For the past couple of years, Manroland Sheetfed’s wholly owned subsidiary MR Sheetfed India has provided extensive engineering support to Manroland customers. It has sold both new and used multicolor presses since its strong engineering services backed re-entry in the Indian market. Now, in what can only be described as a breakthrough, the company has cracked the Indian carton market for brand new highly configured multicolor packaging machines. In a span of just a month’s time, two important sales of highly configured presses to major carton converters in the country have been signed—one for Nextgen’s Sikkim plant in the East and another for Jash Packaging’s Vadodara plant in Western India.
Brand new Roland 500 6-color plus coater and foiler for Nextgen
Kolkata-based Nextgen Printers has ordered a brand new Manroland Sheetfed Roland 500 series 6-color plus coater with in-line foiler for its Sikkim plant. Essentially, this means that the company now has an extensive array of offset presses, finishing and converting equipment in its Kolkata and Sikkim plants to serve high value-add and niche carton markets.
The Roland 500 to be installed at Nextgen has the world’s flattest sheet travel with three different height settings for the transferter gripper bars allowing sheets from 0.04 mm to 1 mm in thickness to move through the press units easily and virtually contact-free, using air tracks. This provides flexibility in using both thin paper as well as thicker paperboard substrates. Nextgen has experience in using the Manroland smart coater as a print unit on an earlier purchased Roland 700. This gives the company sufficient flexibility in utilizing the new B2 (740 x 540 mm) press for foiling when needed and without compromising the need for multiple special and brand colors in work that doesn’t require inline foiling.
A series of investments across its plants in Sikkim and Kolkata include a new 80,000 square foot plant in Kolkata commissioned in 2015 containing a brand new highly configured KBA Rapida 105 7-color plus coater full UV press. Investments in software and specialized equipment for prototyping and finishing as well as printing and diecutting have been continuous across both of Nextgen’s plants. The company’s purchase of a pair of new Bobst diecutters with automated blanking were a first for the Indian packaging industry.
To a large extent, Nextgen’s rapid growth in the last decade has been driven by its young director Mahesh Khandelwal, who understands both the need to have a comprehensive set of finishing equipment as well as the benefits of automation. Above all, Khandelwal sees the opportunity in the East and is determined that value-added packaging requirements in the region justify the setting up of state-ofthe-art plants. He is keen to become the local supplier of choice to an under-served market by providing the high quality and efficiency that technology can offer.
The major share of Nextgen’s clients are in the pharmaceutical industry. The new Roland 500 press in Sikkim will enhance capacity as well as offer the value-added capability of in-line foiling in a single pass that can serve several niche packaging markets. Apart from the creative possibilities that in-line foiling offers, it can be used to add security features to pharma cartons. The installation of the first in-line foiler in the eastern part of India will keep Nextgen ahead of the market.
This process of continuous improvement is not merely limited to hardware investment but extends to all processes, workflows and certifications, aimed at establishing Nextgen as a leading multi-location packaging supplier to the leading pharmaceutical and FMCG companies—firstly in the region, and then beyond.
In a relatively short time, Nextgen has become an organized monocarton supplier and one of the leading packaging companies in Eastern and Northeastern India. Khadelwal says that his plants are competitive even on high-quality shortrun packaging. Clearly uninterested in producing only high volume packaging at marginal rates, he would rather supply short-run and value-added packaging to niche markets and even look further at the possibility of carton exports. His investments and execution in building up and professionalizing two high-quality cartons plants and the purchase of the new Roland 500 with in-line foiler certainly suggest an ambition for his company to lead the carton market in the East.
Jash Packaging orders Roland 700 Evolution 8-color full UV press
Manroland Sheetfed’s other major breakthrough in the Indian carton market in the past few weeks is the sale of a brand new Roland 700 Evolution 8-color full UV press to Jash Packaging in Vadodara. Owned and managed by Ravindrabhai Patel, Jash Packaging is a 40-year-old diversified packaging company providing offset printed monocartons, corrugated cartons and gravure printed flexible packaging. One the largest corrugated carton suppliers in the region, it has ordered a Bobst 820 Discovery Flexo Folder Gluer (FFG) in addition to a Lila 14 folder-gluer for both corrugated and monocartons.
Jash Packaging has extensive monocarton printing and converting capacity with several 6-color coater sheetfed offset presses and autoplaten diecutters. A brand new Bobst Novacut 106E with stripping is also on order to add to its existing battery of autoplaten diecutters. The new Roland 700 Evolution 8-color, which prints 18,500 sheets an hour, is to be installed on a plinth raised by 667 mm to accommodate extra height for the feeder and delivery and has been ordered with four interdeck UV curing systems and three UV systems for end-of-press curing. The press, which in almost all respects is similar to the one that Manroland Sheetfed demonstrated at drupa in May 2016, is to be shipped in November and installed in January 2018.