KPPC orders Nilpeter FB3300 8-color UV label press

5-ply automatic corrugator in Karnal cluster

Siddharth Maggon (right), marketing manager at KPPC, with two members of the KPPC. Photo PSA

Built on a 1-acre (4,000 square metre) plot, the Karnal Print and Pack Cluster (KPPC) hopes to create both skilled and semi-skilled employment in the Karnal region. The KPPC, North India’s first common facility centre built as a Public Private Partnership, is in production since September 2015. The KPPC will provide a common cooperative facility jointly owned by the 22 members and it will contain modern machines that are needed for high quality print and packaging production but which may not have been viable for purchase by any of the members for their individual plants at this time. These equipments and resources such as a CtP, corrugator and label press are needed for the production offset plates, corrugated and monocartons, labels, stationery, book printing and other products.

Amit Arora is the managing director of the Karnal Print and Pack Cluster, and also the director of Amit Packaging, his own company. The CFC for print and packaging is a first bold step – a joint initiative of the Central Government, the Haryana State Government and the 22 print and packaging companies who are the founding members of the cluster. The initial project of the cluster on a 4,000 square metre plot will have an outlay of Rs. 15 crore. “The Centre has provided a subsidy of about 70% towards the total project cost, capped at Rs. 15 crore,” says Amit Arora. “The rest is being shared between the State Government and us – the beneficiary.”

5-ply automatic corrugator
As a part of the Phase I project plan, a 5-ply automatic corrugator was installed at the KPPC and trial run was in progress on the day this correspondent visited Karnal. Simultaneously, a 2-color printer slitter and slotting machine was also installed at the centre. Both the machines are supplied by Faridabad-based Paliha – a manufacturer, supplier and importer of corrugated, printing, punching and paperboard machines. “The corrugator has tungsten-coated flute rolls for high-quality corrugation,” says Maggon. “The machine is in trial production and will go commercial within a month. The machine has a speed of 100 metres a minute, and our members are quite hopeful about expanding their clientele as well as improving the product quality.” According to Maggon, out of the 22 members of the KPPC, eight members are corrugators. “These members were producing corrugated using manual and semi-automatic machines till now but going forward, things are going to change for them for the better.”

Nilpeter FB3300 8-color UV label press
The KPPC has ordered a Nilpeter FB3300 8-color UV label press after Nilpeter qualified the L1 bidding (lowest bidder) for the deal. The label press was a part of the Phase I project plan, which is likely to be installed by August 2016, according to Maggon. “From the quality standpoint, Nilpeter has a good reputation in the market and we are happy to have their press on our work floor. It is a 13-inch (330 mm) servo-driven label press with eight UV-flexo units and 100% inspection system. The press is also capable of flatbed diecutting, slitting and rewinding. With a top speed of 228 metres a minute, the new label press can help our members develop their business in the market for flexible packaging, sachets and pouches, using unsupported films and foil laminates.” The press has an interchangeable rotary screen module and a hot foil module, both based on Nilpeter’s Drop-In technology.

A 5-ply automatic corrugator was recently installed at the KPPC. Photo PSA

Cooperate and grow
A common facility centre like the KPPC is not a new concept in India and there are many such centres in South India as well as other parts of the country. The Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises of the Government of India has adopted the cluster development approach as a key strategy for enhancing the productivity and competitiveness as well as capacity building of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) and their cooperatives in the country. The clustering of industrial units also enables providers of various business services including banks and credit agencies, to streamline and reduce costs thereby improving access and credit to smaller enterprises.

Another member of the Karnal Cluster, Vishal Bhutani who owns AVG Print ‘n’ Pack, says, “Karnal is a small city but packaging is a big industry. Many times I have had to turn down work from various clients as I did not have the capability or individual capacity to meet their demands. But now things will change with the KPPC starting its operations.” AVG Print ‘n’ Pack produces both commercial print as well as high quality multicolor monocartons. The company prints notebooks, brochures, visiting cards and posters and produces monocartons for pharma and FMCG companies.

For small and medium printers who are open and ready to cooperate with each other, the government seems to have a win-win solution by subsidizing industrial clusters. Globally printers who are fortunate enough to have access to basic infrastructure have proven that they need not be large to produce quality. The KPPC may be one way to provide basic access to business infrastructure for smaller printers who are willing to cooperate with each in their desire to excel.

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.

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