Manugraph to manufacture new press with Seiken technology at Kohlapur

Manugraph and Seiken Graphics announce new 4 x1 at Wan-Ifra

Sanjay Shah, vice chairman and managing director of Manugraph and Shota Namita, president of Seiken Graphics, at their press meeting during the WAN-IFRA India Conference in Gurgaon. Photo IPP
Sanjay Shah, vice chairman and managing director of Manugraph and Shota Namita, president of Seiken Graphics, at their press meeting during the WAN-IFRA India Conference in Gurgaon. Photo IPP

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.”

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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