Packaging in India: Intelpack 2013 Shows Potential for Digital

Intelpack, India’s main packaging technology show, took place from September 12 to 14. The show was co-located with two other Indian shows on food and drug manufacturing, “Foodtek 2013” and “Pharmapack 2013.” The combined event spread over 14,000 square meters of floor space at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, Mumbai, India. During its three days, over 8,000 visitors saw the offerings of 175 exhibitors, including makers of coding equipment, tray sealing machines, converting machines, carton erectors, flow wrap applicators, and form/fill/seal lines. Many media suppliers exhibited as well, such as for flexible packaging films, folding carton board, corrugate, and seal materials. On balance, it looked like a smaller version of Pack Expo in the U.S., with both Indian and international exhibitors promoting their technology and materials. Meanwhile the overall Indian packaging market has been variously estimated at about $19 billion in annual value, with annual growth of 8% or more, and its food, beverage, and pharmaceuticals industries are quickly modernizing.

Digital printing was part of the Intelpack, but it was mainly for coding, marking, and label application, rather than fine color digital printing. In this industrial technology show, there were thus no color digital presses, and monochrome printing essentially ruled. The booths collectively, though, sent a strong message: India has a young, dynamic market for modern packaging equipment and technology, one where color digital printing will soon augment analog technology for label and package printing and decoration. We know that that change has already started, since small numbers of color digital label and packaging presses already operate in India, from companies such as Durst, Epson, and HP Indigo (none were exhibiting at Intelpack). With this ongoing change in mind we offer a summary below of several key booths from Intelpack where digital migration was evident.

Condot Systems Pvt.Ltd:
Established in 1994, Condot Systems Pvt. Ltd. caters to package coding and variable data printing (VDP) requirements in the Indian market. With 80 packaging and VDP applications serving more than 2,000 production lines, the company boasts of its customer base and over 5,000 system installations in India, as well as elsewhere in Asia Pacific and Africa. The company is a distributor for thermal inkjet (TIJ) based coders, specifically ones based on Hewlett Packard TIJ technology; its suppliers include HS Automatic (Denmark), Collins Ink Corporation (U.S.), and General Technology (Japan).

A Condot representative shared that the products mainly are used for numbering, bar coding in the packaging industry, and also for variable data printing in mail applications, printing onto A3 and A4 pages. He also noted that TIJ technology has two benefits that Indian customers especially appreciate, (1) its ability to print both scannable code and very small alphanumeric fonts and (2) the environment friendliness of water-based TIJ inks.

Control Print:
Control Print Limited is an Indian coding equipment manufacturer, with two manufacturing facilities in India (Nalagarh and Vasai) and 11 regional offices across the country. With a product range that includes CIJ printers, large character inkjet printers, thermal transfer overprinters & electrophotographic digital printers, the company provides solutions to its various clients in industries such as automotive, chemicals, metals, and building materials industries, as well as the food, beverage, and other fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) categories.

Like Condot, Control Print also functions as a distributor for coding equipment made by overseas partners. The products displayed during the show include Alpha Jet C, a CIJ printer which is designed and manufactured with German technology from KBA-Metronic. The company is also represents the laser coders of Macsa (Spain), such as the K-1000 for product coding. Control Print appears to be a substantial company and a true manufacturer in its own right, a maker at least of large character inkjet printers such as the P200 and NP200, as well as possibly other coder categories such as hot roll coders.

Cyklop Packaging Systems Pvt.Ltd:
Cyklop, India was created on 1st of October 2008. The head office of Indian operation is in Noida; the company has a manufacturing facility there and in Hyderabad. Sales and service operations are in Noida, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai and Hyderabad.

Cyklop’s main products are for taping, strapping, and wrapping. Including SA300 & SA 301. However, the company has also become a distributor of TIJ coders; these were not on display but were represented through video and related presention being run on a screen at the booth. While Cyklop is not a longtime coder supplier like Control Print, it is a successful maker of packaging equipment, one that, thanks to the comparative simplicity of TIJ coding in some applications, been able to add coding as a product category.

Domino Printech India Pvt.Ltd:
Domino Printech India Private Limited (Domino India) is a fully owned subsidiary of Domino Printing Sciences plc (Cambridge, UK). Domino, is one of the top global suppliers of CIJ coders, was in 1988 the first inkjet coding company to come to India. Domino India today is likely the leading supplier of coding solutions in the country; that said, it had just a small stall during the show with the only machine on display being the A-series GP Range CIJ printer. (Two new orders for GP range CIJ printer was also confirmed during the show.) Domino worldwide is also a supplier of TIJ-based coders and Domino India did make sure to market their G-series TIJ printer through a presentation being run on a LCD screen at the stall. A representative confirmed in addition to the company’s popular CIJ printer range, India is also a good market for TIJ printers for certain applications.

While Domino India did not have color digital printing on display at Intelpack, we note that the U.K. parent company is in fact the manufacturer of high capacity, the CMYK digital label press, the N600i. At Label Expo in Brussels last month, Domino UK introduced a new version, the N610i, which prints up to seven colors, including an opaque white.

KHS Machinery Pvt Ltd:
KHS Machinery Pvt. Ltd. (KHS India) is an offshoot of KHS in Germany, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of automation for beverage manufacturing. KHS India was established in 1997 with a focus on manufacturing state of the art bottling equipment and machinery for filling and packaging of beverages such as soft drinks, beer, bottled waters, juices, and other beverages, as well as some non-food products. The head office and plant for KHS India are located at Ahmadabad in Gujarat, with sales offices at Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai. On display at KHS India’s booth was the INNOPOUCH K-series Model K260, form/fill/seal pouching line that is well known to drinks manufacturers in Europe.

While there was no color digital printing from KHS India on display at Intelpack, the parent company in Germany was displaying almost simultaneously its “Innoprint” system at Drinktec in Munich. The KHS Innoprint is a direct-to-shape CMYKW print system for the full color decoration of PET bottles at speeds of up to 36,000 bottles per hour. KHS Innoprint, which is based on Xaar 1001 piezoelectric heads, will have a beta placement this year, likely in Europe, but will have full commercial availability in mid-2014. Long term that system will likely be available from KHS India as well.

Markem-Imaje India Pvt.Ltd:
Markem-Imaje, another of the top global suppliers of CIJ and other coding technologies, introduced through its Indian subsidiary a small character inkjet printer to the Indian market, the 9232 during the show. The Markem-Imaje 9232 printer is the flagship model of 9000 Series; features include a new touch screen user interface, construction from 80% recyclable materials and a new fluids option, inks that are free of methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) and are also Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) compliant.

Markem-Imaje India did not have TIJ coders on display, but it likely will next year. That is so because in July 2013 the parent company in the U.S. bought RSI, a long established manufacturer of TIJ coders.

Videojet Technologies India Pvt.Ltd:
Videojet Technologies, likely the world’s biggest manufacturer of CIJ coders, has direct presence in India through Videojet Technologies (I) Pvt. Ltd. (Videojet India). Videojet India has its corporate office in Navi Mumbai and regional offices at Delhi, Chennai, and Kolkata and access to major remote locations of India.

On display during the show were two small character ink jet printers, the Videojet 1510 & 8510 along with a CIJ printer, Videojet 2360. A screen installed at the booth showed videos of other products including the Wolke m600, the TIJ printer often used in pharmaceuticals packaging in Europe, and one that attracted a lot of attention from Intelpack visitors. The company representative informed that CIJ is their main focus right now, based on Indian market demand. He noted, though, that there is growing understanding and acceptance TIJ coding technology. Videojet will also participate in th Pack Plus show in Delhi in October, and will display there both CIJ and TIJ coding technology.

InfoTrends’ overall opinion:
Intelpack 2013 occurred at an opportune time, in support of a growing market, one spurred by a several factors, including a modernizing retail sector, increasing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and key partnerships between Indian and overseas enterprises. Digital printing in packaging in India is well established now for coding. InfoTrends foresees that India will also transition to color digital printing for packaging and labels as well.

Note: this blog was written by Nakul Sharma, Country Analyst for India and Bob Leahey, Associate Director for the Color Digital Label and Packaging.