Wings uses pre-owned kit as stepping stone to invest in a new printing press

Embarking on its print journey with a refurbished kit allowed Wings Marketing Communications get a foothold in a capital-intensive industry and enhance its competency.

19 Jan 2015 | By Rahul Kumar

Working with three Dominant printing presses for the last few years, Delhi-based Wings Marketing Communications (WMC) recently replaced two of its Dominant presses with a brandnew four-colour Komori Enthrone 29.
After completing his MBA from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in 1998, Sagheer Khan, proprietor of WMC, and his friend were on the look-out for jobs. “After getting the job, we received a print job from the company, and we accepted it. Thus, I stepped into the printing industry,” says Khan.
In 2002, Khan became a full-time freelancer. “I did the same things as other freelancers do. This went on, and in 2009, I commissioned a Dominant printing press. After an interval of six months, I commissioned two more Dominant presses. Thus, I had three refurbished Dominant printing presses,” he adds.
It all began with pre-owned
“For a person like me (who did not have financial backup), a pre-owned printing press was the only way to enter such capital-intensive industry. I am pleased with their performance against the investment and running cost and production,” says Khan.
Khan says pre-owned machines provide multiple benefits, include less investment, less care, easily available service engineers, and finally, “you do not have any fear what will happen if the machine stops working. Most importantly, you do not have to think about bank EMIs, as most of the machines can be bought without bank loans,” he adds.
With the Komori printing press, Wings also has commissioned a six-up Kodak Trendsetter to ensure smooth production. Khan plans to synchronise the printing press with his CTP system by using CIP4. He says it will make the production hassle-free, as ink setting will be automatic. The company does most of its work in 19x26 inch format in four colours.
The CTP and new press, rationale
Khan says, these days, the scenario has completely changed for a printer. Nowadays, print buyers demand quality production and fast delivery. This was one of the reasons, he opted for a new Komori. There were other factors, such as the costs on makeready, power of two machines versus one, labour cost on two presses, chemicals, space of two machines and maintenance, and so on.
“Also, with CIP4 connectivity between the Kodak CTP and Komori printing press, I want to save on unnecessary paper waste and get optimum results, says Khan. “I expect the margins to improve due to increased productivity, faster makeready and lower wastage.”
Increased quality from the Kodak thermal CTP and the Komori press will also add to increased customer satisfaction, as this will ensure short makeready and higher speeds, leading to faster delivery. Khan says, “I am currently a commercial printer, but with Enthrone’s double diameter cylinder, which can take up to 0.6 mm board, I plan to get into packaging as well. I will need to invest into post-press to match the quality on pre-press and press for my packaging requirements.”
Round the clock
In its round-the-clock operation, Wings prints around 70 sets of 1,000 sheets. This average varies, on a day to day basis. What is more interesting is that Khan runs the facility 365 days of the year.
About the Trendsetter, Khan says, “If you are into quality work, then thermal technology is best, because of its square dot. Right now, we consume 5,000 plates every month, which will go up even while the number of presses has been reduced from three to two.”
The company’s finishing line is equipped with stitching and Polar cutting machine. Within the next two to three months, a Stahl folding machine will be installed.
After the recent investment, Khan is expecting 40% growth in his business. “Being a non-technical person, I did not have any problems acclimatising with the industry. However, it being a labour-intensive industry, managing the workforce is a task,” Khan adds.
Wings has a workforce of 25 people, who work in a 3500 sq/ft premise. On the cards is a plan to buy a second printing press and a factory space.