In a joint press meeting on 18 September 2019 at the Manugraph stand at the Wan-Ifra India conference in Gurgaon, the company announced a tie-up with Seiken Graphics to manufacture a high advanced double-width, single-circumference web offset press at the Manugraph manufacturing plant in Kohlapur in Maharashtra. The announcement was made by Sanjay Shah, vice-chairman and managing director of Manugraph and Shota Namita, president of Seiken Graphics both of whom answered questions from the trade press.
The new double-width press double circumference 4 x 1 press (4 broadsheet pages wide and one broadsheet page in circumference or length) will be manufactured under a technical collaboration between the two companies. The engineering advancement in this press will be its single circumference plate and blanket cylinders and what are described as several other improved and advanced technology features from both companies.
The new 4 x1 will run at 75,000 copies an hour speed and the one to one ratio of plate and blanket together with joint development and manufacture at Manugraph’s advanced design and manufacturing assets and resources in Kohlapur will bring down its production cost. In addition, it will bring down the cost of spares and consumables for Indian newspaper printers and obviate the need for importing and stocking these in advance. Freight, import duties, installation, and service costs can be saved apart from the security of prompt factory trained engineering and maintenance services.
Seiken Graphics is one of the major Japanese web-offset press and mailroom equipment manufacturers. Its presses and mailroom equipment are installed in Japan, India and around the world. Its presses and mailroom are installed in South India at Dina Thanthi and its mailroom equipment is installed at several Kasturi & Sons’ plants.
Manugraph which is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange is the leading web offset press manufacturer in India of 2 x1 web offset newspaper and book presses and most probably, in the world. It is also a manufacturer of shaftless 4 x1 presses that it has supplied to two major newspapers in South India. However, the Manugraph Smartline 4 x1 shaftless press runs at 70,000 copies and hour and has a double-circumference blanket cylinder.
Nine months to deliver the first new technology 4 x 1 press
As Shota Namita of Seiken and Sanjay Shah of Manugraph said at Wan-Ifra Indis, “The collaboration between Manugraph and Seiken Graphics to build a newly designed 75,000 copies an hour single-circumference plate and single-circumference blanket cylinder web offset press means that a press with the latest technology will be built in India at a more economical cost. It will be especially targeted at the Indian newspaper market which is one of the few in the world that is still growing.” Notably, major Indian dailies with circulations above 2,00,000 in a single print center are increasingly looking at 4 x1 presses to improve color quality and efficiencies and to reduce process wastage and manpower.
In answer to press questions, Shah answered, “We haven’t decided on the name for the new press yet. However, we are ready to start building the new design press with its combined technology and new features and looking for the first customer. Keep in mind that from the date of order, it will take us 9 months to deliver the first new jointly developed 4 x1 press.”