Heidelberg
Rainer Hundsdörfer, chief executive officer of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG. Photo PSA

The Heidelberg Packaging Days opened on the evening of 7 November, at the iconic glass-and-steel Print Media Academy building in the city with chief executive officer Rainer Hundsdorfer welcoming the assembled printers, converters and large contingents of print journalists from Europe and the Asia Pacific region. The Packaging Days demonstrations of a large number of the company’s packaging presses and converting equipment from its partner MasterWork took place the next day at the newer Print Media Academy and demonstration center at the company’s main manufacturing site in Wiesloch just outside the city. Apart from Hundsdorfer’s welcome, a short keynote was delivered by Steffen Schnizer of Multi Packaging Solutions which just three months ago became the first customer to install a Heidelberg Primefire B1 digital press.

HeidelbThe demonstrations at Wiesloch showed Heidelberg’s strong focus on delivering value to the packaging converter with the multicolor presses and coaters showing value additions that enable them to be the most innovative and profitable suppliers to leading global brands. The demonstrations of the XL75 Anicolor 8-color plus double coater, the XL106 8-color with double coater and foiler and the XL145 6-color plus coater running at a full speeds of 18,000 showed the company’s workflow and make-ready software prowess.

Cartons using Heidelberg‘s Multicolor 7-color software and the new Intellistart II lining up the jobs on the press consoles demonstrated the company’s extensive domain knowledge that is being incorporated increasingly in software-based solutions that enable its customers to be the most efficient innovators. MasterWork diecutters with foiling and blanking options and a range of folder-gluers rounded out the company’s comprehensive packaging options in an atmosphere where customers could explore their own futuristic solutions.

Multi Packaging Solutions

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Heidelberg Primefire 106 press at Multi Packaging Solutions in Obersulm. Photo PSA

We had an opportunity to visit the first installation of the Primefire 106 B1 digital press at Multi Packaging Solutions, which is a member of the West Rock group in nearby Obersulm. Schnizer explained that for his company digital means a new level of offerings to his customers that go beyond mere digital printing and offer a range of security and interactive packaging solutions. “Digital for us is not only digital printing. Digital is really helping our brand owners to be more successful.”

mono
Heidelberg Primefire 106 output samples at MPS in Obersulm

The highlight was, of course, to see the Primefire 106 in live production inside a sophisticated plant where it was meant to and where it well matched the quality of Multi Packaging Solutions’ impressive array of special application sheetfed offset presses. And at first look, the press meets the high standard of color reproduction quality and precision that is a part of the Heidelberg promise. As Schnizer said, “We are a leading producer of high-quality cartons for the cosmetic industry and we do some work for the luxury liquor brands. Although within the West Group we have had experience with digital for 17 years, until the Heidelberg Primefire 106 press, digital was not good enough for high value cosmetic and personal care cartons. It is early days, but so far we are pleased with the results of our partnership with Heidelberg.”

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Steffen Schnizer, managing director of Multi Packaging Solutions in Obersulm, Germany. Photo PSA

Located just 90 minutes from Heidelberg’s Wiesloch factory, Multi Packaging Solutions has pioneered several packaging innovations in partnership with Heidelberg. These include the development of full UV interdeck and end-of-press coating solutions wherein the first presses were installed at Obersulm and went on to become industry benchmarks. At the same time Schnizer is able to already enumerate several ways in which the new Primefire becomes a part of the company’s solutions in delivering innovation and value to its customers. As and when Multi Packaging Solutions is able to show the value and possibilities of the Primefire project, the investment could also have considerable value for the other members of the West Rock group.

Packaging South Asia — resilient, growing and impactful — daily, monthly — always responsive

The multi-channel B2B in print and digital 17-year-old platform matches the industry’s growth trajectory. The Indian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Middle East packaging industries are looking beyond the resilience of the past three years. They are resuming capacity expansion and diversification, with high technology and automation in new plants and projects.

As we present our 2024 publishing plan, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2024 will exceed 6%. The packaging industry growth will match the GDP growth in volume terms and surpass it by at least 3% in terms of nominal growth allowing for price inflation in energy, raw materials, consumables, and capital equipment.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 45% over the past four years. With orders in place, we expect another 20% capacity addition in 2024 and 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels are growing similarly. As the consumption story returns over the next six months, we expect demand to return and exceed the growth trajectory of previous years. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – and as shown by our analytics, our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

For responsible and sustainable packaging, with its attendant regulations and compliances, there is significant headroom to grow in India and the region. Our coverage includes the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and to waste collection, sorting, and recycling.

We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers. This is a large and complex canvas – the only thing that can work is your agile thinking and innovation together with our continuous learning and persistence.

The coming year looks to be an up year in this region, and this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing communication – in our rich and highly targeted business platform with human resources on the ground. Share your thoughts and plans to inspire and mobilize our editorial and advertising teams!

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– Naresh Khanna (25 October 2023)

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Naresh Khanna
Editor of Indian Printer and Publisher since 1979 and Packaging South Asia since 2007. Trained as an offset printer and IBM 360 computer programmer. Active in the movement to implement Indian scripts for computer-aided typesetting. Worked as a consultant and trainer to the Indian print and newspaper industry. Visiting faculty of IDC at IIT Powai in the 1990s. Also founder of IPP Services, Training and Research and has worked as its principal industry researcher since 1999. Author of book: Miracle of Indian Democracy. Elected vice-president of the International Packaging Press Organization in May 2023.

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