Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Kumar Printers to explore the unexplored with Heidelberg Speedmaster CX 104 7 + L UV

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L to R: Harish Gogia, cluster sales head – North & East, Heidelberg India; Sandeep Bhargava, managing director, Kumar Printers; Harsh Bhargava, Kumar Printers; and Sonu Gujjar, production manager, Kumar Printers

Manesar-based Kumar Printers has installed a Heidelberg Speedmaster CX 104 7-color coater with UV to answer the premium print segment and to magnify opportunities. Kumar Printers, a flag bearer in the Indian print industry, has inspired the printers with its technology adoption motivation, innovative solution offerings, efficient business management, and growth-focused leadership.

Kumar Printers has been adding high-end presses from Heidelberg to bolster the company vision. Apart from the other presses at Kumar Printers which has up to 6-color presses, the latest Heidelberg Speedmaster CX 104 is a highly capable 7-color workhorse specializing in UV and coating applications. The CX 104 achieves high print quality at a faster speed which is a perfect complement to Kumar Printers’ existing presses. The strength is the production of specialized packaging printing for premium market segments with high-quality standards and necessitates unique product ideas, the finest quality, and diverse possibilities.

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Sandeep Bhargava, managing director at Kumar Printers is an alumnus of IIT Chennai, and after joining the printing business, he also completed a printing management course. “The Heidelberg Speedmaster CX 104 is a big investment for us, as it offers top-notch print quality. The next-generation CX 104 press, has a fully loaded AI-driven operation that speeds up make-ready, reduces waste, minimizes operator interference, and increases Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE). These are the features that every print shop is searching for. The Speedmaster CX 104 focuses on enhanced productivity and takes care of print complexity and job intricacy with ease,” said Bhargava.

First installation in North India

The installation of Heidelberg Speedmaster CX 104 at Kumar Printers is the first in Northern India. “Kumar Printers is known for its premium printing quality with reputed clientele in the pharmaceutical, liquor, garments, engineering industries, and personal care segment. With the enhanced technological press at Kumar Printers, the team would be exploring new possibilities of expanding into mass production and different geographies,” added Bhargava.

Sandeep Bhargava with the PrinectWall Screen

Heidelberg Prinect Image Control 4

The Speedmaster CX 104 focuses on increasing efficiency with user-friendly features like Intellistart, Intelliline, Intelliguide, and Intellirun. With the simplified changeover process, the changeover time should be lower with the software assistance. With this investment, Kumar Printers is looking to overcome the efficiency challenges which every packaging converter is going through.

Kumar Printers had been using the IntelliTrax device for a long time. Kumar Printers used Spectrophotometers, bought in 1995, along with ink formulation software. Kumar Printers was the second company in the country to use a spectrophotometer and the first printing company to use ink formulation software in India. Bhargava had seen the ‘Prinect Image Control’ working in the USA and Germany.

He wondered, if people there can produce such huge volumes on a single machine, then why can’t we do it in India? When Bhargava decided to buy the Speedmaster CX 104, he was aware of the capabilities of the press and knew that it could deliver wonders to them. “Once we are used to getting our jobs done in a particular way, it will not only be giving amazing output and result but will also reduce additional efforts,” said Bhargava. The Speedmaster CX 104 with Prinect Image Control has delivered on all three segments – increased output, quality results, and reduced efforts for Kumar Printers.

‘Prinect Image Control 4’ spectrally scans the whole print sheet and balances out even the minute deviations in the print image automatically. It detects all measuring elements and solid areas using the pre-press data and incorporates them into the control process. CMYK images and halftone areas can be corrected using print samples and proofs. A high resolution of 50 million pixels or CIEL*a*b values with the proof match for a faster alignment of the finished print.

“We expect an ROI for one year as this is a technological press and has a specific procedure to follow to get it to work to get desired results. We are open to the required learning curve and time to get used to the entire process. It takes a while to get things going in the right direction,”

Challenges and opportunities

After returning to the usual working atmosphere, the industry continues with just a few good things. Bhargava said, “The business is back on its feet with a huge opportunity in the paper packaging segment in volumes. India has increased its consumption, and the quality of the consumption in terms of consistency and performance of the pack leaves is desired.

“The FMCG products that may usually sell on display shelves – the quality of packaging and their appearance play a crucial role in buying decisions. But when it comes to engineering goods like automobile and electronics parts, retailers and consumers hardly care for the quality of packaging and its looks. They are not even concerned about its functionality.

“There is a huge potential in the market. If the quality of the packaging is taken care of, then the issue of counterfeit can be resolved, which is highly affected by this issue,” said Bhargava.

According to Bhargava, the factor affecting the efficiency of the printing industry is the unemployment of the skilled workforce. Bhargava stressed on, there may be skilled people employed as replacements, but there is a terrible shortage of people combining the correct type of skill with the right attitude. Bhargava suggested industry-varsity tie-ups to guide and motivate students to develop the right attitudes with skills.

Advantages of the Speedmaster CX 104

Kumar Printers has a significant capability to boost with the addition of the Speedmaster CX 104, which offers enormous possibilities with the additional color stations. The Speedmaster CX 104 is the cross-segment straight-printing press for commercial, packaging and label printing.

“The press offers more numbers of colors, and the possibilities are vast – we can print three special colors and metallic colors. We have limitless options to blend and combine colors and effects to our premium offerings. We wanted to print a carton with metallic look and not MET PET. We were in dire need of the flexibility and the facility to print metallic ink first and the rest of the six colors over. It is the special value addition that we will be presenting and promoting to our customers. The first market segment on our target for this application is the cosmetics sector. Subsequently, we will expand to garments and alcobev cartons etc,” said Bhargava.

The Speedmaster CX 104 opens a completely new range of possibilities – including navigated print production. It is ensured by intelligent support systems such as Intellistart 3 and the unique Intelliline. With the intuitive touch operation, settings can be done with an ease of a click, and the operation can be managed with the required profile.

The patented Intellistart 3 defines all the steps required for the job change without operator intervention. Intelliguide simulates the time-optimized sequence live and, if necessary, also includes the steps to execute manually. The Speedmaster CX 104 has a wall screen setup for the control, and the 24 inches multi-touch screen offers intuitive operation like a smartphone.

Expansion plans with Heidelberg Speedmaster

Kumar Printers has rented premises of 30,000 sq/ft., where they would be shifting their corrugation facility to accommodate capacity expansion enabled by their new Heidelberg. Bhargava looks forward to at least a 60% combined capacity expansion with his latest set-up. “We have enough post-press capability to handle our target expansion for the future. We had bought folder-gluer before purchasing a printing press; we added die-cutting and more,” added Bhargava.

Circular Economy and Kumar Printers

Kumar Printers started recycling their trade discharge in the year 2008, and by 2012 they were recycling it 100%. It has been over ten years since Kumar Printers had 0% water discharge from any trading process. For solid waste management, they have been disposing of it through a state-appointed authority. Apart from these measures to contribute towards a circular economy, they are offering alternative solutions to their clients, who seek materials in place of their MET PET products. Considering the complexity of recycling MET PET, they have alternatives for clients seeking UV printing directly onto the product. Kumar Printers has mastered the process of UV printing and have been doing it for a long time.

International association of printers

Kumar Printers is part of a global alliance of printers with six partners across the international markets. The alliance members are from Brazil, Mexico, the USA, China, and Korea. “The way of working with overseas partners is very different from that we work in India. For example, the Mexican partner, while putting up his factory with three printing lines, they knew that in the next 8-9 months, he would be adding two more printing lines. They had calculated the period in which his existing capacity would exhaust and will expand to a certain level.

“The whole approach towards business in those markets is different from what we have here. We don’t have such a market. They have contracts with the customer, decide the demand and supply equation beforehand and plan the capacity to meet those demands. Product pricing plays a crucial role in India despite the quality of products and services. However, it’s not crucial in the premium segment which Kumar Printers chiefly caters to.” Bhargava wishes for the day when the Indian print industry will be more organized to have customer contracts and enable printers here to sail in a similar fashion.

A complete packaging solution

In India, Kumar Printers is one of the top manufacturers of paperboard packaging, converting over 12,000 tons of paper and paperboard per annum. The state-of-the-art infrastructure, world-class quality, and a highly skilled and dedicated team led by Bhargava have combined Kumar Printers as the supplier for premium packaging. With two sites for manufacturing, one in Manesar and another in Indore, Kumar Printers can provide five product lines of paperboard packaging to its customers across India and foreign markets – mono cartons, rigid boxes, corrugated cartons, blister cards, and insert and outserts. The client list of Kumar Printers includes Nestle, Volkswagen, Jockey, Adidas, Duracell, Gillette, P&G, Sun Pharma, Teachers, Dr. Reddy’s, and Colgate.

Bhargava’s decision to go with Heidelberg was influenced by the fact that the entire team was well-versed in Heidelberg technology, there would be little of a learning curve, Heidelberg India provided excellent service support, and the press had a solid reputation for its build quality and production ability. “Heidelberg has always been a reliable name,” concluded Bhargava.

The editorial team of The Packman who handle all the press releases with Sunil Jain working as the desk editor.

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