Indian Printer and Publisher met Bharat Desai, assistant general manager of Sandesh at its Ahmedabad head office. While the daily’s six production plants are located in Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Bhuj (Kutch district), its Mumbai edition is printed by a third-party printer there. The Ahmedabad plant prints seven weekly supplements that are published in 4- and 8-page tabloid and broadsheet formats: Sanskar Nari, Ardha Saptahik, Nakshatra, Cine Sandesh, Kids World, Shraddha, Action Replay and Business.
Recently, Sandesh installed a Manugraph Hiline 2 x 1 press with five full-color towers and folder at its Ahmedabad plant. Speaking about the installation, Desai says, “At the Ahmedabad unit, we had a 5-tower press which we replaced with a new 5-tower press; the old press will be shifted to the Surat unit where we will add another full-color tower to it to meet our requirements. By taking such initiatives, we are increasing the number of color pages not only in Ahmedabad but in other editions as well.” Going ahead, the Gujarati daily plans to upgrade the add-on tower in Baroda to a full-color tower as well, to expand color pagination capacity.
More than nine decades old, Sandesh is a 20-page broadsheet daily. Speaking about Sandesh’s main plant in Ahmedabad, Desai says, “As we need to print 20 pages in full color in a single go, we mainly use the new 5-tower press, which is capable of printing 45,000 copies an hour. The earlier press had maintenance issues, which has been taken care of with the new installation. Now, we are able to produce quality color with better efficiency and consistency. Currently, at our Surat unit, we print 10 pages in full color and 10 pages in single color; however, with the installation of an add-on tower there, the color pagination is expected to go up by 40%.”
Increased automation at Ahmedabad
In addition to the new Manugraph press, the Ahmedabad unit has installed ten stacker-bundlers and and 15 strapping machines. “We have also installed QI camera registration control systems. The QI camera has helped in wastage control and quality improvement,” says Desai. Recently, the news daily also installed a high caliber fully automatic Lincoln ink pumping system that delivers ink to all five presses installed at the unit.
K2 units increase color capacity on old Y towers
Apart from increasing production and color capacity with the new Manugraph 5-tower press, Sandesh has upgraded its existing Newsline 45 press, which came in a 10Y configuration, by adding five K2 attachments, thereby increasing the overall color production capacity of the Ahmedabad unit by at least 25%. The maximum production of the Ahmedabad unit goes to over 20 lac (2 million) copies a day. Three of the five presses in the plant have a pair of folders each while the remaining two presses have a single folder. In the unlikely event of one folder running out of order, the spare folder can be put to use for smooth running of jobs. “Altogether we have eight folders, but we run only four and at night, depending upon the requirement, we run around seven folders while the remaining system is scheduled for maintenance. Overall, this upgradation was done for proper maintenance and functioning of the existing systems as well as to reduce dependency on manual processes,” shares Nagesh Prasad Shukla, assistant general manager – production, Sandesh.