Second from left Pranav Bhalara of Balaji Multiflex with Umesh Kagade, HP Graphic Arts, Appadurai A HP Graphic Arts, Vikram Fotedar, Fotedar South Asia and Maitrik Patel Image: WhatsApp Screenshot

During the heatwave across India, the general election results, and in the first days of drupa24, we get news of the first HP Indigo 200K digital press in India being installed at Trigon Digipack in Mumbai. The installation of the drum and Electro-ink digital press makes it three Indigo presses for the forward-looking premedia, prototyping and flexible packaging company that has overtaken many of the earlier established premedia houses in the maximum city. The 15-year-old company currently employs 200 persons.

Although introduced several years ago, the new Series 5 platform HP Indigo 200K digital press can print up to 56 meters a minute (183 feet a minute) and is food packaging compliant. Specifically tailored to increase the productivity of short, flexible digital packaging runs, the press is claimed to enhance productivity and enable on-demand delivery with no minimum orders, which suits Trigon which produces every kind of packaging prototype and short-run packaging – flexible pouches, pressure-sensitive, sleeve, shrink and in-mould labels, cartons and cylindrical cartons.

Balaji Multiflex signs for Indigo 200K at drupa24

We run into Pranav Bhalara at the W&H stand at drupa in front of the new Alphaflex CI press being introduced at drupa 24. He is all smiles as usual having signed for an HP Indigo 200K drum and electroink digital press earlier in the day. This is a big success for Vikram Fotedar and Umesh Kagade who met with Bhalare at the Pack.Nxt Conference in Mumbai in January this year, where Kagade made a calm and convincing presentation on the HP technology for flexible packaging.

With industrial strength flexible packaging infrastructure for their own Balaji snacks, we asked the Rajkot-based Bhalara the reasons for buying a digital press. “We wanted to try some innovations,” he said, adding that the press would also be useful for prototyping and test marketing of new products. He hinted at the prospect of exports as well.

Champion Packaging, Bengaluru to install HP Indigo 25K digital press

The well-established Champion Packaging of Bengaluru has set up a new division for their investment in an HP Indigo 25K digital press for packaging. It’s no longer just the startup economy fueling digital packaging presses in India, as established flexible packaging converters are also investing steadily as the extensive HP installed base in the country adds to their confidence. Announced at drupa, it is reported that the new digital press will be installed in June itself, at a new plant.

The new generation of the family-owned flexible packaging converting business has been actively expanding operations in the past several years with new extrusion coating, finishing and pouching investments. Its flat bottom pouch line and extrusion coating laminator are apparently among the first such installations in the South Indian city.

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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.

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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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