The Tushar Dhote Column: KOPA silver jubilee celebrations and Bindwel factory visit

In this 10th edition of his column, Tushar Dhote recounts his recent trip to Bengaluru to attend the silver celebrations of Karnataka Offset Printers Association, and a visit to the Bindwel factory.

17 Mar 2023 | By Tushar Dhote

On 11 March, I visited Bengaluru to witness the silver jubilee celebrations of the Karnataka Offset Printers Association (KOPA). The event was graced by key dignitaries from the printing industry, including the president of KOPA, V Krishnamoorthy. The chief guest was Dr CN Ashwath Narayan, minister for IT & BT, science and technology, higher education, skills and development. The guests of honour were Gururaj Shastry, head of production, Deccan Herald and Ravindra Joshi, president, AIFMP.

The event was a grand affair, with many printers and publishers from the state in attendance. The proceedings began with a traditional puja to mark the start of the celebrations. This was followed by a speech by Krishnamoorthy, who highlighted the achievements of the association and its members over the past 25 years. He also thanked the members for their hard work and dedication to the profession. 

The event's highlight was the felicitation of the senior members of KOPA who have made significant contributions to the printing industry. Awards were also presented to the best-performing printers and publishers of the year. 

The event concluded with a cultural programme featuring performances by the state's best talents. Overall, it was an enjoyable and memorable day for everyone involved, and the silver jubilee of KOPA was celebrated with great pomp and grandeur.

Pamex was prominently branded at the event. Ravindra Joshi, in his speech, covered the growth trajectory of Pamex and brought the audience up to date on the status of the current edition.
Prior to the 25-year celebration event, KOPA had organised a panel discussion in the afternoon for the benefit of its members and students from the Institute of Printing Technology. The panel discussion was held at Palace Grounds and was attended by a large number of participants. It was chaired by the president of KOPA and featured speakers from the industry — Rakesh Sacher, ITC Paperboards; Amit Khurna, COO, TechNova; Venugopal Menon, Bobst; KS Murthy, Toyo Inks; Arnab Maiti, Esko; Vinay Kaushal, Provin Technos; and A Appadurai, HP, who discussed the various aspects of print and packaging industry. The participants were educated about the various opportunities available in the print and packaging industry and were also enlightened about the current trends and developments in the industry. 

The moderator for the discussion was Ramu Ramanathan, chief editor, PrintWeek. The discussion concluded with an interactive Q&A session that enabled the participants to get their queries answered by the speakers. The event successfully created awareness among the attendees and was well-received by the audience.

Bindwel facility a treat to the eye
Earlier in the morning, I followed up with my quest to visit the world-class facilities of Indian printing and packaging equipment manufacturers. This time, I used the opportunity to visit the Bindwel factory, Peenya Industrial Area, Bengaluru. I was received by Suresh Nair, chief technical officer and Arvind Kalasur, director of the company. Bindwel is the indigenous manufacturer of world-class post-press equipment for the book publishing industry.   

The factory is housed in a large pillar-less facility. The assembly area and QC for inspection of spares and inventory of spares are on the ground floor. A separate section for new product development is on one side of the assembly area. 

Bindwel sources all its components from leading engineering/component manufacturers in and around Bengaluru. The company has 130 vendor partners who supply different components for their various products. The mezzanine floor has the design and R&D engineers working on schematics and innovation in design on 3D software. They have done away with the need to make a prototype and can go from the drawing board to manufacturing the machine parts.

The factory is equipped with high-end technology. The employees are highly trained and motivated and have worked in the industry for many years. 

The Bindwel factory is a testimony to the company's commitment towards its customers and the industry. The company has consistently provided quality products and services to its customers. The company is also strongly committed to the environment and is a responsible corporate citizen. Bindwel takes pride in meeting customer requirements and consistently delivering quality products and services through a zero-defect tolerance policy.

My relationship with Sajith Pallippuram goes back more than two decades when I met him first during the IPAMA exhibition in 2002, held in Mumbai. Later, I was to become his first customer for this newly designed three-clamp perfect binding machine displayed at Pamex 2006. I can proudly say that his vision and passion has made him a name to reckon with among post-press equipment manufacturers globally.

At Pamex 2023, Bindwel is showcasing its show-stopper — the four-clamp automated perfect binding machine with single bookbinding and the capability of selecting covers by a QR code reader on the machine.

This machine can be retrofitted to a three-knife trimmer to produce a single book.

The other displayed machines will be the company’s hot seller six-clamp perfect binder with enhanced 50-cycle capacity and integrated flowline, trimmer and with or without the gatherer as there might be space constraints.

Meantime, preparations for Pamex are peaking. The online registrations have already crossed the 10,000 mark and are heading towards the 15,000 mark in the next ten days.

The Pamex backend team is busy working to assist the exhibitors in every way.

The Pamex directory will soon be going to press with the details of over 425 exhibitors and more than 250 machines on display with over 100 launches.

Next week, I will do a follow-through of the entire event, covering over three halls and a record-breaking 12000-sqm plus booking. 

(Tushar Dhote is co-chairman of Pamex. This is the tenth in a series of weekly Tushar Dhote columns, which will continue till the commencement of Pamex 2023 in Mumbai. Stay tuned in…)