7-color plus coater trend for carton presses

Monocarton round-up – capacity creation in 2015-16

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IGT ink testing equipment has become a necessity for ink kitchens of the leading Indian monocarton companies. Photo PSA

In the 21st century, Indian packaging converters are driven by brands. They are trying to drive innovation although one cannot deny the dominant influence of forward looking brand owners who directly interact with their consumers. However, the challenges of meeting the exacting standards of brand owners and coming out with an innovation beneficial to both the printer and the brand is seldom achieved.

7476The 2014-15 financial year saw significant capacity growth in the monocarton industry with about 16 brand-new packaging configuration presses imported and installed. However, although folding cartons volume grew, price realization remained under pressure. There were a number of presses beyond the 6-color coater which is practically a standard configuration for the Indian industry. In the year gone by, several dream machines, that is 6-colorpluscoaterUVpressesandremarkably severalhigherconfiguration7-colorplus coater UV presses were insalled. Two foilers were installed,oneona6- colorplus coater UV press and another on a 8-colorplus coater UV press.

In the April 2015 to March 2016 financial year, the number of packaging configuration presses installed are likely to be similar as the previous year — anywhere from 14 to 17. This financial year, the number has already touched about seven installations since April 2015. However, the number of 74 and 75 cm presses are likely to decline and most of the installs will be 28 x 40-inch presses since the price differential is not nearly as much as the size difference. Similarly many carton producers are now looking at 7-color coater presses which bodes well for brand owners so that they can develop new carton designs using more colors without worrying about their viability in production.

Nextgen which has a modern board packaging plant in Rangpo in Sikkim has purchased a highly configured KBA Rapida 105 7-color plus coater UV combination press for its new monocarton plant in Kolkata which is likely to be under installation and commissioning by the time you read this article. In the Delhi NCR, Nutech Packaging’s new Heidelberg 7-color plus coater full UV press has been installed and is only waiting for some refinements of its environmentally friendly LEED certified plant in Greater Noida for commissioning. Also in the installation and commissioning process is TCPL’s 8-color plus coaterfull UV press with foilerto be added imminently atits Haridwar plant which is the company’s second packaging press installation in this calendar year.ITCPackaging’s KBA7-color plus coaterfull UVpress is
also in the commissioning process at its Haridwar plant.

In the past month, Parksons has installed a KBA 7-color plus coater UV press at the Daman plant and one more KBA6-colorplus coater UV press at its Chakan plant and yet another Heidelberg 6-color plus coater at Daman representing the company’s fifth packaging press installation in less than twelve months including three KBAs, a Komori and a Heidelberg. Parksons has also ordered another Heidelberg CX 102 LX 6-color plus coater presses, with the patented quality control system Prinect Inpress Control 2.

Converting capacity creation

kellogg s chocosIn converting we expectthis yearto reach about 70 new machines – approximately 35 diecutters and 35 folder-gluerinstallations. The overwhelming majority of the new diecutters, perhaps 10 will be from Bobst while another 5 or 6 may come from Brausse and others. Bobst will install about 25 folder-gluers while another 10 may come from other manufacturers. It is also likely that at least 20 Indian made Autoprint Repetto diecutters will be installed within the country in this financial year.

There continue to be new entrants to the monocarton segment — from both commercial printing and also from plants supported or owned by brand owners and exporters themselves. In addition there are a large number of converters who can no longer continue to compete with their second-hand presses. Thus they are part of a considerable replacement market as are many of the multiple leading converters who are replacing their 7 and10-year-oldnewboughtpresses for newer technology presses. For the leading converters this can mean the wholesale replacement off our presses with two or three new technology presses that have new automation technology, value add options, are raised on ever-higher plinths and are of course a bit faster.

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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.

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– Naresh Khanna (25 October 2023)

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