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India gets its fastest printing machine

Heidelberg launches one of the world?s fastest state-of-the-art printers in Delhi, reports Satyen Mohapatra.

india Updated: Jan 25, 2007 18:51 IST

Manufacturer of printing presses Heidelberg Asia Private Limited has launched one of the world’s fastest state-of-the-art offset sheet fed printing machines in India. The printer can handle a wide range of job mix from 1 mm thick cartons to 0.03 mm thin papers. Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105 would be the first such machine to be used in South Asia.

 

The machine is also believed to be one of the most expensive sheet fed printers in the country, costing around 1 million euros.

 

The senior vice president of the company, Felix Mueller, came to New Delhi from Singapore for the launch of the machine. Mueller told Hindustan Times that average sheet fed printing machines in India today have a maximum speed of 10,000 sheets per hour, but the Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105 goes upto a maximum speed of 18,000 sheets per hour or five sheets per second.

 

The highly complex, fully automatic advanced machine also provides an accuracy of 1,000th of a millimeter in printing, Mueller added.

 

The large format 75cm X 105 cm machine was first shown at DRUPA, the largest fair of printing machines at Dusseldorf, Germany, in May 2004. About 250 machines have been sold worldwide till date, he added.

 

At the 2008 DRUPA we plan to come out with a similar machine capable of handling even larger formats almost doubling the present size though the speed of the machine may remain the same.”

 

In the Asia Pacific region there are just about 20 such machines primarily in Japan and Australia, he said.

 

Internationally, Heidelberg has a turnover of over 3.65 billion euros and has been directly functioning in India since 1998. Its business in India is around 50 million euros, according to Ole S Rasmussen, Managing Director, Heidelberg India Pvt Ltd.

 

Rasmussen said the company hopes to grow with the printing industry growing at the rate of 13 to 14 per cent in India which is considered to be the second highest in the world next to China.

 

The per capita board and paper consumption in India is seven kilograms compared to 30 kilograms in China and 300 kilograms in USA, he added.

 

According to Rakesh Bhatnagar of Raveindia, “The addition of this model to our printing equipment will take us among the top printers of this country.

 

Indian printing industry which is generating a turnover of more than 6 billion dollars is poised to turn global.”

But Rajiv Bagai of Everest Press is worried about the cost of the advanced printer. He says, “It’s a good thing for the printing industry to have this machine and we are all excited. However, looking at its cost we are apprehensive as to the sustainability of such a machine with the kind of jobs and market rates we have here.”