Premier Process adds Cron Thermal CtP TP-46128G+

Lucknow trade house expands offset plate capacity in pandemic

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Premier Process
Premier Process installs Cron Thermal CtP in Lucknow. Photo Premier Proceess

Lucknow-based Premier Process is a pre-press bureau or trade supplier of offset plates mainly for printers engaged in book production for institutional and government sectors. Its annual production of offset plates is in the range of 80,000 to 1,00,000 square meters. The company installed a Cron Thermal CtP TP-46128G+ 128 channel machine last year which can produce 49 plates in an hour with sizes up to 1030 millimeters. 

The Cron thermal CtP has a user-friendly control interface with a brand-new touch panel operation and its optical technology accurately reproduces dots with minimal errors. The output resolution ranges from 1800 to 2800 dpi and is suitable for AM, FM, and Hybrid screening for more than or equal to 300 lines per inch, and 10-micron FM screening. The CtP can be upgraded to higher resolution also.

Premier’s other CtP hardware includes Kodak Trendsetters, a Glunz and Jensen processor, and a baking oven from Nippon Color. Susheel Ratlani, owner of Premier Process says, “We have expanded with the new Cron CtP. A new machine with an extended warranty on both laser and machine made me sure that another few years on this machine will be trouble-free. Increased production capacity, online integration, and most importantly, the specific size of plates for one of my clients, 940mm X 1016mm was not possible with the Kodak 8UP CtP. It could be produced on only VLF machines earlier, and is now possible with our new Cron CtP device,” says Susheel Ratlani, owner of Premier Process.

“Covid was a testing time for all, and I decided to stand rock-solid in whatever situation. I treated this period as a filtration time in the market, where the fittest survive and many fall along the way. It was an opportunity to gain more volume and enhance our services. We decided to upgrade from our second Kodak with a Cron CtP, thus increasing our production capacity,” explains Ratlani.

Productivity rise

“The Kodak CtP was producing 35 plates for the 1030 mm format, but with the new Cron, the output has been boosted to 49 plates, resulting in a 40% increase in production. Previously, two Kodak machines produced 70 plates in an hour for the 1030 format, but today one Kodak and one Cron CtP produce 84 plates in an hour. As a result, in each 10-hour manufacturing shift, there is a straight rise of 140 plates. This will help us raise production levels while also allowing us to better service our customers,” he adds.

Premier’s association with Nippon Color goes back a dozen years and has been worry-free in terms of support and service. It has found that whether it is for purchasing a piece of new equipment or any other support, Jayant Pardiwala takes a personal interest.

“A faster machine always reduces the cost per plate production, requires fewer resources, and electricity consumption. And definitely, Nippon’s team took its time during the installation with procedures to ensure my requirements of perfect reproduction of dots and plate quality. So with this new investment, Nippon Color enabled savings in terms of wastage, and manpower, and enhanced the accuracy of our plates in terms of percentage and fewer rejections,” concludes Ratlani.

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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