Malaysian packaging printers invest in cutting-edge Heidelberg production technology

Malaysian packaging market boosts its folding carton production during the pandemic

Heidelberg Speedmaster press at the plant of Percetakan Konta
Heidelberg Speedmaster press at the plant of Percetakan Konta

Malaysia’s packaging market has been growing strongly in recent years. An annual growth rate of 3.8 percent has been predicted from 2019 to 2024, and the folding carton segment is set to be the number one growth driver (source: Global Data).

The coronavirus pandemic has given a further boost to this development. Solid board packaging for medical products, masks, and gloves is in particular demand. This growth has led packaging printers in Malaysia to invest in cutting-edge production technology. To a large extent, these companies are placing their trust in state-of-the-art sheetfed offset technology from Heidelberg, especially presses manufactured at the Heidelberg site in Shanghai.

Complete system for Percetakan Konta

Percetakan Konta is based in Perai, in the northern state of Penang, and has been a loyal Heidelberg customer for many years, having been won over by its reliable technology and exemplary services.

Around six years ago, Percetakan Konta replaced an older Speedmaster CD 102 with a new four-color Speedmaster press with a coating unit from the Heidelberg plant at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site in Germany. In 2017, this press was joined by a Speedmaster CD 102-5+L manufactured in China. The following investment came just one year later in the form of a Speedmaster CD 102-4+L, also manufactured at the Chinese plant in Shanghai.

Percetakan Konta also ordered a Diana Eye 55 offline inspection system in parallel to this third sheetfed offset press. This system inspects the quality of finished folding carton blanks at a speed of 300 meters per minute. In addition to identifying printed image and typeface errors, high-resolution camera technology analyzes the gloss levels of coated packaging, blind and foil embossing, and holograms. 

An OCR (optical character recognition) function also detects incorrect characters, punctuation marks, accents, and decimals. In 2020, the Diana Eye 55 from Masterwork was joined by a second, identical inspection system and a Suprasetter 106 CtP platesetter with Prinect Production Manager packaging workflow.

Vivar Printing invests in packaging printing

Vivar Printing Sdn Bhd (Vivar) was founded in 1985. For the first one-and-a-half decades of its existence, the company’s main specialty was book production. In 2010, Vivar recognized the opportunities offered by the rapidly growing packaging market. It initially invested in the flexible packaging segment and then moved into folding carton production, which involved creating an official packaging division and investing in a Speedmaster CX 75-5+L from Heidelberg. 

This five-color sheetfed offset press with coating unit provided Vivar with a robustly built printing system based on a design principle that was equally suited to commercial products and high-quality packaging. “Key features of the Speedmaster CX 75-5+L include quick and easy job changes, outstanding print results, and high net outputs,” says Kok Wai, Managing Director of Vivar, who describes this press as exactly right for the needs of his company. 

Barely a month after the Speedmaster CX 75 started operating, Vivar made its next big investment and ordered a Speedmaster CD 102-5+L from Heidelberg. The contract for the five-color press in the 70 x 100 sheet format with coating unit, which was manufactured in Shanghai, was signed in November 2020, and it started operating in March 2021.

Book production has remained a key cornerstone at Vivar, but Kok Wai insists moving into the rapidly growing folding carton market was the right decision. Although his company’s sales fell significantly last year due to COVID-19, he is optimistic about 2021. “As we see it, packaging production offers a great deal of growth potential that will shape our company’s development in years to come,” he says.

Seven Speedmaster presses from Heidelberg at Tiong Tat Printing Industry

The pressroom of Tiong Tat Printing Industry (Tiong Tat) has six Speedmaster CD 102 presses and a Speedmaster XL 105. In the interests of productivity, the majority are elevated presses. The latest Speedmaster CD102-5+L, the company’s third Speedmaster press to have been manufactured at the Shanghai plant, entered into operation in July 2020. 

Prinect Production controls the workflow based on volumes, and Tiong Tat uses a Suprasetter 106 for CtP operations. Two Easymatrix 106 CS (cutting and stripping) die cutters from Masterwork Machinery have been operating in the postpress section since 2018. “We very much appreciate the equipment’s reliability and the teamwork with Heidelberg, so we opt for technology from this manufacturer time and again,” says Managing Director Tan Jock Hong, who has won several awards for her leadership qualities.

Tiong Tat started in 1993 with a single pre-owned press and a production area of around 130 square meters. Today, this has grown to a total area of close to 82,000 square meters, making the company one of Malaysia’s largest packaging printers. Packaging for hygiene gloves is its principal market. 

Tiong Tat prides itself on being a market leader, and demand is growing, as confirmed by Tan Jock Hong. “In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, we decided to expand our sheetfed offset capacities,” she reveals, referring to this step as the right decision at the right time and emphasizing that the company once again obtained excellent advice and support from Heidelberg.


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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