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

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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– Naresh Khanna

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