Mumbai-based Technicon supplies pouch sticking machine to Times of India for trials

Mailroom as revenue generator

Rajiv Gandotra, founder of Technicon India, at Printpack

Mumbai-based Technicon India, a manufacturer of automation solutions for the newspaper industry, has supplied its newly launched machine for sticking shampoo and similar type of pouches on newspapers to Times of India’s Kandivali printing plant for trials. The machine was displayed for the first time at Printpack 2019 that was held in Greater Noida in February this year.

This machine, called the Harrier, will for the first time automate the process of sticking shampoo and similar type of pouches on newspapers. This type of work is presently done manually and therefore is highly labour intensive and time-consuming. Not only pouches, the machine can add-on advertising material such as die-cut pictures of products, cards, booklets and flat merchandise of any material, among others.

“The machine was put into trail at Times of India’s Kandivali press shortly after Printpack and has been there since then. Times of India is using the machine to stick pouches on the newspaper. The initial feedback has been very good. We have been working in close coordination with their team lead by Snehasis Roy,” says Rajiv Gandotra, founder of Technicon India.

According to Gandotra, this solution is a huge revenue generating potential for newspapers on everyday basis. Keeping this in mind, Technicon is focusing hard on this trail at Times of India because success there would be breakthrough for this new product.

“Like I said feedback from Times of India during the trial period has been very encouraging and we are confident that we will close the final deal soon. If that happens, it will a very big development for the product because if a newspaper like Times of India shows confident in a new solution like this, it means a lot,” Gandotra adds.

Working with Japan’s Seiken Graphics

Technicon has recently tied up with Japan’s Seiken Graphics to work on a project at Thanthi’s Tiruchirappalli plant. Seiken is supplying high speed printing machines and some part of the mailroom while Technicon will supply the rest of the mailroom such as under wrappers and conveyers.

“The installation process is underway, and we expected to finish the job by end of this month,” Gandotra says.

Technicon manufactures mailroom 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.

Newspaper industry yet to pick up speed

The Indian newspaper industry was under severe stress for last couple of ears due to rising paper prices. However, in recent months prices have cooled down but Gandotra says that the industry is still some time away from full recovery.

“The high paper price was a back breaker for the newspaper industry which put severe pressure on the health of the whole industry. Although prices have come down, I believe it will take some time for the industry to recover fully,” he argues.

Gandotra says there are still uncertainties over economic growth. Also, the industry is watching what the outcome of the general elections will be, he says.

“It will be important that we get a stable government at the centre. If that happens, I expect investment to pick up in the newspaper industry. However, it will still take a few months for things to pick up,” he concludes. 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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