-owned presses have a diverse set of press requirements. At Manroland, we have developed a custom-made service and spare part package to cater to these demands. We offer all our customers the same Manroland brand promise of reliability and uncompromised quality in printed products.

Our headquarters in Germany provides a complete history of the machine. In fact  the customer has an opportunity to evaluate the press on site. Thereby ensuring transparency to the customer.

I believe, exchange rates are beyond the purview of manufacturers and we cannot comment on the same. Manroland’s product portfolio encompasses printing presses and value added services under our umbrella brand Printvalue. We have plans to offer printing supplies in India as well, under our portfolio  called printcom.

With printcom we ensure consistent products and expertise which provide a decisive advantage for print quality,  productivity, and performance over the entire life cycle of the press system. This means higher productivity, reduced production costs, better print quality and overall higher press system availability.

In our efforts to provide our customers a superior service experience, we have started to stock spare parts in Delhi. We will  be expanding this facility in the next few months.

We anticipate a growing demand for printed products in the country, owing to a soaring consumption curve in the FMCG and pharma sectors. Consequently, we foresee an enormous potential for Manroland presses in the next few years with a special focus in the value added printing segment for both commercial and packaging sectors.

In emerging markets like India, we foresee an incremental demand for pre-owned presses in the near future. Coupled with high performance service and a spare part package, I believe, pre-owned presses offer customers great value for money as well as high quality standards.