Heidelberg CS 92 exclusively for Guru Granth Sahib and holy texts

Prinect workflow for ease of operation

Heidelberg CS 92 4-color sheetfed offset press installed at Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib

New Delhi-based Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib recently installed a Heidelberg Speedmaster CS 92 4-color sheetfed offset press. The press runs with solvent-free inks as the use of alcohol is banned within the Gurudwara run by the Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC), which has exclusive permission to print the Guru Granth Sahib, the religious scripture of Sikhism.

The DSGMC and the Golden Temple in Amritsar are the only two bodies authorized to publish Gurmat Literature, the holy scripture, and other religious texts. The DSGMC also prints calendars, sacred books, diaries, and material following a strict ethical code. These texts are then supplied to various Gurudwaras across the country and the world.

The new press was ceremoniously inaugurated by Manjinder Singh Sirsa, the president of DSGMC and Harmit Singh Kalka, the general secretary of DSGMC. Before installing the new Heidelberg 4-color sheetfed offset, the Gurudwara used a double-color sheetfed offset press.

The Gurudwara used to do a double-pass on its 2-color press for multicolor printing. The printing speed of the new press is 15,000 sheets an hour. It is also integrated with Heidelberg’s Prinect workflow tool to make the operations simple and intuitive. The new press can print on substrates of varying thickness from 0.03mm to 0.6mm,” says Deepak Walia, regional sales manager at Heidelberg India.

The Gurudwara prints a limited number of copies daily. Each week, the Gurudwara prints a small quantity. Since the print volumes are relatively low, it outsources the plate-making work to a Delhi-based pre-press bureau and does not have a dedicated pre-press setup. The binding work is done manually due to the constraints on using alcohol-based glues in automatic binding machines. However, the Gurudwara uses Heidelberg folding and cutting equipment.

The remote-controlled calibration-free ink fountain of the Heidelberg CS 92 sheetfed offset press, ensures superior quality and stable color through the entire production run, with 500 increments possible per color zone. A speed-compensated Alcolor dampening system facilitates stable ink-water balance and outstanding print quality.

The Heidelberg press enhances overall print quality and productivity, with quicker make-readies and turn-arounds. We are excited to print Sri Guru Granth Sahib on a world-class press. The move to digital empowers cost-effective, and high-volume printing,” says Sirsa.

The new offset press is a valuable asset to assist the shift from conventional and monochrome press operations to highly-automated, full volume, color printing. Waste optimization is a bonus. With the CS-92, we look forward to setting new benchmarks in productivity and performance,” says Kalka.

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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