Mumbai-based Technicon develops new solution for mailroom

Mailroom as revenue generator

Rajiv Gandotra, founder of Technicon India at Printpack

Mumbai-based Technicon has been serving the newspaper industry by providing automation solutions such as inserters, overhead newspaper conveyors, counter stackers, under wrappers, plastic bundle wrappers, online sheet under layers, van loading telescopic loaders, flow turns and log stackers. It has recently developed an innovative solution for the mailroom and has applied for a patent for the same.

This machine, called the Harrier, will for the first time automate the process of sticking shampoo and similar types of pouches on newspapers, which is at present being done by hand and is a highly labour-intensive and time-consuming exercise. Not only pouches, the machine is capable of sticking add-on advertising material such as die-cut pictures of products, cards, booklets and flat merchandise of any material, among others.

Technicon showcased this machine at the recently concluded Printpack 2019, where it got a very encouraging response from the visitors.

“This solution opens up a huge revenue-generating potential for newspapers on everyday basis,” said Rajiv Gandotra, founder of Technicon India at Printpack. The advertisements can be given a 3 mm cardboard backing to give them a 3D effect and real life feel and can be printed externally at any sheet-fed printer, he added.

At Printpack, Technicon demonstrated the machine with a hot stamp foiling unit. According to Gandotra, hot foil stamping feature can help brands offer something unique in their advertisements.

“With hot foil stamping in advertisements, brands can create advertisements that immediately stand out, register very well with newspaper readers and have high recall value. This can be another big revenue generator for newspapers,” he argued.

Gandotra disclosed that the first installation of the machine will be done at Times of India’s Kandivali plant. This machine will not have the hot foil stamping unit, though.

Along with the Harrier, Technicon also showcased a three-fourth wrapper and a stacker meant for book printers.

Talking about the response at Printpack, he said that visitors from the newspaper industry visited the stand as well as a lot of commercial printers who were interested in the hot foil stamping unit.

“Our hot foiling unit led to a lot of traffic during Printpack. At the moment this is for the newspapers, but we will surely be working to develop a hot foil stamping unit meant for commercial printing applications,” he concluded.

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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