Akshara Offset installs new Heidelberg SX74 4-color

Investment in technology for responsible and sustainable growth

Rajalakshmy with the Heidelberg Speedmaster SX74 press
Rajalakshmy with the Heidelberg Speedmaster SX74 press

Thiruvananthapuram’s Akshara Offset has just installed a brand new Heidelberg Speedmaster SX74 4-color sheetfed offset press. The new press adds much needed capacity to one of the great success stories in Indian printing. Established as the first DtP center in Kerala in 1985 by Rajalakshmy, one of the state’s foremost women entrepreneurs, the new press adds much-needed capacity alongside its Heidelberg CD102 6-color and an SM102 2-color presses. Apart from strengthening its huge commitment to quality, the new investment helps reduce turnaround times of a print business already well known for its speed in delivery and commitment to customers.

Akshara Offset is an ISO 2008 certified organization, and recognized as a star printer in SAARC countries. With a full-fledged printing infrastructure built around best-in-class technology, it specializes in the production of books, magazines, leaflets, booklets, brochures, catalogs, diaries, calendars and invitation cards as well as cartons. “With the new Heidelberg SX 74 in place, we expect to set exceptional benchmarks in print quality and explore new growth platforms. The SX 74 will empower our business to deliver unprecedented levels of performance, and prioritize our customer experience,” says Rajalakshmy.

She adds, “The SX 74 combines the best of both worlds – the path-breaking technology of the XL class with the tried-and-tested stability of the SM platform. A true hybrid, the SX-74 is 30% more productive than SM equipment, at price points more economical than XL machines.”

Well-suited for mid-size format and short-run print work, the SX 74 accommodates a wide array of substrates from thin sheets to board between 0.03 mm and 0.6 mm. Shorter make-ready and throughput times with a production speed of 15,000 sheets an hour make it an efficient and productive investment.

Alcohol savings

Designed to be eco-friendly, the SX 74 is equipped with special rollers in its Alcolor dampening system that dramatically reduce alcohol usage from 10% to 3%, saving 172 liters of alcohol for every ten million printed sheets. Supported by surface technology to boost service life and extend wash-up intervals, the new press’s color Assistant Pro feature speeds up the response of the inking unit by 50% to 70% using fully-automated monitoring of the ink fountain liner and self-calibration of the ink zones.

Heidelberg’s Intellistart component, integrated in the SX 74 helps intelligent and dynamic job changes, requiring 70% fewer operations for every job change. “Setup times can be scheduled, saving a lot of time between job changes,” says Rajalakshmy, whose debut business venture has become a roaring success story.

“We believe in responsible and sustainable growth. Consistent upgrades are a must to meet the changes and challenges in a print environment that is continuously and globally evolving. Partnership with a trusted brand like Heidelberg is a significant step in our chosen path and priorities. Nowadays customers are highly demanding and quality conscious. The SX 74 inspires us to build on our customer-centric culture, while driving operational excellence,” Rajalakshmy concludes with a smile.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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  1. Congratulation for new machine,
    You are requested kindly send the manufacturing company of Heidelberg Machine. We want to purchase a same machine.
    Niazi Press
    Bara Bazar,
    INDIA – Mobile No. 9259211532


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