Indore-based packaging printing company Orient Pack n Print has been a long-time user of Heidelberg technology. The company employs a number of its offset presses. The three-decade-old firm has two divisions – one for printing leaflets for pharmaceutical companies and one for printing cartons for its customers in the FMCG sector. Continuing its long association with Heidelberg, in the second half of last year, the company commissioned two brand new offset presses – one 2-color SX74 and one 2-color SX102; both with perfecters. Also, in September this year, it bought a new Polar cutting machine.
“We have been associated with Heidelberg for almost 25 years and in the past five years we have been replacing our old machines with new ones; the two new Heidelberg presses that we bought last year are part of that process,” says Vivek Badjatya, who heads the marketing and planning activities at Orient Pack n Print. “With our world-class Heidelberg assets, we have leveraged our core competencies and delivered sustainable profit growth, as part of our long-term value creation strategy.”
At present, the company has nine Heidelberg presses employed in its leaflet and cartons divisions. The leaflets that Orient prints are fully exported, although indirectly through the local firms that it supplies to. The cartons are supplied only to the local companies around Indore who are into agarbatti (incense sticks) manufacturing and to companies who are into bidi (tobacco) making.
“Augmenting core technology capabilities is imperative to stay relevant in a continuously evolving business landscape. Our best-in-class Heidelberg infrastructure has helped us embrace new opportunities, scale up operations and navigate to the next level of success and innovation,” Badjatya comments on the Heidelberg installations.
The Speedmaster SX-74 combines the technology of the XL class with the tried-and-tested stability of the SM platform. Equipped with production speeds of up to 15,000 sheets per hour and shorter make-readies and throughput times, the SX-74 is 30% more productive than SM machines, at price points lesser than XL equipment. A neat fit for mid-size format and short-run jobs, the SX-74 also handles a wide spectrum of substrates from thin sheets to boards, ranging in thickness between 0.03 mm and 0.6 mm.
On the other hand, the Speedmaster SX 102 is a cost-efficient press in the 70 x 100 format. The press is highly automated and intelligent processes render the equipment user-friendly while minimizing make-ready times, energy consumption and paper wastage. The unique perfecting and sheet travel technologies ensure consistent and high-quality print on both sides, even with very thin substrates.
“Our latest investments will enhance our ability to respond and adapt to rapidly changing market conditions, as we set sights on new and high-margin business within the pharma packaging segment. We foresee a step-change in our earnings power created by these recent investments in innovation and capacity,” he adds.
Expanding the carton operations
Although Orient is very happy to deal with its local customers in the FMCG sector when it comes to supplying cartons the company feels it is time to acquire more customers in the organized sector. And since it is already supplying leaflets to all major pharmaceutical companies, it was only natural to move towards supplying cartons to them.
“At present, our cartons business is totally geared towards the local companies operating around Indore. We have some very old customers who we are associated with and we will continue to work with them. But we feel it is time for us to enhance our capacity and engage with a more organized sector like the pharmaceuticals,” he argues.
With this expansion in mind, the company is building a brand new plant that will be dedicated only to carton division. All the equipment from their current carton division will be shifted to the new plant and new presses will also be added.
“The new plant will be molded from the point of view of supplying to pharmaceutical customers. We will have 2-3 printing lines from Heidelberg and some world-class converting equipment as well. We are in talks with all the major global companies that manufacture converting equipment although nothing has been decided yet. We are taking one step at a time due to the ongoing slowdown in the business and the economy,” Badjatya says.
The slowdown is real
One of the most talked-about issues at present is the slowdown in the Indian economy and how deep it is. The Reserve Bank of India has sharply cut the GDP growth rate estimate for the financial year 2019-2020 to 6.1% from 6.9%. Badjatya says the slowdown is real and has impacted his company as well.
“Yes, there is definitely a slowdown and our volumes in the cartons division have shrunk but the situation is not alarming yet. However, it is still not clear when the situation will turn. And that is why we are taking one step at a time when it comes to our new project. We do not want to commit everything at once,” he says.
According to Badjatya, in addition to the overall slowdown in the economy, the reduction of volumes is also because of the recent decision by the Government of India to restrict the import of agarbatti and other similar products, which were mostly coming from China and Vietnam. This decision has resulted in a dramatic drop in demand for cartons used to pack the agarbatti. This sector is an important customer for Orient.
“I agree that this decision by the government was taken to encourage our local industry, which is a welcome step, but the decision should not have been so sudden. Agarbatti making requires a skilled workforce which cannot be supplied in such a short notice. Due to this even in the current festival season the consumption of agarbatti is down compared to last year,” he concludes.