HT Media gives print facility a TKS boost

HT Media saw a boost in the colour pages of its titles. Anjan Mazumdar of HT Media talks to Rahul Kumar about life after the arrival of the 10-tower TKS press at the Greater Noida facility

20 Feb 2014 | By Rahul Kumar

HT Media, the publisher of broadsheet English daily Hindustan Times, berliner business daily; Mint; broadsheet Hindi daily, Dainik Hindustan, and many other publications, has started its production with the newly installed Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho (TKS) web offset printing press installed at its Greater Noida facility.

The 10-tower TKS 5100 UDI web offset press can run up to a maximum speed of 80,000 copies an hour with a cut-off of 546mm. This is a double-width single circumference (4x1) printing press.

Anjan Mazumdar, assistant vice president, technology, modernisation and quality, HT Media, said, “We were thinking to opt for a Japanese printing press for the last three to four years, after establishing our plants at Delhi and Mumbai with the German printing presses. Being a 4x1 printing press, both, plate cylinder and blanket cylinder are one-around. Hence we can save on both, the blanket as well as plate, in this difficult economic slowdown. It is a conventional blanket press instead of metal.

“Being a Japanese printing press, the expectations were high and the press is meeting those. It is a twin-folder machine and you can run both the folders individually as a separate folder. It is a good printing press maintaining efficiency and economy in a compact design. The print quality of the printing press is quite similar to a heatset printing press, with minor difference in the delta value of the printed jobs from both technologies," he further added.

Structure of the press
The make-up of the press line is: 10 4/4 colour top towers, with one double delivery folder and ten-reel stands. With TKS's "Geminus" system, it has the capability of printing two different products at the same time. The reel stand is a fixed two-arm type; the printing unit a 4 X 1 (four pages across and one page around) H-type four-colour over four-colour tower press with a maximum speed of 80,000 copies an hour and the folder section has a balloon former with double 2:3:3 folding cylinders.

The combined total print-run of HT Media's two main papers is well over two-million copies daily and is printed in their 19 printing plants spread around India. HT Media is a newspaper company with 5,000 employees.

Anjan Mazumdar

On colour newspaper printing
India is the biggest market for colour printed newspapers. I did not see so many colour pages in South East Asia and not even in Europe and America. Their main dailies consists very limited colour pages in their editions. On the other hand, colour pages in newspapers were started by newspaper publication houses only to attract their advertisers with a very little incremental cost and in certain cases with no incremental cost. To beat the competition it became a compulsion. Increasing cover price is an option, but not a feasible one for newspaper publishers in spite of rising production cost.

Need for colour pages
I was once asked by a newspaper owner if advertisers demand colour pages in newspaper or are we forcing them to opt for colour pages. This was when we had opted for our first colour printing press for newspapers printing. “I think, we as newspaper companies, are in knots as far as the colour business go. If you offer mono printing then the advertisers immediately react like you are in trouble and colour printing means costs.”

HT Media has increased its colour printing capacity to meet its increasing demand since Hindi and other Indian languages market prefer colour pages. The newspaper publication house believes that the number of colour pages and print order are two major concerns.

Maintaining presses
Maintain the running cost of a web offset printing press is also a challenge in today’s competitive scenario. We are using this printing press only for newspaper printing and going ahead maybe we will print Mint on it too. And hopefully, with better productivity and time advantage, we will be able to push our sales.

Newspaper growth
India is one of the rare countries, where the newspaper industry is witnessing a double digit growth. New printing plants, newspaper publishers, editions, titles and installations of printing presses and other pre- and post-press equipment are taking place. Indian printing presses are also meeting newspapers publishers’ expectations and that’s why they are in demand.