Top deals; Indian visitors on a shopping spree at Drupa 2024 - The Noel DCunha Sunday Column

After an eight-year-long wait, Drupa was the trade show to watch out for, and the Indian industry did not disappoint. The PrintWeek duo of Noel D’Cuhna and Rahul Kumar report the deals every day for the past eleven days. We bring you the highlights of the important deals in this special Sunday Column

08 Jun 2024 | By Rahul Kumar & Noel D'Cunha

#1 Autoprint secures major deals

According to CN Ashok, the managing director, patrons from 85 countries visited Autoprint’s booth at Drupa. He said, “One of our new products, the Finecoat 105-Drip Off UV coating machine, received significant attention for its cost-effective design.” Autoprint had a 12-deal target for the show, of which six were completed by the eighth day. The company secured orders from customers in Costa Rica and Dubai, the latter of which placed a large, three-machine order. The company also received 30 enquiries from prospective agents interested in selling Autoprint’s machines in their countries.  “We have finalised one agent for Spain,” said Ashok. “We hope to finalise agreements with six additional agents in countries like Spain, Turkey and Nigeria to grow their international sales network.”

#2 Bindwel signs Ekam deal with Salasar Imaging Systems and others

Noida-based Salasar Imaging Systems is taking a fresh approach as it reshapes its book-binding operations. The company has finalised the acquisition of a Bindline Ekam equipped with a sixteen-station gathering, 5K binder, and trimmer.

In addition to Salasar, a prominent book printer operating in India, book printers in Uganda, Kenya, and Uzbekistan have also signed the Ekam deals. These deals have been signed at Drupa 2024. Salasar's decision to invest in the new book-binding line follows its prior use of Bindwel's Freedom 5K and Signa gatherers at its Raipur, CG facility.

#3 Bobst signs seven Indian deals

Bobst struck seven deals with Indian packaging converters in the first half of Drupa — including die-cutters, folder-gluers and corrugated machinery. Two of the customers are new, and the rest are existing customers looking to expand their portfolio. According to Venugopal Menon, the zone business director of BU printing converting for the Indian sub-continent at Bobst, the company focused on shaping the future of the packaging world rather than showcasing machinery at Drupa.

To achieve this, Bobst introduced the Bobst Connect system that allows machines to be connected, gather data, and enable analysis for performance improvement. “This system is integrated into various packaging solutions such as label, corrugated, folding carton, and flexible solutions. The goal is to offer connected machines that can provide valuable data for optimising performance and application solutions,” explained Menon.

#4 Nippon Color secures multiple platesetter deals for Cron

Nippon Color has finalised multiple deals at Drupa, securing sales for three thermal CTPs, two CTCPs to commercial printers, and 16 CTCP machines to various newspaper firms.

Nippon Color is a leading Cron representative in India. “With violet plates becoming scarcer and their prices soaring, newspapers are seeking cost-effective alternatives, turning to CTCP technology,” said Akshat Pardiwala, director at Nippon Color.

“This growth in sales comes after Cron launched its upgraded G+ model. The new enhanced version of Cron’s popular model G benefits from adding automation features, improved stability, and increased flexibility to add autoloaders, punching and multi-direction transport bridges,” Pardiwala added.

#5 DGM India announces five deals

DGM Automation India announced five deals for its finishing equipment at Drupa. The deals include one DGM Smartfold 800PC single folder-gluer, two DGM SmartFold 1100SL folder-gluers, and two DGM Technocut 1050S die-cutters.

Among the orders, Kolkata-headquartered York Print signed a deal for two DGM Technocut 1050S die-cutters with stripping, which will be installed at its plants in Kolkata and Guwahati. Bhiwandi-based Paramount Art Prints, specialising in pharmaceutical and cosmetic packaging, ordered a DGM Smartfold 800PC folder-gluer. 

Angad Enterprise, based in Kala Amb in Himachal Pradesh, already in pharma packaging, has ordered a DGM SmartFold 1100SL for its new factory to be installed in August. After extensive research and analysis, Ahmedabad-based Rightway Packaging decided to choose DGM as their partner for post-press with a new DGM SmartFold 1100SL with in-house capabilities. DGM plans to announce more machine deals soon. Agarwal noted, “The best part of this edition of Drupa is that only serious buyers are coming to the show.”

#6 Shenso sells 22 Fangbang machines

Shenso Graphic, a joint venture between Sodhisons and Daya, has announced that it has sold 22 Fangbang paper bag machines to Indian customers at Drupa. According to the company, this is the largest number of machines sold by Fangbang during Drupa to date and counting.

Shenso Graphic is the exclusive agent for Fangbang In India for complete sales and service support. An  Indian customer (the name was withheld by the company), purchased Fangbang’s new fully servo automatic roll-fed square-bottom paper bag machine with a size change in just 10 minutes with a speed of 180-mpm. Shenso Graphic is also the exclusive agent for KDX In India for complete sales and service support. It announced four deals for KDX lamination machines in Drupa.

#7 Pragati confirms order for two Hongming machines

On the first day of Drupa, Narendra Paruchuri, chairman of the Pragati Group of Companies confirmed an order for two Hongming 4030M double head/double feeder machines within the first few hours. The two machines are equivalent to four standard independent machines, offering efficiency and space-saving benefits. “This order is a proud moment for Hongming-NBG, highlighting the sustained patronage from Pragati,” said Nitin Garg of NBG. 

The Pragati Group also purchased its second Zhongke machine. The ZK-5540D features a servo control system and a touchscreen interface to integrate automatic paper feeding, glue spraying, folding, and wrapping into a single, seamless operation. With a production speed of over 2400-boxes/hour, the machine can make boxes of a wide range of sizes and styles. “With the ever-changing demand of the market, Zhongke, with its in-house R&D team, can design and develop machines around your needs. Our latest paper tray pulp moulding machine is a testimonial for the same," Rohit Rajpal, CEO of Zhongke India, said.

#8 Parksons books automatic rigid box machine from Hongming

Parksons Packaging, one of the largest mono converters in India, has confirmed an order for the latest automatic rigid box machine with double-head, double feeder model ZD-DP4030P from Hongming, with NBG as its dedicated sales and service partner in India. Parksons began its rigid box journey with Hongming-NBG, and this acquisition marks another step in its ongoing investment with Hongming and NBG. 

Parksons Packaging has also placed another order for sheetfed offset technology from Koenig & Bauer at Drupa. The announcement was made on the eighth day of Drupa.

The new Rapida 105-7+C press has seven inking units, a coater, extended delivery, and the capability for both conventional and UV printing, which is tailored for high-efficiency packaging production. It will be installed at MK PrintPack in Daman, a Parksons Group Company facility. The new press will modernise the press fleet at the MK facility, making way for replacing older presses.

Apart from this, Parksons Packaging has signed a deal for the Eterna Ecut Elite die-cutting machine and Efold folder-gluer from Suba Solutions.

Ramesh Kejriwal and Siddharth Kejriwal, the driving forces behind Parksons Packaging, spearheaded the procurement of these machines. “The integration of the Eternma Ecut Elite and Efold machines adds reliable capacity to support our increasing demand,” Ramesh Kejriwal said.

#9 Champion Packaging set to install HP Indigo 25K

Bengaluru-based Champion Packaging Industries, one of the largest flexible packaging converters in South India, has decided to invest in the HP Indigo 25K digital press, which will be the first in the region. The announcement was made on the ninth day of Drupa.

The four-decade-old packager, which has been using the latest technology to manufacture a variety of packaging materials in roll and pouch form for various products and industries, will be setting up a new facility as a fresh vertical for the company. The new HP Indigo 25K will ensure supply in minimum turnaround time and negligible MOQ, especially for those hesitant to invest heavily in packaging from the start. The 25K is expected to be installed at the new facility in June 2024.

The next generation, led by Priyesh Dalmia, Aman Bachhawat, and Ronak Bachhawat, is carrying forward Vikas and Rajesh Bachhawat's legacy. The next generation believes in the ethos of innovation. “The installation of this groundbreaking technology shall be a game-changer for the flexible packaging industry in Southern India,” said Priyesh Dalmia.

#10 Rajkot's Balaji Multiflex signs HP Indigo 200K deal

Balaji Multiflex, the flexible packaging division of independent Balaji Wafers, has signed a deal to install an HP Indigo 200K digital press as part of a broader expansion strategy to target start-ups.
This CO2-neutral press supports the company's growth in digitally printed flexible packaging.

According to HP Indigo's country manager - HP Industrial Print at HP India, A Appadurai, the 200K will enable quicker turnarounds, unparalleled efficiency, and the ability to easily handle diverse printing requirements. "We are excited to collaborate with Balaji Multiflex on this advanced technology that will transform the flexible packaging industry. Both HP and Balaji Multiflex share a commitment to innovation and quality."

#11 Silverpoint set to install India’s first HP Indigo 100K digital press, its second B2 press

Commercial print specialist Silverpoint is set to become the first in India to install an HP Indigo 100K digital press, its second B2 digital press. Saifee Makasarwala of Silverpoint said, "There is a significant growth potential in short-run commercial printing. We already have the HP Indigo 12000, and we are observing a shift in the short-run market, which is the driving force behind this decision.”

#12 Swiss Pac orders the HP Indigo 200K

Swiss Pac has ordered an HP Indigo 200K, a decision that follows the successful installation of the HP Indigo 25K. The deal was announced during Drupa. The new Indigo 200K will be installed at Swiss Pac’s new plant, nine kilometres from the existing facility at Dabhasa, Vadodara, where the HP Indigo 25K has been installed.

According to Prashant Vachhani, the managing director of Swiss Pac, the investment was influenced by HP's commitment to the quality of printed products and their support services and consultative approach, which facilitate business opportunities. Swiss Pac specialises in digitally printed packaging and offers a wide range of products, including coffee and tea pouches, beauty product packaging, pet food packs, and health food bags.

#13 Trigon installs India's first HP Indigo 200K

HP Indigo has announced the installation of its first Indigo 200K at Mumbai-based Trigon Digipack (formerly known as Trigon Digital). Trigon was the first in India to install the Indigo 25K. With the 200k install, Trigon has three HP Indigo presses on its shop floor.

According to HP, the Indigo 200K digital press is food packaging compliant. It achieves a 30% increase in speed and a 45% boost in productivity compared to the HP Indigo 25K operating at Trigon's Mumbai plant.

#14 TCPL invests in a new K&B printing press to drive growth

TCPL Packaging has invested in a new special configuration printing press from Koenig & Bauer to support its expansion plans. The new long-run K&B  Rapida 106 seven-colour plus double coater press is expected to be installed at TCPL’s greenfield facility in Goa and will arrive in September this year. With the installation of this press, TCPL will have 107 printing and finishing units from K&B.

Speaking to PrintWeek at K&B’s stand at Drupa in Hall 16, Saket Kanoria, managing director of TCPL Packaging, said the investment aims to increase profitability and reliability through higher finishing capabilities in-line. “This will allow us to do more finishing, such as coating and lamination within the printing process. We believe this integrated production approach will improve efficiencies and help meet tight turnaround times for customers.”

#15 Komori India sold 14 presses in the first three days

Komori India sealed deals of 14 printing presses with leading printers in the Indian subcontinent in the first three days of the show. On the first day, Komori sold three Lithrone GL437s and one Enthrone 429 press, followed by three Lithrone GL437 and one Lithrone GL640 press the next day. Komori GL40, newly launched at Drupa, has upgraded features and technical conditions. 

#16 Kora Pack books its second Komori

Of the Indian companies which have booked Komori press during Drupa is Chennai-based Kora Pack. “We were satisfied with the press as we eventually could do make-ready within 10–15 minutes. Our waste reduced to 100-120 sheets against the earlier wastage of 400–500 sheets,” said Prasad Kora, managing director of Kora Pack.

He added, “We are excited to expand our Komori portfolio by purchasing the Lithrone GL-640+C UV IR.”

In a move to elevate its production capabilities and deliver litho-laminated boards, Kora Pack signed an order for the Duopaac advanced low-waste and non-stop two-ply corrugation line from Suba Solutions at Drupa.

Prasad Kora, and Prashanth Kora, the father and son duo at Kora Pack recognised the growing demand for premium litho-laminated boards in the market and decided to go ahead with the Duopaac Advanced from Suba Solutions.

#17 Chennai’s RS Graphics books its first Komori

Chennai-based RS Graphics purchased one of the first Komori machines at Drupa.  RS Graphics, a five-decade-old commercial printing and packaging firm known for catering to end-products like marketing collaterals, labels, cartons, tags, etc to different customers from diverse sectors, has booked a new Komori Lithrone GL740+C UV IR.

“This is the first brand-new Komori press to be installed at our production facility,” VB Sridharan, managing partner at RS Graphics, said. He added, “After our extensive search for an offset press capable of boosting print quality to a new level, we eventually embarked on the Komori Lithrone GL740 with UV coater. We pre-planned the purchase to be made at Drupa 2024. We chose this press because of its features and capacity suitably matched with our requirements. Speed, print quality and overall productivity make the Komori GL740 an ideal choice for us.”

#18 Mumbai’s Globe Print n Pack buys its second Komori

At Drupa, Mumbai-based Globe Print n Pack purchased a new Komori Lithrone GL729+C IR UV, its second Komori machine. Incorporated in 1996 as a brainchild of Rahul Gupta, Globe Print n Pack has been working for big clients from diverse sectors, satisfying them with top-notch packaging solutions and others. Gupta is joined by his son Abhinav and recently by his daughter Anushka. 

“The new generation has helped me and given me the energy to take the business to a new level of growth,” Gupta said.

Abhinav Gupta, director of Globe Print n Pack, said, “It’s great to be in this vibrant industry, associating with prominent players like Komori. We installed the six-colour Komori Lithrone GL640 with UV coater in 2017.”

He added that they take the opportunity to enjoy Drupa 2024, which occurred after an eight-year hiatus.

Gupta explained, “We will use this new Komori press to take care of the increasing demands for packaging printing and allied tasks like the production of mono cartons which we keep receiving from our clients from diverse sectors.”

#19 Manugraph set to install a second web offset press in Japan

Manugraph is set to strengthen its presence in Japan by installing a second web offset press. The press will be installed through a newspaper company's business partner, Seiken Graphic. The M-360 press, called Seiken 36, is currently being installed. Manugraph had previously installed its first press in Japan in 2016.

Speaking to PrintWeek at Manugraph's stand at Drupa, Ken Inoue, manager of the international sales department at Seiken Graphics, stated that this partnership could increase sales of Manugraph web offset presses in Japan. “There is a demand for new presses in the newspaper industry due to the presence of more than hundred-year-old presses,” he said.

Considering Japan's constraints on space, Pradeep Shah, managing director at Manugraph, said his company has been manufacturing machines with a smaller footprint. Inoue explained that these presses are designed to fit into facilities with limited space, making them suitable for satellite operations.

#20 SV GraFIX books a Flexcel NX System and PureFlex Printing

The Gujarat-based flexo trade shop SV GraFIX from Vapi, a sister concern of Seeta Polymers, has placed an order for a Flexcel NX System and PureFlexo Printing from Miraclon at Drupa. According to Tanga Chettiyar, managing director, “the investment will address the increasing market demand for Flexcel NX Plates in Vapi.”

Karthikeyan, director at SV GraFIX, explained: “CI flexo is experiencing strong growth in our region, with printers competing to deliver a superior product while simultaneously improving their own productivity and bottom line. Flexcel NX plates are widely regarded as the plate of choice to achieve better ink densities and laydown, increase press speeds and maximise overall press productivity. We’re pleased that we can now address that demand.”

#21 Siddhee Prints finalises Pentac Rhino S 510 buy

Switzerland-based Pentac displayed its range of embellishment technologies at Drupa, which the packagers can use for both narrow and wide-web applications. Mumbai-based Siddhee Prints has finalised a deal to install the Pentac Rhino S 510.

Siddhee is a significant player in the chewing tobacco industry. The company will be using the machine offline. Agarwal said, “The machine Siddhee will be installing is one of the fastest in the world, with a speed of 150-mtr/min and 30,000 strokes per hour. It is a flatbed machine, which has the advantage of allowing for embossing along with foiling in one go.”

Agarwal also informed that the Rhino is designed for the label segment and chewing tobacco and cigarette packaging, making it a versatile choice for customers in India. “Pragati and Mark Emballage have installed the Rhino for label and carton production, while ISP Printpack and Sriram Polyester have invested in multiple Rhino units.”

#22 Pratham Technologies announces sale of its new automated outsert system with super tray packaging

Pune-based Pratham Technologies has announced that its new fully automatic packaging machine, which can significantly reduce operators' labour costs, will be installed at a packaging company in Germany. 

 While announcing on the penultimate day of Drupa 2024, Datta Deshpande, managing director at Pratham Technologies, said the complete automated outsert system comprising the iRPF 53 and the super tray packaging system (STP) 1200 will be installed soon after Drupa.

The iRPF 53 and the STP 1200 automate the leaflet packaging process using a combination of folding machines and robotic pick-and-place systems. 

According to Deshpande, the machine's efficiency allows one operator to manage two to three machines simultaneously, eliminating the need for 5-6 packaging staff. "This results in substantial savings of over Euro 40,000 per year in manpower costs for each machine installed."

The automated system is equipped with advanced sensors that meticulously check for proper gluing and promptly reject any defects before packing, ensuring impeccable quality. "This guarantees zero defects in the finished packages," affirmed Deshpande.

Further, Deshpande also informed PrintWeek that his company is partnering with automation firm IGS, UK, to develop automation solutions in the print finish sector and roll out these automated packaging solutions globally. Pratham will demonstrate the new machine at its UK dealer's site next month.

Deshpande added that this machine, Pratham's first foray into an automated system, has the potential to massively disrupt industries like printing and logistics that rely heavily on manual labour. "We look forward to leading this automation revolution with our STP 1200 machine."

#23 Monotech Systems signs multiple Ricoh toner press deals

At Drupa, Ricoh’s partner in India, Monotech, signed multiple deals for Ricoh toner presses. “These are all toner technology, like the Ricoh Pro C9500 and the Ricoh Pro C7500. The Pro Z75 has not yet been launched in India. But we expect it to be launched in India soon,” said TP Jain, managing director of Monotech.

Senior corporate officer and president of Ricoh Graphic Communications BU, Koji Miyao, said the Pro Z75 is an ideal solution for the Indian commercial printing market. “With its water-based inkjet technology and paper handling capabilities, the Pro 75 can help printers transition from offset to digital printing and offer short- and long-run jobs.”

Monotech Systems also signed two deals involving the Scodix Ultra 2500 SHD, a high-end print embellishment machine launched at Drupa. This machine features Scodix's premium technologies and offers 16 different embellishment applications in B2 format, operating at a speed of 1440 sheets per hour.

The Scodix Ultra 2500 SHD is known for its precision and capability to produce fine lines. One of these machines has been acquired by a commercial printer, while the other has been booked by a packaging converter.

#24 Provin finalises three press deals for RMGT

The deals include an eight-colour perfector and two four-colour RMGT 9-series presses. “Few more deals are in the pipeline, and that includes a bigger-sized press, are also being finalised,” said Vinay Kaushal.

To a question on where the Indian printing market is heading, Kaushal said the Indian market is seeing increased demand in the packaging and publication sectors.

Recent developments in the Indian market and adjustments made to cater to the evolving demands of the printing industry highlight the need for a strategic approach when considering investments in printing presses. "When buying a machine, you need to consider the future, which is 10 years, and no longer 25 years," said Kaushal.

#25 Robus India announces die-cutter sale

Robus India, a supplier and manufacturer of finishing equipment based in Greater Noida, announced the sale of its BHT-1060 CE Excellence Series automatic die-cutting machine at Drupa. The purchaser, Dolly Printing & Packaging from Pune, specialises in corrugation and versatile job printing and is planning to enter the pharmaceutical packaging sector. 

The BHT-1060 CE operates at 9000 sheets-per-hour and features advanced variable speed platen technology, represents a repeat purchase for Dolly Printing & Packaging. Previously, the company acquired Robus India's MHC-1300 EC automatic die-cutting machine in 2022 for its corrugation segment.

#26 Numex becomes first in Asia to invest in Shine

Mumbai-based trade shop, Numex Blocks, has become the first in Asia to invest in Shine LED lamp kits, innovated by Miraclon. Nitin Patil of Numex decided to invest in Shine LED lamps to retrofit his two exposure units at Drupa. Patil said, "The faster exposure times, better plate consistency, reduced waste and obvious cost benefit of not having to replace the two exposure units with new ones, made it an easy decision."

Numex Blocks specialises in pre-press and flexo plates. Patil said, "We like to keep abreast of the latest technology to ensure we keep growing. When Miraclon, who we’ve been enjoying a long, consultative relationship with, introduced us to Shine LED Lamps, I was excited about the path it offered us to simply and quickly retrofit our existing fluorescent devices with LED lamps instead of having to make a significant investment in new ones."

#27 Creative Graphics acquires five Shine LED Lamp Kit

Noida-headquartered and multi-location flexo pre-press house, Creative Graphics, has signed a deal for five Shine LED lamp kits, innovated by Miraclon, at Drupa. These LED kits will be installed on plate exposure units at various locations across India.

Deepanshu Goel, founder of Creative Graphics, explained the primary objective of this investment: converting the existing systems to LED technology. The shift to LED is expected to save time, enhance the quality of printing plates, and improve consistency. 

Goel stated, “The LED exposed plates will have more consistency and uniformity, eliminating the variability associated with UV plate exposure, which often requires precise energy calibration. With LED, the energy provided to the plate is consistent, resulting in superior plate quality.”

#28 Scantrans buys flute laminator from Suba

Chennai-based Scantrans has signed a deal for the Lamify advanced five-ply flute laminator from Suba Solutions. VB Ravikrishnan, managing director, and Prasanna, director of Scantrans, are confident that this advanced equipment will enhance their ability to efficiently handle five-ply and three-ply jobs.

Balaji and Vaidy, the leadership team of Suba Solutions, extended appreciation to Scantrans for its unwavering trust and confidence in Suba. Scantrans is a veteran in the corrugated box production industry from South India. The company is seeking to expand its current footprint and infrastructure.

#29 Dachepalli set to install TPH’s Orient Jet digital inkjet press

Hyderabad's Dachepalli Publishers, in a strategic move, has signed a deal to install the four-colour, 17.5-inch wide TPH Orient Jet inkjet duplex press. This installation is a part of the company's vision to cater to their publishing and commercial printing requirements with the latest technology. This press can run at speeds of up to 200-m/min. TPH Orient Group claims it is one of the fastest and most advanced fully Indian-made presses ever.

Speaking to PrintWeek, D Vinod Kumar shared his plans to complement his company's traditional print production with digital printing. “This change is aimed at better catering to the growing demand for customised content from customers and schools across India in light of new education policies,” said Kumar.

#30 Replika expands with its 26th Zhongke machine

Replika Packaging has acquired Zhongke’s latest double-head machine, capable of producing top and bottom-style boxes in the same cycle. This machine boasts a compact, harmonious design and intelligent functions, achieving a production speed of 25 sets per minute, making it the fastest machine for high-quality rigid box production to date.

The fully servo-driven machine efficiently handles the production of top and bottom boxes, as well as drawer-type boxes. With the addition of this 26th rigid box machine, Replika has solidified its position as a leader in the packaging industry.

“Partnering with Zhongke was an easy decision for us due to their exceptionally stable equipment and advanced features, which ensure high-quality production. Coupled with their strong technical team, we are assured of top-class service and support," said Bhuvnesh Seth, director of Replika Packaging.

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