Sterling Print House’ RMGT 9-series 5-color press with coater

RMGT shows first UV Energy Multiwave LED-UV in Kochi

sterling print house

Kochi-based Sterling Print House held an Open House on 14 November 2018 to showcase its newly installed RMGT press. Sterling opted for an RMGT 920ST 5-color plus coater in October 2018, with the configuration finalized between RMGT and Sterling Print House’s executive director G Venugopal, during the RMGT Open House in Japan in January 2018. Having been to that Open House to the RMGT plant in Japan, it was nice to see one of the results of that event.

This marks Sterling’s fourth RMGT installation and its continued belief in the Japanese manufacturer. It already has a double demy 4-color, a crown 4-color, and a double crown Mitsubishi 4-color. For higher volume book printing, it also has a 4-color Orient web press with 546 mm cut-off, another Orient web 4-color with a 578 mm cut-off, two additional mono web offset units and a double-demy single color sheetfed offset press.

The Provin Tecnos team with visitors at Sterling Print House's Open House in Kochi
The Provin Tecnos team with visitors at Sterling Print House’s Open House in Kochi

The Open House in Kochi was attended by around 20 major printers from across the country, who witnessed a live demo of the newly installed press. Vinay Kaushal, director, Provin Tecnos gave us a demo of the new press and talked about its working in detail. Provin Tecnos is the sole distributor of RMGT presses in India.

The RMGT 9 is clearly dominating the new offset 8-up press market, with over 50 new presses installed in India since 2014 and over 700 worldwide installations. Kaushal’s brief about the press called it “RMGT’s unfair advantage.” The press can handle a wide range of printing jobs, from A1 posters to 8-up printing of A4 size, thus offering a key cost advantage in a price-sensitive printing market. Kaushal said, “When we compare it to a B1, 40-inch press, the RMGT 9 series offers a highly competitive plate cost and significantly lower power consumption as well as smaller installation space.”

Kayyum Menon and Arshad Menon of Concord Printing checking samples produced by the RMGT 920ST 5-color plus coater
Kayyum Menon and Arshad Menon of Concord Printing checking samples produced by the RMGT 920ST 5-color plus coater

The press is packed with features including automation and labor saving systems for optimized production at a competitive price, auto-nip check mode, maintenance mode, automatic ink roller cleaning device, impression pressure preset system and much more. It comes with a high-speed feeder that uses air control to ensure stable transport at high speeds for paper thicknesses ranging from 0.04 mm paper to 0.06 mm card stock. It allows a maximum sheet size of 25 x 36 inches.

Talking about the press, Kaushal said, “This machine is in a different league altogether and that’s why we call it an unfair advantage for our users. In terms of size, economy, plate-size economy, power economy, overall cost of operations, it is the best in class. The speciality of today’s demo is the Multiwave LED-UV system from UV Energy, which is the first of its kind in the world. It is the only system in the world that covers frequencies from 300-400 nanometers, thereby offering seamless curing on all kinds of inks. There is virtually no heat and no smell; at the same time, you can use conventional UV inks and varnishes, so in a way the machine gives operational cost advantage also. There are two LED lamps on this press and one LUV lamp.”

The RMGT 920ST 5-color plus coater was installed at Sterling Print House in October this year
The RMGT 920ST 5-color plus coater was installed at Sterling Print House in October this year

Multi-wave LED-UV

According to Johnny Sha, director – International Sales, UV Energy Japan, “Multi-wave LED-UV offers longer life of the lamp where the LED chip life is more than 20,000 hours. It results in 80% energy conservation when compared with conventional UV systems and there is no heat generation at all. This means customers can print on thinner and heat-sensitive materials, including plastics. There are also no negative effects on the printing surface and the resultant images are brighter with stronger gloss. Smart–LED UV technology avoids ink absorption due to its immediate curing phenomenon.”

The press comes with Multi-Wave LED UV technology by UV Energy Japan Ltd.
The press comes with Multi-Wave LED UV technology by UV Energy Japan Ltd.

Regarding Sterling’s need to opt for another RMGT, G Venugopal shared, “Basically, if you want to go for packaging, there is a high possibility that you may have to go in for some kind of embellishment that is required after printing. Now, if it is online embellishment, it makes a lot of sense as you save money and time. Once this is done, you can immediately take the printed copy to the punching section, then blanking and folding-gluing. Thus, one major bottleneck, which is the postprint embellishment, is immediately removed. Secondly, UV coating that is done offline lacks the feel of an online system. The perfection that is required comes only with online and that’s the primary reason we went for UV.”

He further added, “We were earlier planning to opt for conventional UV but we realized that it demands a lot of heat and energy. In the case of Multi-Wave UV, the biggest advantage is that there is not so much of energy required nor a lot of heat generation. Moreover, you get all the advantages of conventional UV, so there is nothing that you have to compromise on.”

Rounding up the conversation, Venugopal said that he is extremely happy with the services offered by Kaushal and his team at Provin Tecnos. He said, “I have been associated with Provin from the time that I initiated the expansion of my business here at Sterling Print House. They have never let me down in this journey so far. All my machines have been from Provin and in future, all machines will also come from them.”

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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