Zircon to install a Mark Andy P7 and an Omet X4 press in May

On course to become a 100 crore turnover company by end of year

Sanjeev Sondhi, director – operations of Zircon. Photo PSA

Noida headquartered Zircon Technologies, a label and packaging supplier, isslated to install two brand new label presses in May 2016 – a Mark Andy P7 fully loaded 12-color press with a web width of 17-inch and an Omet Xflex X4 10-color press with a web width of 14.5-inch. Another Mark Andy VLI slitter-rewinder with a web width of 17 inches will be installed alongside these two presses coupled with a Nikka 100% inspection system from Germany. All these machines will be installed in the new Dehradun plant of Zircon which is its second
facility in this area. Zircon has also installed a Digiflow from DuPont at the new Dehradun plant about a month back.

Since its inception in 2006, Zircon has had rapid growth and today it is one of the most well-known names in the field. And it has been on an expansion mode. It already has two plants in Dehradun with a combined area of 60,000 square feet. Another new unit is coming up on a 50,000 square foot plot adjacent to its previous facilities. The company is also moving in a new 15,000 square foot location in Chennai. The company has had a tremendous growth run over the years averaging around 35 to 40% year-on-year. Zircon has closed in on the 100 crore turnover target by the end of the last financial year, and this year it will be achieved. Sanjeev Sondhi, director – operations of Zircon says, “Upgradation of technology and innovations are key to our growth. We were in the vicinity of Rs.100 crores last year and this year we will be well over the target.”

Zircon has been investing heavily over the last few years in its prepress to postpress operations. It has invested in Esko equipment which includes flexo prepress and platemaking workflow with a prepress software workflow and a HD CDI imager with in-line UV. In presses, the company is equipped with multiple lines of Mark Andy narrow-web flexo printing presses. Zircon already has an Omet Varyflex V2 narrow-web flexo press with a width of 17-inch along with several other slitter-rewinders and ancillary equipments. Over the years, Zircon has persisted with Mark Andy. According to Sondhi, “The service of Mark Andy is excellent. There is no doubt that they are the best in the industry.” Mark Andy presses and slitter-rewinders are sold and serviced by Flexo Image Graphics in India.

The label industry in India is growing but the situation is not very comfortable at the moment feels Sondhi. He says, “A lot of investments are surely happening and people including me are buying new machinery. But, in my opinion, label printers should be very focussed on its target segments which is currently lacking. Companies are growing but due to market volatility, foreign exchange fluctuations and continuous devaluation of the Indian Rupee, the bottom lines are decreasing. If this continues, the market is going to get very tough in the next few years. May be we will see mergers and acquisitions happening. After this latest round of investments are completed, I don’t think I will be thinking of any major investments. It will be more of a wait and watch policy from our end.”

Sondhi was a regular visitor to the previous editions of drupa but this time he says he has not decided yet. “Going by my past experiences and drupa preview news so far, there is hardly anything exciting for a flexo label printer in drupa 2016. I may drop in for a day or two, but I have not decided yet. I would rather be going to the Labelexpo show in Chicago this year which seems more interesting to me,” Sondhi says.

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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