Ranchi’s National Printers installs a Heidelberg Suprasetter A106

Heidelberg loyalist automates operations with Prinect Production Manager

Krishna Kant Kedia of National Printers in Ranchi with the brand-new Heidelberg Suprasetter A106 CtP equipment Photo: Heidelberg
Krishna Kant Kedia of National Printers in Ranchi with the brand-new Heidelberg Suprasetter A106 CtP equipment Photo: Heidelberg

Based in Ranchi in Jharkhand, National Printers has recently installed a Heidelberg Suprasetter A106 thermal CtP with Prinect workflow. The company is a Heidelberg loyalist when it comes to prepress and the pressroom equipment. “In our nearly three-decade printing experience, Heidelberg is the name we trust in terms of technology and world-class innovation with a leading edge in all segments,” asserts Krishna Kant Kedia, the founder of National Printers. While Kedia founded the company in 1991, the print firm expanded by partnering with Ashok Agarwal in Ranchi.

Today, the print facility has a footprint of 2,00,000 square feet across three plants. Its pressrooms are equipped with Heidelberg offset presses, including a Speedmaster CD 102, a Speedmaster SM 74, and a Speedmaster SM 102.

“Heidelberg provides CIP4 connectivity with the press, offering a digitized workflow that improves the quality of productivity and reduces make-ready significantly. Together with the use of Saphira plates, the Heidelberg Suprasetter and Prinect workflow synchronize in-line press connectivity to boost our efficiency and performance,” says Kedia.

Built with Heidelberg’s proprietary laser technology using an Intelligent Diode System (IDS), the Heidelberg Suprasetter A106 is a thermal computer to plate output device designed to deliver excellent imaging quality and uninterrupted production. The IDS is developed and patented by Heidelberg and eliminates production losses, even if one or more diodes fail.

The internal plate punching system of the CtP enables reliable production with maximum register accuracy, reducing make-ready time and wastage – particularly for repeat jobs. The CtPs extensive cooling system makes sure that the plate imaging process is not affected by the ambient room temperature.

Automation and packaging on the agenda

National Printers founder Kedia and its head of operation Ashok Agarwal produce various commercial printing work, including book printing and government work. The company also produces paperboard-based packaging. “The latest investment fits into our expansion plans and perfectly complements the recent shift into our 10,000 square foot premises. The upgrades support our move into digitization and automation of print production. As we scale up into new heights of growth into packaging, we are ready to explore the potential of our infrastructure and investments fully,” concludes Kedia.

Indukalpa Saikia, sales manager – Eastern Region at Heidelberg India, states, “Heidelberg and National Printers share an amazing relationship – the print firm is one of our old and loyal customers. Apart from the Suprasetter equipment, the deal covers the Prinect Production manager workflow and Saphira consumables supply for three years, which rounds up our offerings from prepress to press.”

Subscription-based Prinect Production Manager

The Prinect Production manager is Heidelberg’s proprietary prepress workflow software, enhancing productivity and navigating the prepress automation challenge. Its Advanced Preflight tools and PDF Toolbox check the artwork for errors, while the Signa station imposition tool prints the layout of the book to be printed and positions the artwork on press sheets to speed up printing and reduces paper waste. After the layout, the Prinect Pro-man also transfers ink presetting data from the CtP plate-setter to the press. The Prinect workflow can do the RGB to CMYK color conversion using appropriate color profiles, while trapping can also be applied if required.

Automating prepress to press makeready operations with the Prinect Pro-Man subscription based software Photo Heidelberg
Automating prepress to press makeready operations with the Prinect Pro-Man subscription-based software Photo Heidelberg

“The software minimizes human intervention and cuts the make-ready time by accelerating prepress and ink-setting operations. Heidelberg offers Production manager software on a subscription-based model, departing radically from tradition. The pay-as-you-go model makes it easy on the budget,” said Indukalpa Saikia.

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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