Sandesh adds Manugraph Hiline 2 x 1 press

Sandesh adds Manugraph Hiline 2 x 1 press
Bharat Desai and Nagesh Prasad Shukla

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%.”

Sandesh b2

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.

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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