Hankyung Media Group invests in two new Colorman e:line presses

New plant for The Korea Economic Daily and contract printing

manroland Boss e:line Korea
L to R: Park BumSuk – AllesInternational CEO, Kim Dong-Suk – printing manager, Heiko Ritscher – vice president Sales & Service International, Franz Kriechbaum – CEO manroland Goss web systems Kim Jung-Ho – president & CEO of The Korea Economic Daily, Park Hae-Jun – General Affairs director, Hyun Seung-Yoon – Executive director, Lee Seo-Jun – Finance director, Jung Hee-Jun – Production director, and Ryoo Won-Seok – Management Support general manager Photo manroland Goss

The South Korean Hankyung Media Group, which prints The Korea Economic Daily, is investing in a comprehensive newspaper printing project with manroland Goss. The long-established media company opted for high-quality, fastest speed and state-of-the-art automation. The two highly automated Colorman e:line presses to be installed in its newly built 3,700 square meter printing plant in Bupyeong National Industrial Complex in Incheon is projected to supply South Korea with high-quality print products.

After signing the contract in September 2022, Hankung Media’s executive director Hyun Seung-Yoon is convinced that, “With the acquisition of the Colorman e:line, we will have the most powerful and automated production line for daily newspapers in Korea. A major focus of this project is also that the 60th anniversary edition in 2024 will have the best print quality of all newspapers printed in Korea. With these features, the production line naturally also offers many attractive advantages for contract printing orders from the Korean newspaper market.”

Heiko Ritscher, vice president International Sales and Service at manroland Goss adds, “Two partners with similar goals are working together on this project – the management and project team of Hankyung with a business model that, in addition to high-quality printing of its own daily newspaper, also focuses on becoming the largest newspaper contract printing company in Korea in the next few years, along with manroland Goss, an established supplier and service provider for web offset printing presses on the global market, which is clearly focused on further consolidating and expanding this leading position. This as a clear commitment to the future of the printed daily newspaper as a news channel.”

The two printing presses each consist of six printing units, six reel splicers, two folders and a comprehensive automation package. The production of each line is designed for an output of 95,000 copies per hour giving the plant a total production capacity of 190,000 copies per hour which corresponds to a production output of up to one million copies of The Korea Economic Daily each night. The aim is to achieve cost-effectiveness with reduced unit costs for the production of large circulations, as well as smaller subcontracted circulations – thanks to the high level of automation.

Before signing the contract, a delegation of experts from South Korea had the opportunity to inspect similar printing presses. “The fact that we were able to demonstrate the automation functions and the performance potential when visiting new Colorman e:line presses with the project group here in Germany certainly contributed to the success in this major project. The success story of the Colorman e:line continues in the Asian market,” says Alwin Stadler, deputy vice president Sales at manroland Goss.

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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