PrintWeek Awards 2023 Jury Week wraps up after productive day three

The Jury members for day three of PrintWeek Awards 2023 Jury Week consisted of Amit Saurkar; Deepti Lshirsagar; Fazal Farooqui; Pratik Rane; Raju Kalgutkar; Sheetal Dandekar and Soma Roy. They judged samples across five categories. The categories were Packaging Converter of the Year (F&B); Packaging Converter of the Year (FMCG); Packaging Converter of the Year (Rigid box); Packaging Converter of the Year (Paper Bag and textile boxes).

07 Oct 2023 | By Disha Chakraborty

Day three of Jury Week consisted of Amit Saurkar; Deepti Lshirsagar; Fazal Farooqui; Pratik Rane; Raju Kalgutkar; Sheetal Dandekar and Soma Roy

The Jury team comprising seven veterans from the industry went through 250 plus samples received in five quality categories which focussed on packaging in the F&B, FMCG, pharma, rigid box, paper bag and textile. According to the Jury, the industry is much ahead of the technological developments and is courageously innovative.

The Jury members were impressed by the versatility of the packaging materials used. There were samples that deployed 100% recycled material, rPET and rPP. What impressed the jury was the percentage of the recycled used, the physical properties achieved and the stability of the packages.

Deepti Kshirsagar said, “Being from a creative field, initially I was expecting some good designs. But when I started discussing with the jury members, I was amazed by the speciality ink features. What blew my mind was the ink that gives a funky radium effect when UV light is passed through it. Also the experimentation with multiple substrates as well as the structure of the packaging item.”

She added that embossing, foiling, innovative product design, new materials or inks have become accessible even for brands which did not budgets for packaging. There were samples for a Mysore Pak brand in Karnataka as well as a snack brand from Pune, and the point is, it was not merely a four-colour job with a basic carton. She said, "For a great many product areas though, some form of embellishment is needed and desired and so converters are being tasked with delivering that at an affordable cost point. They are tackling the issue in a number of ways, beginning with getting involved in the design process before the final product decisions are made."

Raju Kalgutkar said, “I saw a lot of progress in printing. I noticed a lot of CI flexo jobs. There was one sample that was a hybrid of flexo plus offset printing. It was a difficult process judging the samples because a lot of them really impressed us.” 

So much has changed in CI flexo preses especially when setting up impression and register, that even as brand I know I can cut-down waste on substrate, ink, solvent, energy and machine time. In addition, since the whole process is fully automatic and not influenced by variables such as operators, ink variations or the interval between repeat orders, one gets the same print results every time.

Amit Saurkar said, “I am happy to be back as part of the PrintWeek Awards Jury. Another year of excellent samples and it is astonishing to see that the industry is trying something new every day. And not to forget, everything we judged today has been commercialised."

Faced with the combination of a cut-throat, time-sensitive, brand-conscious new-age Indian consumer and the plethora of product choice competition crowding the retailer shelves, the brands (big and small) are increasingly under pressure to shout to make themselves heard.  Saurkar said, "Design, print and packaging have been evolving and are evolving for good."

Pratik Rane said, "I like how brands are aware of counterfeiting and we can see that the brands are actively trying to find suitable solutions for these products.”  There were holograms and QR codes as well as the spirograph-like patterns which are usually seen on bank notes. Also lots of improvements have been made to the UV preview, special raster functions, and tech-wizardry to prevent copying by using two colours.  There are many more combinations to increase the level of security. It makes the creation of packaging items simple, yet highly secured, and ensures anti-counterfeiting is brought to the next level.

Sheetal Dandekar said, “Once designed, your product goes through a lot of processes and treatments. And in a few cases, the final packaging and the design that was created do not match. We see this as a challenge, and the good part is that we are actively trying to curtail the difference.” She suggested

Soma Roy mentioned during the discussion that the industry is doing a good job by trying to experiment with new materials, and new printing techniques as well. She said, there are truly universal challenges around productivity, profitability, sustainability and volumes. In partnership with some of the companies whose samples she saw, she said, she could see how companies in this sector are tackling some of these challenges.  

Fazal Faaroqui said, “I have been a part of this process for quite some time now. I believe the pharma industry is using a lot of techniques to prevent duplication which is quite impressive." This includes miniature booklets. In addition to folding, pharma specialists have added a perforated adhesive tab to each booklet. The tab seal is designed to keep the miniature booklets closed until the customer needs to read the contents, as well as allowing for easy mechanical insertion.

All the jury members concurred that the creation of a circular economy begins in the R&D process. This includes using sustainably sourced materials in product design and packaging, while incorporating ethical working practices throughout the manufacturing process. All the jury members said, this has become important since young customers are asking questions before they end up buying.

  • The Packaging Converter of the Year (F&B) category has been sponsored by Vinsak & Pidilite Industries.
  • The Packaging Converter of the Year (FMCG) category has been sponsored by Stelda.
  • The Packaging Converter of the Year (Pharma) category has been sponsored by Pratham Technologies.
  • The Packaging Converter of the Year (RigidBox) category has been sponsored by Pidilite Industries.
  • Packaging Converter of the Year (PaperBag and Textile Boxes) has been category has been sponsored by NBG Printographic.

The Awards Night is scheduled for 30 October at the Westin, Powai, Mumbai.