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.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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