Regal Prints to increase production capacity

Digital printers look at enhancement options

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Manoj Kothari, director of Regal Prints alongside the Konica Minolta AccurioPress c2060
Manoj Kothari, director of Regal Prints alongside the Konica Minolta AccurioPress c2060

Regal Prints is a subsidiary of Regal Industries, which started in 1934 and did some publishing in its early days. It started printing with a treadle letterpress machine for producing and supplying wedding cards. Value addition to print was performed using silk screen machines and embossing dies. Just two years ago Regal migrated to digital.

“We have always been doing fancy printing. There is a market for value-added printing in Indore. Trends are changing with customers preferring foiling more these days instead of UV ink and coating effects. The trend right now is for dull foiling and down embossing,” says Manoj Kothari, director of Regal Prints.

Two years ago, when the company started digital printing, it purchased a brand new Konica Minolta AccurioPress c2060. Apart from this, the company has a Duplo cutting machine, a magic cutting machine and a thermal lamination machine in its battery of finishing equipment. Regal is also planning to invest in a machine for spot UV. “We’re planning to grow our digital setup. We plan to purchase new high performance machines for increasing our productive output. We might again go for a machine from Konica Minolta as we’ve had good experience with the KM team. Value-added printing also includes pearlized effects printed with touches of silver and gold. All these are coming to digital. We’re interested in these machines as it will help us in the segment that we’re currently supplying to,” says Kothari.

Regal uses a converted Heidelberg letterpress machine for foiling and embossing. These are old platen presses attached to a thermostat and timer to use it for hot foiling, a common practice in India. “This is a second-hand rebuilt machine that we purchased from a trader. It is pretty common in India to convert these machines and use them for foiling,” explains Kothari. In the coming days, the company may purchase a new foiling machine and is looking at several suppliers of digital enhancement machines that come with foiling options. Kothari shares that he may want to wait until drupa next year to have a look around for newer and better technologies.

Regal prints 1,000 to 1,500 impressions in a day right now but is looking to increase the production volume on its existing KM press and then purchase a new digital press. “There are a lot of options available in the market. We will evaluate on various parameters including the ROI of the press. Since we supply wedding cards and it is a seasonal business, we have to be very careful with our investments. We are able to supply printed work worth Rs 2.5 to 3 lakhs each month. We want to increase our production capacity to help us grow profitably in coming days,” Kothari shares.

In 2018, the company registered good growth. In 2019, the company is planning to triple its production capacity. “Indore is a huge market and has a lot of potential. We have to tap on all the areas of this city and for that, we have to increase our setup. This year we’ll be planning and investing in new machines to grow our business further,” Kothari concludes.

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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