Strong interest in Manroland Sheetfed’s high-performance presses

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Rafael Penuela, CEO of Manroland Sheetfed GmbH
Rafael Penuela, CEO of Manroland Sheetfed GmbH

“Our production line in Germany is running at full capacity at least till next March.” That’s the positive declaration of Rafael Penuela, chief executive officer of Manroland Sheetfed, as he thanked customers worldwide for their support, as evidenced by the strong interest in the company’s high-performance presses. “Our factory has been very busy with fulfilling the orders,” says Penuela. According to him, the sales performance of the company has been on track despite the various new challenges facing the global printing market.

Founded in 1871, the German Manroland group produced both web offset and sheetfed offset presses until it became insolvent in November 2011. In February 2012, the sheetfed division (known as Manroland Sheetfed), which is still based in Offenbach near Frankfurt, was purchased by the privately owned UK engineering group Langley Holdings.

Essentially scaled down to produce perhaps 200 well-configured multicolor presses a year, the company has been run profitably since the acquisition by Langley. At a time when the entire offset press industry is reeling under the weight of over-capacity, it seems that Manroland Sheetfed’s strategy of limiting its capacity is paying off.

Manroland Sheetfed currently has its own subsidiaries in over 40 countries including India, where its head office is located in New Delhi. The Indian operation has been able to provide engineering services to the Manroland Sheetfed installed base and sell new presses primarily to the monocarton industry.

According to Penuela, Manroland Sheetfed’s Offenbach headquarters are working hard to provide its global marketing and service organizations with the very latest materials in technology, product delivery and services. “Manroland Sheetfed subsidiaries, together with our headquarters, are working hard together to reach more deals and be of better service to our customers,” he says. “We roll up our sleeves and approach our customers to see how best we can help them. . . . We also offer our highly competitive printing solutions to help them achieve sustainable profitability. Our efforts have been paying off.”

Penuela has always maintained that by adhering to “Customer First” approach and all the core values that have stood the company well through the years, Manroland Sheetfed would ride out any storms and remain ahead in the printing machine manufacturing industry.

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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