Complete pre-press, print and finishing set-up at JSC First Model Printing House

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Complete pre-press
One of the two large-format KBA Rapida 164 perfector presses for 4/4 production in 120 x 164 cm format

KBA-Digital & Web and its Austrian partner OD Systeme Handels-und Vertriebs GmbH have successfully completed installation of a complete prepress, print and finishing set-up at JSC First Model Printing House in Chekhov, Russia.

The investment package comprised two 8-color Rapida 164 perfector presses for large-format 4-over-4 production and a 5-color medium-format Rapida 105 with coater from KBA-Sheetfed, an HP Indigo 10000 digital press, a large-format Magnus VLF Q2400 platesetter line from Kodak, cutting machines from Perfecta, automatic embossing and casemaking machines from Kolbus, large-format folding machines from Herzog + Heymann, pile turners from Baumann, a gilding machine from Ochsner, a sewing line from Meccanotecnica and other auxiliary equipment. The various machines from suppliers in five different countries were installed and commissioned over a period of two years up to the end of 2016, in accordance with a timetable and implementation.

Twenty-five years ago, the plant in Chekhov was the largest in the country, with over 5,000 employees producing mainly magazines and other high-volume products. After comprehensive restructuring, the Chekhov branch of JSC First Model Printing House today counts around 400 employees and produces approximately 22 million case-bound and paperback books each year. In addition to books in various styles and formats, a broad product portfolio includes brochures, photobooks, calendars, cards and photo wallpapers.

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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