Parksons Packaging running over 100 Rapida units

At a ceremony to mark the commissioning of the K&B Rapida 76, Dietmar Heyduck, Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed (2nd from right), honored Ramesh Kejriwal, Parksons Packaging (center). Also present: Aditya Surana from Koenig & Bauer sales partner Indo-Polygraph Machinery (left), Siddharth Kejriwal (2nd from left) and Subhasis Roy (right), both of Parksons Packaging Photo K&B
At a ceremony to mark the commissioning of the K&B Rapida 76, Dietmar Heyduck, Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed (2nd from right), honored Ramesh Kejriwal, Parksons Packaging (center). Also present: Aditya Surana from Koenig & Bauer sales partner Indo-Polygraph Machinery (left), Siddharth Kejriwal (2nd from left) and Subhasis Roy (right), both of Parksons Packaging Photo K&B

Mumbai-headquartered carton packaging company Parksons Packaging recently commissioned its newly installed Rapida 76. This means there are now precisely 101 printing and finishing units from Koenig & Bauer in production for the Indian monocarton packaging leader.

The first Rapida sheetfed offset presses started arriving at the company in 2005. At the time, Parksons Packaging was looking for a press capable of UV cured printing and coating. The Rapida 105 with its facility to switch interdeck dryer modules between multiple installation points was the industry yardstick in those days, not only at Parksons but also for UV production throughout India. 

Later, Rapida106 models joined the line-up at Parkson’s plants – 7 and 8-colour presses and others with double-coating configurations and one with an inline foiler. At the beginning of 2020, the company purchased its first Rapida76 – a 6-color press with coater and extended delivery.

Faced with changing market demands, Parksons Packaging decided that it needed a half-format press alongside its medium-format Rapidas. The combination of high production speeds and a small footprint tipped the scales in favor of the Rapida76. No less important were the short job changeover times – especially when using DriveTronic SPC – and an enlarged sheet format.

Fast job changeovers and high production speed

The capacity to disengage individual inking units, a feature unique to Rapida presses, also caught Parksons chairman Ramesh Kejriwal’s attention, “We can already prepare the unused printing units for the next job, while the press is still running the current production job. And as a bonus, that also reduces wear on the rollers.”

Kejriwal is equally impressed by the high productivity of Parkson’s other Rapida presses, “The DriveTronic SPC allows job changeover times to be shortened by 30 to 40%. And the number of jobs which we handle on the new presses has increased by 30 to 35%.” On average, it can be said that each new Rapida can replace two older presses. In addition to the high speeds, waste is also reduced. Parksons is very satisfied with the presses, the print quality, and the installation and commissioning process – a reflection of the fast and comprehensive service provided by the Koenig & Bauer sales partner, Indo-Polygraph Machinery.

Folding cartons in all dimensions

All Parksons Packaging plants place their focus on folding carton (monocarton) production. Each type of carton run can be assigned to 22 offset production lines, 13 of them from Koenig & Bauer, and one digital line. Nevertheless, there are differences between the individual plants and their specializations. In addition to offset, digital and screen printing are based in Daman, together with the production of pharmaceuticals packaging. Pantnagar is specialized in packaging with high-quality cold foil finishing. And Chakan produces beverage cartons. Additional production plants are located in Sri City and Guwahati.

This nationwide base allows Parksons Packaging to supply a wide range of packaging products to customers in all corners of the country. A global export business complements domestic production. The product portfolio includes, among other things, monocartons, litho-laminated cartons, liner cartons, transport and retail packaging, shelf-ready displays, promotional and gift packaging, a broad spectrum of custom packaging, beverage cartons, and blister packs. One of the company’s specialties is an ingenious slider pack design.

In 2019, Parksons Packaging recorded a turnover of around €150m ($167m) or approximately Rs. 1,200 crore. The company produces almost 18,000 different SKU’s, and approximately 100,000 tonnes of paper and board are processed every year.

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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