Technicon India launches online rotary trimmer

First installation at Sakshi

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Rajiv Gandotra, founder of Technicon India on the shop floor. Photo IPP
Rajiv Gandotra, founder of Technicon India on the shop floor. Photo IPP

After close to ten months of extensive research and development, Mumbai’s Technicon India has developed and launched a brand-new product, an online rotary knife trimmer for booklets. This machine has been developed keeping in mind the newspapers who bring out quarter folded books or booklets as supplements. Several newspapers bring out such books in low pagination which are printed in one go.

The books directly enter the online rotary trimmer from the press folder which trims all three sides at press speeds and then enters the counter stacker (optional) where they are then counted and stacked and ready for dispatch. “The biggest advantage of our online rotary knife trimmer is that it completely automates the three-side trimming process requiring zero manpower. Now you can print and trim at the same time which was never done until now.” says Rajiv Gandotra, founder of Technicon India.

According to Gandotra, the trimmer can be attached directly to the conveyor and in the absence of one it can be attached directly to the press folder.

Technicon has installed their first trimmer line at Sakshi, a leading Telugu daily newspaper based in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The trimmer was commissioned in the last week of February 2020. Technicon has been associated with Sakshi for a long time. The company had automated all their mailrooms in 2008. According to Gandotra, it was on PVK Prasad of Sakshi who actually initiated the project and Technicon the opportunity to develop the trimmer.

Sakshi was already doing online gluing of books but was taking away all the production work to their bindery and putting the books into a guillotine for three side trimming, then counting and stacking them again before dispatch. The whole process was extremely laborious and time consuming. With our online rotary trimmer, they have injected a lot of efficiency into the whole process. Now their printing and trimming both happen in real time” says Gandotra.

Success with Times of India with pouch sticking machine

Last year, Technicon closed a deal with The Times of India to supply its pouch and die-cut memo advertisement sticking machine to them. The machine, called Harrier has for the first time automated the process of sticking pouches and memo advertisements on newspapers. The machine is installed and working at Times of India’s Kandivali plant.

We have had a very good experience with Times of India and they are also very keen to take this forward as they know that add-ons are the way of the future,” says Gandotra.

However, due to current market conditions, customers are taking it a bit easy, and Gandotra believes, Technicon will go full throttle with the Harrier once the conditions improve.

The Harrier is a very innovative machine and has great potential. We are waiting for the market conditions to improve and then will give it a bigger push into the market,” he stresses.

Market condition to improve this year

The newspaper industry is geared to the overall economy has been going through a tough time in the last couple of years and needless to say, the overall slowdown in the economy has impacted investments in the newspaper industry as well. However, according to Gandotra things might just be looking up.

Last year was an extremely slow year, slower than even 2018. However, we are seeing some improvements lately. There is a very bright light at the end of this tunnel,” Gandotra concludes.

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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