Bartaman’s Cromoman 4 x 1 press and Ferag mailroom in production

Print and mailroom tech for Indian news requirements

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Bartaman Patrika, an Indian Bengali daily newspaper based in Kolkata, has invested in a manroland web systems (recently renamed manroland Goss websystems) Cromoman 4 x 1 newspaper press with three towers for printing up to 24 broadsheet pages in full color. The daily has also opted for Ferag mailroom technology to evacuate the copies from the pressroom and get them ready for distribution in stacked bundles. The newly built and fully re-equipped printing plant began operation in May 2019.

Founded in 1984, Bartaman Patrika has become the second-largest daily newspaper in the Indian state of West Bengal. Published in Bengali, the newspaper appears in five different regional editions and claims a circulation totaling more than 670,000 copies (2017). There are five printing sites — Kolkata, Malda, Midnapore, Burdwan and Siliguri.

Regional daily newspapers in various Indian languages (Bengali, Hindi, Urdu, Tamil and Sanskrit) have seen annual growth averaging 8% in recent years; nine out of 10 largest Indian dailies are regional newspapers. The country’s size and occasionally difficult logistics circumstances gave rise to numerous newspaper printing plants producing regional editions mainly on smaller, Indian-built presses.

Fits Indian requirements

In 2018, Bartaman invested in a Manroland Cromoman 4 x 1 newspaper press with three towers for printing up to 24 pages in full color at a time. The machine is designed to stand on a ground floor to fit inside existing production premises, tolerant of fluctuating power supply voltage, and capable of handling the newsprint paper available in India.

Ferag mailroom

Bartaman has also invested in a mailroom system by Ferag in its Kolkata plant. The investment includes two HPS High Performance Stacker stack turners, two JobStrap N-RT strapping units with AVT SA03 foil wrapping machines, a 63-metre-long HPC paced conveyor line for linking the transfer station at the press output, two stack turners and a separate outfeed station. The new Cromoman is and mailroom system is now operating with the HPC High Performance Conveyor, HPS High Performance Stacker and JobStrap modules.

Abhijit Bhattacharya, director, Bartaman said, “The selection criteria for mailroom technology included the suppliers’ production operations, their hardware and software technical solutions, and the services on offer both during and after installation. After visiting several Ferag users and on account of feedback received, the Ferag mailroom system could be seen as superior to all the other systems available.”

Bhattacharya continued, “Output is excellent. Even the most minor of problems were solved promptly and with the necessary support from Ferag engineers. All in all, we see it as total endorsement of our decision to invest in this system.”

Edited by Indian Printer and Publisher

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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