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.

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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  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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