Me & My: Heidelberg CD 102

For JC Graphics, MetPET cartons is the future of packaging. JC’s director Karunakar tells Rushikesh Aravkar that JC is ready to conquer the world with the new Heidelberg UV press.

11 Jun 2015 | By Rushikesh Aravkar

Describe your company...
Established in 1991, JC Graphics started off with producing cinema posters before foraying into packaging segment in the next couple of years. We operate out of one lakh sq/ft space in Vijayawada. Our current set-up constitutes of a brand new Heidelberg CD102, a six-colour plus coater Mitsubishi press, two six-colour plus coater Komori presses and two Komori perfecting press in addition to post-press equipment from Bobst. We also have a stationery division, which manufactures ITC’s Classmate brand of notebooks.
When did you install the machine and what kind of application do you print on the press?
The Heidelberg CD102 was installed in October 2014. We use it to manufacture all kinds of folding cartons especially the MetPET jobs. The machine is equipped with three intradeck and three end of the press UV lamps, which allow us to produce any kind of UV jobs comfortably.
Why did you choose this machine?
When we decided to buy an offset press, the requirement was reliability, service back-up and longevity. Also, in Andhra Pradesh, Mitsubishi and Komori presses are more popular. We wanted to differentiate ourselves from the rest. Therefore, Heidelberg became an obvious choice, which gave us an edge in the market.  
Did you look at any other similar machines? Which are they?
Yes, we evaluated KBA and Heidelberg presses keeping in mind our requirements. We found that the Speedmaster CD 102 was a perfect fit for our requirements in packaging. Our first impression of the press at an open house in India was remarkable. Later, a visit to the Heidelberg factory in Germany further reaffirmed our expectations.
What tilted the scale in favour of this press?
The unique UV coating unit of the Speedmaster CD 102 is fitted with a chambered blade system and it meets the most exacting print-quality and coating requirements, rendering it ideal for our printing needs. 
Is there anything that you wish it had that it doesn’t?
I wish Heidelberg also supplied UV water chilling plant along with the UV press. 
What’s the speed of the machine? 
The rated speed of the machine is 15,000sph. However, the UV printed sheets require curing at the end of the press, hence we run it at13,000sph.
If there’s a critical print job that has come your way, would you rely on this press to see it through?
All the critical jobs are printed on this brand new machine. It is totally reliable.
What are the changeover times?
All the jobs that we do are long-run jobs with a minimum of 50,000 sheets. Plus, every job is with special colours. So, the changeover time is 15-20 minutes.
What’s the quality like? 
Quality has been excellent. With the new Heidelberg, we have been able to produce better MetPET jobs and the fact that we acquired additional MetPET work from Godrej is a testimony to the print quality of the press.
How easy is it to use? 
Heidelberg arranged one-month training for our staff. In addition, they provided us with a trained operator to run our press. 
How much time or money has it saved? 
Earlier, with our secondhand presses, the initial wastage was 5-6% while with this machine we have cut it down to 2-2.5%. Also, earlier we printed 9000 sheets in an hour; this has been upped to 13,500 sheets per hour. This answers the question.
Has it won you any new work? 
Yes. We have started doing additional work for Godrej, which in terms of value will contribute up to Rs 1-crore to our turnover per month. In the next six months, we will add more clients.
Would you say that it offers value for money? 
It is an expensive machine. But it allows us to compete with the big-daddy firms. As more and more multinationals start adopting MetPET packaging, we are ready to claim our share. 
Were there any difficulties experienced during the installation or after?
No. It was a smooth affair. Heidelberg takes good care of our machine with regular maintenance.
Who do you think the machine is right for?
The machine is right for every packaging converter.
Under what circumstances would you buy another?
The plan is to replace the two older machines with a new one. This will be another CD but a conventional press.