According to Gupta, the automation features of the new Heidelberg press will deliver a significant increase in productivity as well as better transparency to pressroom operations. “I hope to reduce the makeready times and manage the wastage better and more efficiently,” says Gupta. “For example, with the Press Room Manager we are able to keep track of not only the printing process but also the activation and deactivation of printing, dampening, inking and coating units. Sitting at my desk in my office, I am able to know the health of the press, the amount of wastage we are generating, the press running and throughput speeds and other efficiency information. Similarly, the Prinect Press Center provides the management information system (MIS) and Pressroom Manager with shop floor data on all current and running jobs and it is continuously generating real-time production data and reports.” According to Gupta, the Heidelberg CD 102 prints at a speed of 15,000 sheets an hour with normal inks and 12,000 to 14,000 sheets an hour with UV inks.
Rigid box making machines
Simultaneously, PR Packagings has expanded its rigid box division with the addition of a fully automatic rigid box making machine in December 2015 and another machine in March 2016. Prior to the installations of rigid box making machines, the company used semi-automatic equipment. “With the two new machines in place, we expect to produce 5 lakh rigid boxes a month,” says Gupta. Designed for luxury packaging, the rigid box division is fully air-conditioned and dust proof, with every precaution taken to deliver clean and high-quality boxes to customers, says Gupta.
The decision to switch to fully automatic rigid box machines was driven by a combination of customer demand and the difficulty in finding the highly skilled labour that these products demand. Gupta has some new market segments in mind, saying, “We are also planning to produce certain special kind of boxes on these machines, probably boxes which are not yet in the market.” The new automatic machines are aimed at the rigid boxes required by the luxury end of the market, including custom, mobile phone and confectionery segments.
Diversification – ABL and PBL lamitubes
In the past half year, PR Packagings also diversified to manufacture both aluminium barrier and plastic barrier lamitubes. With ABL and PBL tube manufacturing under one roof, Gupta’s perception is that “the market needs a one-stop solution.” The new division consists of three tube making machines (TMM) from Europe as well as a CI letterpress for printing on tubes. With each TMM capable of producing 80 tubes a minute, it is already producing about 750,000 tubes each month, which according to Gupta will likely increase to 1.5 crore (15 million) tubes by the end December 2016. “Our aim is to increase the productivity to 5 crore tubes a month in the next two years,” he says. Another two tube making machines are on the anvil, according to Gupta.
“We decentralized our business one year ago and we inducted a professional CEO who is working with us,” says Vishesh Gupta, who joined the organization this year. Vishesh is Ravinder Gupta’s son and an alumni of IIT Kharagpur. Vishesh adds, “Despite being a family-owned business, we have introduced a very professional work structure and the daily routine work is handled by our team of professionals, whereas innovation, research and development, and marketing are completely spearheaded by the top management. Moreover, we want our people to be involved in the decision making process, thereby opening up more input for innovative ideas and solutions for various day-to-day problems.”
“To what extent can you run a company in a traditional way?” asks Ravinder Gupta. “There always comes a time when you realize that you have to distribute power and responsibility across the hierarchy if the company has to grow. Both Vishesh and myself and the top management team should have bigger fish to fry, rather than spending a lot of our time in the day-to-day decision making process. By distributing responsibility across the company, we are now able to focus better on some of the more pertinent issues and projects.” Gupta knows that the route to professionalization will not always be smooth, “Mistakes should be absorbed as a way of learning rather than allowing them to demotivate us and hence we need to move forward with a positive outlook towards meeting our business goals.”
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.