Srilekha Power Printers installs Heidelberg SM 74-4

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Srilekha Power Printers installs Heidelberg SM 74-4
Rajendra and Sangmeswara Rao with the Speedmaster SM 74 4-color press

Vijayawada-based printing firm, Srilekha Power Printers installed a Heidelberg Speedmaster SM 74 4-color press in a bid to fortify its professional print offerings and expand its user community. “Our investment in the Heidelberg Speedmaster SM 74-4 clearly demonstrates our strategy to capture new market opportunities, while strengthening our existing customer base,” said Sangameswara Rao, partner at Srilekha Power Printers, which specializes in printing posters, pamphlets, brochures, catalogs, books, and pre-printed office stationery. 

“The SM 74-4 is an ideal fit for our high-volume business. The fabulous level of automation is the highlight. Manual intervention is significantly reduced by 70% to 75%. To us, this means less stress and higher productivity,” said Rajendra, the other partner who is a print technocrat. A high performance Prinect press center acts as the control station in a Speedmaster SM74-4, slicing the number of operating steps by 70%.

The Speedmaster SM74-4 is equipped with automation features like Auto Plate that ensure quicker plate changes, cutting down make-ready and setup times notably in comparison to other presses. A highly automated feeder with central suction tape handles a wide array of print substrates, from thin paper to board, ranging in thickness from 0.03 mm to 0.6 mm.   

High production speeds of up to 15,000 sheets per hour can be achieved with the Speedmaster SM 74-4. Lateral sheet separation blowers separate sheets more effectively and ensure smooth sheet travel, regardless of the printing stock being used. A fully automatic perfecting device enables

2-color printing on both sides of a sheet in a single pass, facilitating cost-effective production and faster throughput times for print jobs. 

  “Long-run jobs represent a major chunk of our business. So, we opted for the high-pile delivery configuration that requires fewer pile changes. Sheets don’t get scratched or smeared during perfecting or work-and-turn operations. The Venturi nozzles in the sheet guide plate take care of that,” said Rajendra. 

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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