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

Mailroom as revenue generator

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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

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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