Manroland Sheetfed starts it off, Kodak, manroland web and Heidelberg to go on the first day

The day before drupa

Rafael Penuela, CEO of Manroland Sheetfed at drupa 2016. Photo PSA

Rafael Penuela, CEO of Manroland Sheetfed initiated drupa 2016’s first press conference by very calmy showing the confidence in the strong viability of the company renewed as a division of the British Langley group. He said that the now Euro 300 million turnover company has been profitable over the past four years. Manroland Sheetfed gives out its annual report not just because of its robust viability but also because the report is an example of how offset print with value add features can leap off the page and is still the best and most cost effective way of mass communication. In answer to my question to him, Penuela said that roughly 50% of the company’s revenues are from new press sales and the balance 50% from the sales of spare parts and service and consulting revenues.

The new Manroland Sheetfed 700 Evolution press being demonstrated live at drupa 2016 is an 8-color press with foiler and doublecoater built for a Swiss carton printer which specializes in pharma cartons. A press like this with the new automation features and touchpad like interface can be bought for something like 3 to 3.5 million Euros.

Well its begun and judging from the old-timers in the press room and from some of the young‘ guns too, drupa is the only game time in town – meaning that it still enjoys the very special place in a very special industry that has been a battered but is adapting and still innovating, changing and will grow. By the way, I happily received an SMS from Sunil Khullar saying that he enjoyed the June issue of Indian Printer and Publisher – both Itu Chaudhuri’s cover story on the uncoolnes of Indian language newspapers and my story on whether drupa can be played like cricket.

Manroland Sheetfed starts it off Kodak manroland web and Heidelberg to go on the first day 2
The new Manroland Sheetfed 700 Evolution press being demonstrated live at drupa 2016. Photo PSA

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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– Naresh Khanna

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