Technicon notches up successful deals in recent months

Confirms deal for new mailroom sticking machine with Times of India

L-R: Upendra Nayak (ToI), Rajiv Gandotra (Technicon), KN Dsouza (ToI), Snehasis Roy (ToI technical head), and Vasudevan with pouch and die-cut memo advertisement sticking machine at ToI's Kandivali plant. Photo IPP
L-R: Upendra Nayak (ToI), Rajiv Gandotra (Technicon), KN Dsouza (ToI), Snehasis Roy (ToI technical head), and Vasudevan with pouch and die-cut memo advertisement sticking machine at ToI's Kandivali plant. Photo IPP

Mumbai’s Technicon India has in the past few months achieved great success with some of its solutions. The company has been able to confirm and close an order with The Times of India for its recently launched machine for sticking shampoos and similar types of pouches and die-cut memo advertisements on newspapers. This machine has been placed at The Times of India’s Kandivali plant. Technicon has also signed a deal to supply counter stackers to Physics Center Press, a Thailand-based book printer.

“I can confirm that we have closed a deal with The Times of India to supply our pouch and die-cut memo advertisement sticking machine to them. The machine, called Harrier, will for the first time automate the process of sticking pouches and memo advertisements on newspapers. The machine was on trial at the newspaper’s Kandivali press for three months, from mid-February to mid-May,” says Rajiv Gandotra, founder of Technicon India, which makes automation solutions for the newspaper industry 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.

Commercial operations of the machine are expected to begin around the festival season later this year. Gandotra says that during the three months, trials were conducted for sticking pouches and advertisements of various types such as die-cut pictures of products, cards, booklets and flat merchandise of any material, among others. The machine was displayed for the first time during Printpack 2019, which was held in Greater Noida in February this year.

The Times of India will be using the machines to stick pouches and other forms of promotional items as well. Brands can get their advertisements printed on quality paper on a sheetfed or label press to get the best quality and value additions like spot UV, hot foiling and embossing and then our machines can paste that on the newspaper. This type of advertisement will stand out as newsprints cannot achieve such quality,” he says.

This type of work is presently done manually and therefore is highly labor-intensive and time-consuming. According to Gandotra, this form of innovative advertisement can be a huge revenue generator for newspapers on an everyday basis.

“My aim is to offer solutions that can not only save costs, like our regular stackers and conveyers, but also generate revenue, like the Harrier. Technicon’s endeavor is to help newspapers generate more advertising revenue without increasing pagination. The Harrier can be a great tool for that. I see a lot of potential in this solution and we are looking at expanding the way it can be used for more applications,” Gandotra shares.

L-R: Rajiv Gandotra (Technicon) with Narin Naovaprateep, Niti Naovaprateep and Wipa Ruangpanyaphot, (Physics Center Press) Photo IPP
L-R: Rajiv Gandotra (Technicon) with Narin Naovaprateep, Niti Naovaprateep and Wipa Ruangpanyaphot, (Physics Center Press) Photo IPP

Deal with Thailand’s Physics Center Press

Another highlight for Technicon this year has been a deal to supply its regular counter stackers to Thailand-based book printer Physics Centre Press. The Thai company has also ordered one press from Manugraph, also with the counter stacker.

“Physics Centre Press is a leading book printer in Thailand and it has ordered one Manugraph press, their fourth, and counter stackers from Technicon. The order came directly to us but Manugraph put in a good word about us,” says Gandotra.

The installation of the first counter stacker will take place by September.

Duty hike on newsprints a sentiment dampener

Indian newspapers have already been under severe stress for the last couple of years due to rising paper prices. However, in recent months prices have cooled down but imposition of 10% duty on imports of newsprint, Gandotra believes, has come like a sentiment dampener.

As per the announcement in the latest budget, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a 10% customs duty on newsprint. According to this provision, uncoated paper used for newspapers and lightweight coated paper for magazines will attract 10% customs duty with effect from 6 July 2019.

According to Gandotra, the duty hike by the government is to promote the domestic paper industry but the government should realize that it would be better if the local industry is incentivized to enhance capacity.

“My view is that instead of imposing duty to encourage domestic paper mills, the government should work towards incentivizing the domestic industry so that they can enhance capacity. A couple of years ago, when global paper prices were high, the local ones were not able to cope up with the demand due to capacity constraints. The duty hike will definitely hurt the sentiment of the newspaper industry as the environment is still challenging,” he 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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