Miraj installs Heidelberg CX102 7-color + coater as cartons grow

Optimism in the time of Covid-19 – Udaipur’s Miraj expands

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Miraj
R to L - Madan Paliwal, Prakash Purohit, KG Sharma; Extreme left- Mantra Raj Paliwal with Heidelberg team 

Udaipur-based Miraj Multicolour, a part of the Miraj Group, commissioned a brand-new 7-color Heidelberg Speedmaster CX 102 UV plus coater combi printing press last month. The coater uses the IST UV system. Miraj prints and converts carton packaging for the food, pharmaceuticals, fast-moving consumer goods, ice cream, and electrical segments. The new CX102 is the fourth Heidelberg press at Miraj Multicolour. The press was ordered in December last year and installed during the lockdown.

“The press landed at our plant a couple of months ago, and the installation process happened during the lockdown. The installation and commissioning went very smoothly as the Miraj Multicolour team worked closely with the Heidelberg team. The press was formally inaugurated on 22 July,” says KG Sharma, director, Miraj Multicolour.

Sending a message

Sharma adds that Miraj Multicolour has been a delighted Heidelberg customer, and by bringing in another Heidelberg press, the company wanted to convey a message that its association with the German press manufacturer remains very strong.

“We have been a very happy Heidelberg customer. We bought this press to enhance our capacity, given the rise in volumes we have seen in the recent past. With the new CX 102, our capacity has increased by 25-30%,” Sharma says. The CX 102 combi press can process lightweight paper, labels to rigid board at a maximum speed of 16,500-sheets per hour.

Sharma credits Miraj Group chairman Madan Paliwal and vice-chairman Mantra Raj Paliwal for quick decisions on the press. “Mantra Raj Paliwal is the second generation in the family business and has a grand vision for the company with a great focus on the state of the art technology,” Sharma adds. 

Miraj Multicolour has seen robust business since the start of 2020. This has further increased during the lockdown, and the company has been operating 24X7. As per Sharma, the business in recent months has been better than last year.

“As you are aware, the businesses that we cater to were functioning normally during the lockdown. Except for the first few weeks of the lockdown, our customers have mostly been fully operational. Therefore, we too, have been very busy, especially during May, June, and July. Our business in these three months has surpassed last year’s level,” Sharma states.

Madan Paliwal founded Miraj Multicolour as a book printing and stationery item manufacturing company in 2001. It ventured into packaging business in 2011 and since then has expanded aggressively in this space. The packaging business is now its primary focus area and is growing at a very fast rate. The company’s state of the art plant is not only the first packaging printing plant in the region but also one of Rajasthan’s first. It processes 2,000 tons of paper every month. At present, the company supplies cartons to customers across India.

The Miraj Multicolor team celebrates the commissioning of the new Heidelberg CX102 7-color plus coater press
The Miraj Multicolor team celebrates the commissioning of the new Heidelberg CX102 7-color plus coater press at the inauguration ceremony

Strengthening the converting department 

Along with the four Heidelberg presses, the company has a fully loaded finishing department with equipment from leading brands. It has a total of four die-cutters from Bobst and Eterna and three Visionfold folder gluers from Bobst. Miraj Multicolour is adding more machines to its finishing department and has ordered a Bobst Novacut 106E version 3.0 die-cutter and a Bobst Ambition 106 A2 folder-gluer. 

The new folder gluer will also have a collection table. The company has also ordered a collection table that will be attached to one of its older Bobst Visionfold folder gluers. “With the collection tables, our operations will become extremely efficient and fast and ease the bottlenecks that may crop up during the converting process,” says Sharma. 

Recently, Miraj also brought in a lamination machine from Zhongke India. In the pipeline are B and N flute machines with flute laminators. These will be delivered by September this year. At present, it has an E-flute line with laminators.

Miraj Multicolour recently got a stripping machine from Suba and has ordered two more, this time from Zhongke India. The company also has the digitally-driven Esko Kongsberg sample-making table, which it bought some years ago.

Further expansion in the packaging segment

With the Indian packaging industry witnessing steady growth, Miraj Multicolour wants to expand and diversify into new areas. It is now looking to print and process liquor and metpet cartons. “The volumes in the liquor segment are very large, and with the printing and converting infrastructure we have, it makes sense for us to venture into this space,” says Sharma.

Talking about the near-term outlook of the packaging industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Sharma says that there should not be any reason for concern. “Yes, there has been some slowdown in segments such as cosmetics, but segments such as food, pharmaceuticals, FMCG are seeing robust growth. I am optimistic about the packaging industry,” Sharma concludes.

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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