Print operations, quality and process efficiency

WAN-IFRA – World Printers Forum in Hyderabad

newsprint wastage

The technical and production stream had some interesting presentations on newsprint wastage and efficiency and notably how Telugu daily Sakshi, published by Jagati Publications, was able to achieve membership in the IFRA Quality Color Club across all its 22 center on its Indian-manufactured Manugraph 2 x 1 web offset presses. Most of its presses are 10 years old and run at an average speed of 40,000 copies an hour with auto-registration systems and in some cases with closed-loop color quality systems.

Generally, International Color Quality Club (ICQC) aspirants gain membership with entries printed on German or Japanese double-width presses at higher speeds, although Indian newspapers routinely win membership to the Quality Club on locally manufactured 2 x 1 presses. Nevertheless, this was the first time that any publisher anywhere in the world won entry to the ICQC for all of its printing plants. Jagati’s chief general manager of operations, TK Suresh, and its general manager for quality and presses, B Gouri Shankar, spoke at Hyderabad about the discipline and preparations, including the internal quality program called Sakshi Internal Quality or ‘SIQ’ that were key to their unique achievement.

Other sessions addressed the compulsions and cost benefits of using lower grammage newsprint and the use of better data tracking and analysis for improving efficiencies. Namasthe Telangana described the many waste reduction benefits of high automation that come along with the latest appropriate technologies of 4 x 1 presses.

More than 60 conference delegates including newspaper owners and top management as well as core production personnel took part in the open house event at the Namasthe Telangana plant near Secunderabad where they could see its manroland Cromoman 4 x 1 and Ferag mailroom in action.

The delegates were impressed by the color reproduction quality at the plant. Publications taking part in the plant visit inlcuded Pratham Alo of Bangladesh, Wijeya Newspapers of Sri Lanka, Lokmat, Sambad Pratidin, Dainik Jagran, Deccan Herald and Vijaya Karnataka.  u

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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