The Screen Print Man

Despite the existence of offset and packaging printing presses in and around Bengaluru, why do many of the agarbatti / incense stick manufacturers prefer screen printed cartons?

05 Sep 2014 | By Shripad Bhat

The answer lies in the many walks that one takes around the streets of Bengaluru; especially, Cottonpet, where you inhale only the fragrance of these incense sticks. But as for printers there is something else to smell!

All along, one notices that most of the special incense stick box / packagings are screen printed as mandated by agarbatti manufacturers. This is even though screen printing is a slower process of print production than offset and high speed packaging. 

As the Ganesh festival winds up, the stage is also being set for the ten days Navratri festival which will culminate with the celebration of Dasara. Then, within a fortnight Diwali will begin. 

As the festive season gets thicker and thicker, we bring three Agarbatti packaging manufacturers from South India, who supply millions of screen printed special packaging. 

Amba Prints & Packaging, Bengaluru

Bengaluru-based Amba Prints & Packaging quickly dumped their four manual tables and switched over to full fledged automation by investing in two Grafica’s nano print plus and screen making set up to produce superior quality packaging for incense sticks.

It is understood that incense sticks, a mass consumption product, has a huge market with 30 per cent export potential. “With automation we are able to produce around 15 lakh Agarbatti boxes per month, using multiple ups printing technique,” says Mohan, director of Amba Prints & Packaging.

Amba Prints & Packaging’s 2400 sq/ft production facility houses screen printing, lamination, post press facilities (punching and pasting).  They supply Agarbatti boxes to manufacturers in Bengalure, Mysore, Kolkata, etc.

“Now, some of the Agarbatti manufacturers prefer screen printed cartons with gold foil lamination. The screen printed cartons are preferred because of its attractive look. Such quality printing was possible with transparent and PVC gloss screen printing inks,” says Mohan, who hails from Maharashtra, now settled in Bengaluru.

Sarvesh Printers, Bengaluru

Like Amba Print & Packaging, another agarbatti packaging manufacturer, Sarvesh Printers, too switched over to automation to deliver superior quality Agarbatti packaging in line with their competitors.

Holding a diploma in printing technology, Rajesh better knows the importance of automation in screen printing after toiling in manual screen printing. He also burnt his hands by using a secondhand pneumatic screen printing machine.

With automation, Sarvesh Printers produces over 6000 Agarbatti boxes per day. Additionally, they also produce sweet and cake boxes with value addition using various UV special effects.

Sarvesh Printers is not allergic to offset technology. They also supply offset printed packaging - sweet boxes and agarbatti cartons. Their 2000 sq.ft screen printing unit houses all post press facilities to make agarbatti packaging.

“For some special incense sticks, the Agarbatti manufacturers prefers only screen printed cartons due to vibrant colours and value addition possibilities,” says Rajesh.

Naren Packers & Printers, Puducherry

C Jayakumar, Proprietor of Naren Packers & Printers, Puducherry tells why his company embraced automation.

“Prior to automation we had five screen printing tables. Now we produce quality agarbatti packaging while at the same time have improved our production capability. With manual screen printing tables we used to struggle on both fronts,” says Jayakumar.

Naren Packers & Printers is a manufacturer of packaging for agarbatti (incense sticks) and sweets. They also produce stickers. They press has die making and die cutting facilities. On a regular basis they cater to at least seven prominent agarbatti making companies including one prominent spiritual organisation in Puducherry.

“Agarbatti packaging screen printed on hand-made paper is now most sought after by our customers due to its vibrant colour. That’s because hand-made paper surface is rough and hence print result does not come out well if printed by letter press or offset,” explains Jayakumar.