Government printing houses in Saudi Arabia invest in K&B presses

Printing for university books and magazines

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A Rapida 106 is in production at Gouvernement Printing Press in Riyadh. Jörg Winkler, service director for Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed, Yousef Al Khazaly, printing manager at Gouvernement Printing Press, Sven Strzelczyk, sales director for Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed, and Abdalah Alhareri, general manager of Al-Kaharafi (left to right), met at the new high-end press to celebrate successful commissioning
A Rapida 106 is in production at Gouvernement Printing Press in Riyadh. Jörg Winkler, service director for Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed, Yousef Al Khazaly, printing manager at Gouvernement Printing Press, Sven Strzelczyk, sales director for Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed, and Abdalah Alhareri, general manager of Al-Kaharafi (left to right), met at the new high-end press to celebrate successful commissioning

Industrial packaging printers in Saudi Arabia operate sheetfed offset presses from Koenig & Bauer, prominent ones among them being Al Obeikan Folding Carton, Noor Carton for Packaging and Al Jawad Printing Press. Meanwhile, K&B Rapida presses have also been strengthening their foothold among commercial users, in particular in government-run printing houses.

An order for two new K&B presses was placed by Government Printing Press in Riyadh. The company operates a Rapida 106 with six printing units, a coater and perfecting after the second unit. Alongside stands a 6-color Rapida 76 with coater and provisions for UV printing. Both presses print a variety of documents on paper and plastic substrates, for example passports, ID cards, driving licenses or residence permits. Accordingly, the long list of features also includes corresponding facilities for rainbow printing. The high-end presses for half and medium formats are both engineered for production speeds up to 18,000 sheets per hour.

Festive reception with representatives of King Abdulaziz University Printing Press at the commissioning of the Rapida 105
Festive reception with representatives of King Abdulaziz University Printing Press at the commissioning of the Rapida 105

King Abdulaziz University Printing Press in Jeddah has been using K&B Rapida 105 since last year. The 4-color press prints books and magazines for the university and also incorporates board-handling equipment to cope with substrates up to 1.2 mm. That provides for maximum flexibility in production.

Um Al Qura University Printing Press in Mecca and the Islamic University in Medina are also Rapida 105 users. Both presses are configured with four printing units, coater and extended delivery. The main products are likewise university magazines and books.

Al Qura University Printing Press in Mecca also relies on sheetfed offset technology from Koenig & Bauer
Al Qura University Printing Press in Mecca also relies on sheetfed offset technology from Koenig & Bauer

The close cooperation with the factories in Germany is a key factor for successful installments of K&B presses, as it permits the fast realization of tailored solutions in response to special customer wishes. Furthermore, local service units have been created to cover all the industrial centers of this enormous country and to ensure optimum proximity to the users.

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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