The Kerala market for commercial printing is unlike the markets of Mumbai or Bengaluru. The industry is fairly healthy and no dog eat dog environment exists. Noris it beset with high credit period and low margins like in the metros. Many of the commercial printers with offset presses have already shifted to digital printing for better value addition while some are now moving to packaging. While the digital press manufacturing majors were in full strength at the KMPA Print Miracle Expo held from 12 to 14 December 2014 highlighting the retail B2C influence on the printing industry in Kerala, there were a few players from the packaging segment too. Packaging South Asia found Bobst which is perhaps the strongest representative of the packaging industry quite upbeat at the event.
First automated monocarton converting line in Kerala
PuneetAggarwal, zonal salesmanager ofthe sheetfedbusinessunit of Bobst said the company has sold a Novacut 106 automatic diecutting and creasing machine and its Visionfold 80 A2 folder- gluer to Fivestar Offset at Kochi. Fivestar, a major commercial printer of the city, has two Hiedelberg offset presses, the latest being a Speedmaster CD 102 4-color press installed in 2011. The company also has a Heidelberg CtP, a Polar 115XC cutter and a Stahlfolder KHC 78 and it is now accelerating its structured entry in the monocarton packaging market with its investment in the latest automated converting equipment. The Bobst diecutter and folder-gluer machines will be installed by April 2015.
Aggarwal emphatically says, “Due to saturation in the commercial printing market there is aperceptible change of mood and a move to shift from commercial printing to packaging production across the country and Bobst is determined to leverage the moment. Justtwo years ago, Bobst sold a refurbished diecutterto Jaan Offset and now the sale of Novacut and Visionfold will result in the first major new packaging line to be sold in Kerala. With this new packaging line sold at an approximate cost of Rs 3.5 crores, Bobst expects the market to open up further and several other orders to follow.
High converting capacity
The Novacut 106 is a state-of-the-art automated diecutter with a double-cam gripper bar advance system that allows steady acceleration and slowing down while it controls all operations from sheet feeding to registration, and enables right sizing, cutting and then blanking. Thereafter it also helps in stripping away the cut sheet edges and repeat operations at high speed. The continuous motion of the autoplaten drive is converted to alternative motion by a sector drive mechanism. The chains lock into position at every machine station eliminating vibration and providing accuracy and precision.
The Bobst Visionfold 80 A2 folder-gluer is a versatile automated converting machine that takes over after the diecutting operation and delivers the finished box to a maximum cut sheet size of 80 cm x 80 cm. It can be used for both solid board cartons as well as corrugated substrates and helps produce straight line boxes, crash lock bottom boxes, 4-cornerboxes and6-cornerboxes. The two Bobst machines will have the capability of converting 300 metric tonnes of board in a month into folding cartons. Aggarwal says that this sale is a major breakthrough in the South and Bobst expects to make further inroads in the commercial printing segment that is migrating to carton production in the coming months.