TCPL Packaging is one of the largest Indian manufacturers of folding cartons, litho-laminated cartons, blister packs, shelf-ready packaging. A carton producer using both sheetfed offset and web gravure presses, the company in recent years has also entered flexible packaging with specially configured gravure press. With over 1,600 employees the company which is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange registered a turnover of more than Rs. 800 crores in 2019. TCPL recently opened a 1.65 lakh square foot packaging plant in Goa where it installed TCPL’s seventh K&B Rapida 106 sheetfed offset combination UV press.
The Rapida 106 8-color press with double coater was inaugurated by the Kanoria family at one of TCPL’s two Haridwar plants on 7 August 2019. Saket Kanoria, managing director of TCPL Packaging said, “Basically, this is a 8-color double coater press but we can run 7-color double coater or we can run 7-color, coater, printing followed by the last coater. The press has a printing unit between the two coaters and that is the uniqueness of this press. It has two curing units including an IR dryer before the first coater and an extended delivery with UV curing after the second coater. We have a similar press in Silvasa as well. This press can print 18,000 sheets an hour.”
Inline gloss & matt coating combinations
“This press will help us in achieving an extremely good matte + gloss finish inline with great precision. We’ll be able to do a matte varnish over a gloss varnish inline with better registration with this press. For instance, it is ideal for achieving a combination of drip off and matt coating to produce a leathery texture finish. The fine elements of coatings cannot be achieved offline – you need an offset plate.
“The register with this press is perfect. We can also measure and monitor the UV intensity of the curing lamps. This press will help us do conventional UV with primer and then gloss. It has seven UV cassettes altogether and which are all interchangeable in both interdeck and end of press positions. There is an IR dryer after the seventh print unit to accelerate the ink drying process,” Kanoria adds. Though the capex is a little higher, the gloss and matte coating combination is an extremely unique feature of the press which gives an unparalleled ROI when compared to investment in additional equipment especially for these special coating effects. The new Rapida 106 contains a high level of automation and quality features.
TCPL’s print and post-print equipment
The new K&B 8-color with double coater is the fifth sheetfed offset press in TCPL’s two Haridwar plants. There are altogether three K&B and two Mitsubishi presses at Haridwar. The TCPL plant in which the new highly configured K&B has now been commissioned contains another K&B Rapida installed in 201l and one of the Mitsubishi presses. There is a cast and cure machine as well as sheetfed gravure for metallic overprints in the plant. This plant contains six Bobst diecutters and five folder gluers. It also contains the Masterwork Easymatrix foiling machine shown at the Printpack exhibition in Greater Noida. The ink kitchen in the plant has all the usual systems and the IGT ink testing equipment.
The second TCPL Haridwar plant which produces litho-laminated cartons and special foil, holographic and 3D lens effects contains TCPL’s first K&B 8-color plus coater press with an inline cold foiler mounted on the first two units as well as a Mitsubishi 6-color plus coater press. This plant has four diecutters and three Bobst and Paktek folder gluers.
Using the inline foiling unit, cold foil is applied to a UV curable adhesive image using a standard offset printing plate. The foil, usually silver, is picked up the printed adhesive, creating a mettalic image prior to the application of printing ink by the following press units. When foil is applied inline, a major benefit is that the registration between the applied foil and the overprinted inks and varnish is precise. Generally silver, the foil is also available in a limited pallette of gold, stock diffraction patterns and custom holographic designs.
Economic challenges and flexibles expansion in the coming year
In our previous discussion (reported in the April 2019 issue of Packaging South Asia), Saket Kanoria said that though TCPL has a number of carton press investments in the pipeline, these will be brought in and commissioned at the various plants as and when they are viable. TCPL had one more line on order in this year that it has pushed to the next financial year. Keeping the state of the market in view, the new press might be a 7 or 8-color Rapida.
The new carton converting plant in Goa now has two fully-equipped lines and so does Guwahati. TCPL’s Silvassa plant has four offset lines, and three gravure carton and one gravure flexible films printing line. Including the two plants in Haridwar with 5 offset lines, TCPL’s overall printing and converting capacity across the country is 95,000 tons in a year.
Kanoria spoke about the challenging situation of the economy adding that it is all fixable if the government makes the right moves. “Measures need to be taken to revive the economy including the reduction of GST which is too high presently. For us, FMCG is the focus market and its growth is down to 6% to 8%. It is under pressure and at the same time rural distress continues. Government has to help to make the products cheaper in order to revive the industry.”
Akshay Kanoria, executive director of TCPL, added, “There is, currently, a huge opportunity with the US-China trade war. Right now, it is being en-cashed by Bangladesh and Vietnam. Why can’t India take advantage?”
“To sum it up in simple words, the government has to create a feel good factor and if the rural distress is reduced, the market can bounce back. Even our numbers are affected thanks to all this. The margins are under tremendous pressure. In order to keep investing, we need to grow anywhere between 10 to 15%. If we can average that number for the next five years, we’ll be quite happy,” says Saket Kanoria.
“We see a lot of growth for us in flexible packaging. While we are currently in an innovative niche segment we are planning a major expansion in flexible packaging that is likely to begin next year.” Kanoria concludes.