Parksons Cartamundi installs K&B 5-color coater UV press

K&B’s QualiTronic PrintCheck for exports of cards and games

K&B Rapida 105 5-color plus coater press.

Parksons Cartamundi, the fifty-fifty joint venture in Western India, has recently installed an advanced K&B Rapida 105 5-color plus coater press. The new combination UV press has K&B’s QualiTronic PrintCheck for complete inline inspection of every printed sheet. The first press in India to have this feature in which a camera captures the entire sheet at the delivery, it also has a tagging system that inserts a tag on defective sheets for easy removal from the delivery stack.

Belgium-based Cartamundi, the world’s leading games printer, joined hands with Parksons, an established printer of playing cards, in 2010. Together they built a new factory commissioned in 2013 in Pardi in Gujarat – just 20 kilometers north of the earlier Parksons Cartamundi factory in Daman.

Parksons Cartamundi director Kapil Kejriwal says, “We are a supplier to publishers of games and toys which include playing cards, cards for collections and board games. Apart from the branded playing cards printed on special substrates, we produce many kinds of board games, and sometimes this includes the plastic pieces they require. The purchase of the new and highly advanced press has everything to do with quality. Ever since we became partners with Cartamundi, we have been learning about process-oriented workflows and methods for quality.”

As Parksons-Cartamundi has grown over the past decade, it has also become a supplier and exporter to global games and toys publishers. Kejriwal explains that the new K&B Rapida 5-color press with the QualiTronic system became a compelling technology. The company is working on exports to some of the top board games and toy manufacturers in the US and globally that are extremely particular about quality.

Kejriwals explains, “We will start producing board games for the top publishers by February or March. The rigid box machines and case maker are also on the way to our plant to support this new category.”

On top of the QualiTronic color control system, the QualiTronic PrintCheck measuring camera scans and inspects all printed sheets entirely and compares them with an operator approved reference sheet. Automatic sheet inspection commences as soon as production monitoring is activated. Although each sheet is monitored, corrective action is taken after every ten sheets if a defect persists. The closed-loop control system issues a rectification command to the press control system. The flawed sheets are also automatically tagged by a tape inserter at the delivery. The level of quality automation makes the Rapida 105 at Parksons Cartamundi one of the most advanced RA 105 Presses installed in India.

Kejriwal adds, “In the end, quality is a mindset and now with increasing exports we felt were ready to handle the highest level of technology, and for this reason, we went in for the Qaulitronic PrintCheck system that can compare each and every printed sheet with the approved sheet. In addition, the automated tagging sheet tells us exactly where the bad sheets are for removal and for the operator or the automated system to take action.”

K&B Rapida 105 5-color plus coater press.

Board games take off in India and have their own trade fairs

An article in the Economic Times in June 2019 put the global board games market at US$ 4.2 billion while it estimates that the Indian board games market is at US$ 330 million and growing. Board games are becoming a craze in India as well and not just at home or for Millenials. Young millennials do have games clubs and regular get-togethers to play various board games in preference to computer games.

There is even a trade fair in Mumbai each December called MeepleCon with sponsors such as US-based toys and games company Hasbro. The fair in Mumbai attracted more than 3,000 visitors in 2019. In the same year, Spiel, the world’s biggest board game fair held in Essen, Germany, saw more than 190,000 visitors and 1,150 exhibitors.

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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– Naresh Khanna

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