Two book printers buy new 74 cm 4-colors

Heidelberg presses in Eastern India

Debi Prasad Sharma with the new Heidelberg press at Sharma Publications facility in Cuttack

Heidelberg has strengthened its footprint of new multicolor offset presses in the eastern part of the country with book publishers and book printers who continue to modernize their plants to achieve  high quality and efficiency in color production. Jyotishman Das, owner of Balaji Books from Guwahati, installed a Heidelberg SM 74 4-color offset press last year. Das says, “We are quite satisfied with the performance of the newly installed press. We looked at other options before finalizing the Heidelberg and even at the 36-inch Lithrone, but since we also take up government and local publishers’ textbook work, I felt that size is not the best suited for us. That is the reason why we decided to go with a Heidelberg SM74.”

Installed at Balaji’s plant in March 2017, the experience in the past year is that the SM74, which prints at 15,000 sheets an hour, is helping the company take up more and more orders. The pressroom also contains an Akiyama Bestech 32-inch 4-color and an HMT 32-inch double-color press. In prepress there is a Kodak thermal CtP while the postpress contains a a Welbound 6-clamp perfect binder amongst the usual complement of finishing equipment.

Das admits that he was influenced by the strength of the Heidelberg brand and strong service support. “The brand reputation, faster changeover time and the life of the machine are some of the most important factors that influenced this purchase. Also, in comparison to the Lithrone, this machine fulfilled our purpose better and is more cost-effective,” adds Das.


He says that the industry has picked up in Guwahati with packaging companies such as TCPL and Huhtamaki starting their operations in the city. If all goes well, he says that his company will also look at entering the packaging segment in coming days as there is considerable scope in that segment just as there is the commercial printing segment.

Cuttack-based Sharma Publications installs two Heidelbergs

Cuttack publisher Sharma Publications also installed a Heidelberg press as recently as the beginning of March 2018. “Actually, we bought two Heidelbergs recently. One is an offset printing machine and the other is a CtP machine. We got the CtP machine mainly for setting up an in-house prepress unit,” says Debi Prasad Sharma, owner of Sharma Publications.

Sharma Publications was formerly known as The Book World (TBW). TBW, a well-known name in the state of Odisha, was primarily a publisher of government text and children’s books. The company changed its name to Sharma Publications in the year 2001 and began publishing its own books. It now has over 110 titles in its list of children’s books, text books and reference books.

When the company became a publisher, it purchased a brand new TPH Orient 4-color web offset press. As the company and demand grew, it bought two second-hand sheetfed presses, a Mitsubishi 5-color offset press and a Planeta double-color.

The company sold the Planeta to buy a new Heidelberg SX 4-color offset press. The machine was installed just a month ago and after initial trial runs, the press is now in full-fledged production. The pressroom contains two 4-color TPH Orient presses, while the postpress department runs two Welbound 6-clamp perfect binding machines and a Trident 3-knife trimmer.

“We opted for Heidelberg mainly because of its brand value and the ease of operation it offers with quick changeovers. We did look at other options as well. To be honest, only the Lithrone is an option, but the Heidelberg press is really cost-effective and hence we decided to go with it,” Sharma adds.

Sharma Publications also has a branch office in Jaipur, Rajasthan for book sales. Apart from book publishing, Sharma Publications entered the agricultural sector three years ago.

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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