Pragati Pack update

New packaging plant – KBA Rapida 7-color being commissioned

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Pragati Pack
Pragati and Indo-Polygraph teams stand together at the first print run of the new KBA Rapida 105 7-color plus coater dedicated UV press with interdeck and end-of-press UV curing

With Pragati Pack in Hyderabad, you not only have reliability but also excitement. India’s leading quality printer (and some would say one of the best printers in the world) is consistently delivering high quality print and constantly dreaming of new possibilities to inspire its customers to come up with new challenges. Complexity, glitter, luxury, spectacular, totally variable – every carton in 10 million different from the other while still maintaining the branding these are kind of print dreams that Pragati wants its customers to dream. Narendra Paruchuri says, “We can dream about Aishwarya Rai Bachchan or Hrithik Roshan only if we know they are there. So we have to create our own Aishwaryas and Hrithiks and hope that our clients will dream about these when we showcase the technologies. It would be our endeavour to transform these dreams into realities . . . We have to keep on investing in technologies that we think will make a difference. Not everything pays off instantly, we win some and we loose some.

Investments in infrastructure, hardware and software and technology are continuous at Pragati. Apart from the two new Komori 7-color sheetfed offset presses installed two years ago, the third MPS narrow web label press has also been running for a year. Pragati’s new building has commenced operation with the pharma leaflet division shifted to the new premises. The box making division will be moved there in the first week of March. The company invested in a new HP Indigo WS6600 web-fed digital label and packaging press that was installed in late 2014 essentially to service the short-run and variable data label and packaging markets.
In the current financial year, Pragati purchased a KBA Rapida 7-color plus coater full UV press, which is getting ready for commissioning in the first week of March 2016. It should be running by the time you read this article. At the same time, Paruchuri says, “We are also replacing our Mitsubishi 3000 6-color plus coater UV press with a new Komori 7-color plus coater UV press which is being shipped in March and should be in our plant in April 2016.”

HP Indigo WS6600

Altogether Pragati Pack now has seven web-fed label and carton printing and finishing machines including an Omet, three MPS presses and the HP Indigo. At the same time it is one of the first printers in India to have taken up extended gamut printing on its offset presses – initially with Hexachrome several years ago and more recently with Esko’s Kaleidoscope 7-color technology. It will have four 7-color offset presses running by the middle of 2016. In one of the most dramatic capacity increases in the Indian printing and packaging industry, the four 7-color offset presses will have been installed within a period of 30 months.

The world’s largest fully variable design pack project  
Recently Pragati had the opportunity to produce 10 million cartons for a major Indian FMCG company with a unique design and a unique number for every pack. The 10 million unique packs were produced with the help of HP’s Mosaic technology on the Indigo WS 6600 digital press. The printing entailed 6 million impressions on the WS6600 and took 26 days of continuous day and night production.
Narendra Paruchuri explains, “Apart from the digital press itself our total infrastructure was needed to make this project happen – a good prepress set up with lots of time spent by Harsha, an Omet narrow web flexo press to print gold, varnish and sheet the rolls in register that had been printed on the HP Indigo digital press with the help of HP’s Mosaic technology. We needed to convert with precise punching and creasing of the sheets on our autoplaten diecutters to make sure that the cartons ran on the cigarette filling machines at 300 cartons a minute. So it was truly a team effort and I am happy that all performed to their best to do this job.”
Paruchuri adds, “More than the turnover which came in from this job, which is of course very important, the satisfaction of having done a job of this magnitude and also claiming the number one spot for the largest variable job done in the world as on date, makes it one of a kind project.”

Harsha Paruchuri says, “Definitely a high to have done the largest fully variable design job in the world. I’m sure someone will pass it in the coming months – but it feels good to hold the record at the moment! It was a tough one – running 24 x 7 for a month!”

Packaging South Asia is the cooperating media partner for drupa 2016 which is scheduled to be held from 31 May to 10 June at Dusseldorf, Germany.

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.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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Editor of Indian Printer and Publisher since 1979 and Packaging South Asia since 2007. Trained as an offset printer and IBM 360 computer programmer. Active in the movement to implement Indian scripts for computer-aided typesetting. Worked as a consultant and trainer to the Indian print and newspaper industry. Visiting faculty of IDC at IIT Powai in the 1990s. Also founder of IPP Services, Training and Research and has worked as its principal industry researcher since 1999. Author of book: Miracle of Indian Democracy.