Printpack India 2019 opens to drums and fanfare

The thrust is packaging and improved automated Indian manufacturing

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The first day of the Printpack exhibition at India Expo Centre in Greater Noida opened with the official inauguration led by industry leaders and functionaries with drums and fanfare. After the inauguration, the VIP toured the entire show with band playing behind it. At the same time several exhibitors launched their own stands with lamp lighting and ribbon-cutting ceremonies. Heidelberg India brought several of its leading commercial and packaging customers for the ribbon cutting and startup of the diecutting and foiling machines that it is showing running at its stand in Hall 9. The company’s thrust in the market is very clear that it is looking to dominate the packaging market not only with its multicolor offset presses but with the converting equipment that is manufactured by its largest shareholder, Masterworks.

Similarly, the Provin-RMGT-Miyakoshi-Techno Rolls stand that was inaugurated the evening before the show started, has a clear thrust on packaging and labels – with an RMGT 6-color plus coater UV offset press and the Miyakoshi hybrid label machine shown running at its stand in Hall 1. The Komori stand in Hall 9 also has a multicolor packaging press running at the show – a first for Komori as it recognizes the strong Indian trend toward packaging. It is clear from this edition of the show that many commercial printers are already in carton packaging and labels. It is also clear that now they are not merely looking at starting up with a used multicolor press and a diecutter and folder gluer but that a greater number are keen to invest in high value and high volume packaging with the most efficient and automated machines available.

A first look on the first day and a few conversations with exhibitors and with some visitors show that even some of the largest packaging companies in the country including global companies with Indian subsidiaries are visiting the show. Of the big seven global companies in packaging printing and converting, six are here at the show: Heidelberg, Masterwork, KBA, Komori, RMGT and Bobst. Of course, Heidelberg and Masterwork are now here for the first time anywhere in the world as one company. Notably, Heidelberg and Bobst also manufacture label presses, while RMGT’s distributor in India is actually showing the Miyakoshi hybrid press running with multiwave LED curing at its stand.

There are many diecutters and folder gluers at Printpack this time, which we will be looking at in the coming days. The idea of bringing in label presses to the show also seems like a success at first glance with several Indian-manufactured label presses being shown over the six days. There is a new and welcome sophistication at this in terms of Indian print and converting equipment manufacturing that I think we will be talking about in the days and months to come. Do visit the show if you haven’t already. And, do stop by at our stand A36 in Hall 1, where we are producing the Printpack Show Daily on all days of the show, both in print and in digital newsletter and eMagazine versions each. Come and have a chat and take part in our Show Daily Live Vide program each day at 4 p.m.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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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.

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