Parksons Packaging creates digital monocarton segment with HP Indigo 30000

Digital printing on folding cartons

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A Appadurai (HP Indigo India), Umesh Kagade (HP Indigo India), Siddharth Kejriwal, Christian Menegon (HP Indigo), and Ramesh Kejriwal at the event. Photo PSA
A Appadurai (HP Indigo India), Umesh Kagade (HP Indigo India), Siddharth Kejriwal, Christian Menegon (HP Indigo), and Ramesh Kejriwal at the event. Photo PSA

Carton packaging major Parksons Packaging and HP India hosted the ‘Onboxing’ event at Mumbai’s Grand Hyatt hotel on 21 January 2020 to showcase the amalgamation of the creative capabilities of Parksons and technological prowess of the HP Indigo 3000. The event provided a platform for brand owners and packaging buyers to see the various types of cartons that can be printed using digital technology.

“The idea behind Onboxing is to show that it is not any run-of-the-mill technology that we are talking about. It is not about just adding another press or adding more printing capacity. This is going completely away from the norm, where most of the folding cartons are produced using offset technology. Through this event we are telling our existing customers and potential customers to think beyond the conventional,” said Siddharth Kejriwal, managing director of Parksons Packaging.

In late-July last year, Parksons Packaging commissioned the country’s first HP Indigo 30000 digital press at its Daman plant. This is the first digital press at Parksons Packaging and also the first B2-format (20 x 30 inch) digital press in the Indian folding carton industry.

Kejriwal believes that the brands that Parksons’ customers sell reflect their philosophy and thought process. “Today a lot of brand owners are talking about sustainability. Packaging buyers can ask for the quantities they require without thinking about creating packaging waste. This works in alignment to the cause of sustainability. This is an example of how you can create brand value using digital technology,” he said. “When we talk about brand and design, we do not just talk about making another folding carton; it is about creating a concept that goes with the company’s philosophy and how they want their brand to communicate to the end customers.”

A steep learning curve

Over the last few decades, Parksons has firmly established itself as a high volume, high quality and high speed offset printer. The company currently operates six plants across all the regions of India and runs more than 20 high-speed offset lines. Since the inauguration of the HP Indigo 30000 six months ago, Parksons Packaging has undergone a huge learning curve, working with a totally different technology. Parksons Packaging has made sure that operators working on the HP Indigo 30000 did not have any offset background. This was done to ensure that operators do not have any preconceived notions and do not work with a mindset more attuned to the workings of an offset press than a purely digital process.

“We have become much more confident over the last six months that we have had with the HP Indigo. Since the inauguration of the press, we have been trying various jobs on it. We started with 40-50 jobs every month, which went up to 100-200 jobs a month. During this period, we have done all kinds of jobs on different substrates and for different segments. We are now much more confident and that is why we have invited the industry at the Onboxing event,” Kejriwal said.

There has been a significant mindset change that has taken place in the company. Kejriwal said that Parksons has learnt how to print every sheet with a different artwork. “We could not imagine doing that with our offset presses. We have learnt how to change jobs in less than two minutes. We have spent a lot of time training our team,” he added.

Creating a new segment

During the last six months, Parksons has not only gained confidence in handling a totally different technology, it has also tried to educate its customers about the technology and the type of jobs that can be processed on the HP Indigo 30000.

“In these months we have showed our customer what we can do on the press and what other projects have been done using this press earlier. I think the brand owners are also engaging within their team to see what can be done. Now that brand owners know that a company like Parksons has a technology like this at its disposal, they are working on creating market opportunities. With this digital technology, we are not replacing anything. Instead, we are creating something new. This opens a lot of new avenues for us,” Kejriwal said.

Many a times, small brands or start-ups are hesitant in approaching a company like Parksons because their volumes are small. Kejriwal said that those customers should no longer hesitate.

“There are both big brands and small start-ups that are trying to enter niche markets with small quantities of high-quality cartons. We are there to serve all kinds of premium folding carton requirements. Newer and smaller brands should now no longer hesitate in approaching us as they know that we can produce high-quality short-run jobs,” Kejriwal said.

Samples printed on HP Indigo 30000. Photo PSA
Samples printed on HP Indigo 30000 shown during the Onboxing event in Mumbai. Photo PSA

HP Indigo 30000 with double coater at Parksons Packaging Daman
The HP Indigo 30000 working at Parksons’ Daman plant is a uniquely configured press having two online coaters – the Tresu iCoat 30000, which is selective coating solution for digital sheetfed folding carton production. It is 100% modular and designed for integration with the HP Indigo 30000 digital press. Both water-based and UV varnishes can be used for a wide range of application Not many HP Indigo 30000 presses with two coating lines are in operation globally.“For us such a large player coming in and opting for an HP Indigo technology gives out a strong message to the industry. Parksons is not only creating a new market but they will also see a lot of their unproductive jobs that are being done on their conventional presses move to the Indigo. This will free up capacity on their offset presses, which can then be used to print jobs that are meant for these presses,” said A Appadurai, country manager, Indigo and PageWide Web Press, Graphics Solutions Business, HP India & Sri Lanka at the Onboxing event at Grand Hyatt in Mumbai.Christian Menegon of HP Indigo said at the event that digital printing provides a lot of flexibility not only forconvertors but also for customers. However, he said that many customers are not ready for that flexibility and Parksons will need to work on educating them.“Parksons will need some ramp-up time with their customers and will need to educate them on how to use this technology. It is a matter of time before brand owners start enjoying this level of flexibility,” Menegon said.

 

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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