Malaysian packaging printers invest in cutting-edge Heidelberg production technology

Malaysian packaging market boosts its folding carton production during the pandemic

256
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.

 

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

Subscribe Now

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here