PM Digital Products installs Horizon binding and cutting equipment

Chennai printer makes addition to its binding capacity

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P Chellappan of PM Digital Products with the Horizon cutting machine. Photo IPP

Chennai-based PM Digital Products is a well-known name for delivering quality print products. The unit is equipped with state-of-the-art machinery to deliver fully finished products to its customers. PM Digital not only caters to the short print run segment but also specializes in variable data printing. In the past one year, P Chellappan of PM Digital Products has bought brand new binding and cutting machines to increase his unit’s binding capacity.

We had a PUR binder for short-run jobs, which, of course, was fully digital. However, the cost aspect was more. In other words, the binding cost with the PUR binding machine was rather steep. So we were looking out for a good machine that would tick our requirements and also bring down the costs. After careful evaluation, we settled for the Horizon BQ 270V single-clamp perfect binder. The machine is fully automatic with all the latest features except for the feeding, which has to be done manually. It comes with an auto spine width facility, and the quality is also exceptional. Horizon overall is an excellent machine. Though a bit pricey, it packs great features in the machines,” shares Chellappan.

In addition to digital print-on-demand work, PM Digital also does regular book production work, and Chellappan says that the Horizon binding machine will be useful in that division as well. “The Horizon BQ 270V is perfect for medium-run jobs. We can easily print 300-400 copies an hour, which is a good number as far as printing general books is concerned. Also, the cost is lower in comparison to PUR binding. This addition has been handy to us as we wanted to increase our binding capacity significantly,” he adds.

Horizon BQ 270V offers user-friendly operation and with fully-automated operation, push-button simplicity, and on-demand production of variable thickness books. All setups can be done instantly by simply inputting book block and cover information into the 10.4 inch color touchscreen. The binder includes an automated, sensor-activated digital caliper system that consistently measures book block thickness and automatically transfers this data to the binder for quick, automated set-up with no cycle lag time for books of different thicknesses.  A changeover from A4 to A5 size book can be completed in 10 seconds.

P Chellappan with the Horizon binding machine. Photo IPP
P Chellappan with the Horizon binding machine. Photo IPP

In addition to the Horizon perfect binder, Chellappan has also bought two cutting machines. The first cutting machine is also from Horizon and is a fully programmable one for Chellappan’s digital division. “Earlier, we had a regular gelatin cutter without programming and a smaller size Chinese machine. However, the current Horizon APC 610 cutter is a fully programmable one,” says Chellappan.

Both the Horizon binding and cutting machines installed at PM Digital Products have been supplied and serviced by ePrint, also based in Chennai. The second cutting machine that PM Digital has invested in is from ePrint. “They have their 36-inch gelatin cutter, a fully programmable one, which we liked and thought it would be the perfect fit for our regular book production work,” shares Chellappan.

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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