Main Stories

ATE: helping the print and packaging industry to excel

The print and packaging industry is one of the fastest growing and highly innovative industries in India. What makes the Indian print and packaging industry tick? Is it the print quality, productivity, reduction of waste, cost competitiveness, or all these? All of these is the easy answer to this question. That’s where ATE comes in too, with a range of novel products and integrated solutions designed to improve quality, improve productivity, reduce waste, and hence enhance competitiveness. In fact, ATE has been partnering the print and packaging industry covering gravure, flexo, and offset printing for over 35 years.

Anuj Bhagwati, managing director, ATE Enterprises says, “Print and packaging in India has started to mature, and needs more thoughtful and sophisticated engineering. ATE continues to hone its products and services as we work towards providing our customers with innovative and cost-effective solutions. The advancements we have made in the print control and vision systems group are part of this drive.”

Register control systems

Anuj Bhagwati, MD, ATE EnterprisesResponding to the challenges of delivering exacting print quality, ATE had developed the highly successful ALYGN register control system. More than 170 ALYGN systems are now working satisfactorily in India, Europe, and China, supplied either through the leading OEMs or to the end users directly. Encouraged by this success and discerning the evolving market expectations of quality, ATE has now developed the next generation ALYGN register control system. The AlygnAXIS is set to create new benchmarks not just for reliability, but also for having one of the fastest correction outputs among the register control systems available in the world. ATE now manufactures a range of AXIS products that include StrobAXIS (range of stroboscopes), ViewAXIS (web video systems), and DetectAXIS (100% print inspection system) for various specialized applications, each in a class of its own, packed with unique features.

Application-specific solutions

ATE’s business unit, Valence, provides a range of application-specific solutions in print and packaging. They cover static management solutions, ink handling and conditioning systems, heat recovery systems, waste solvent reclaimers, chamber doctor blades and holders, etc, which are designed to improve quality, reduce costs, and improve safety.

Improving productivity…

It’s now well proven that fresh-clean-cool air positively impacts the bottom line of the manufacturing units due to improved productivity, reduced wastages, and the improved morale of employees. It is particularly true that the fresh-clean-cool air enormously benefits the print and packaging units. ATE brings to the print and packaging industry the HMX-Ambiator, the next-generation cooling solution based on evaporative cooling technology, from its business unit HMX. The HMX-Ambiator helps to maintain positive pressure and dust-free environments by supplying 100% fresh, clean, cool air for process cooling and people comfort. It also helps to reduce solvent losses and even static charges. The HMX-Ambiator is an excellent upgrade over air-washers and ventilation systems. HMX has already supplied 3.2 million CFM of indirect evaporative cooling solutions (HMX-Ambiator) in the print and packaging sector, which includes some of the leading names such as Uflex, ITC, Parikh Packaging, Balaji Multiflex, Uma Converters, M.M. Polytech, Renewsys, Creative Group– a clear testimony to the growing success of this innovative technology in this sector.

Industrial IoT solutions & services

Digitalisation of the manufacturing shop floor is the need of the hour for reaping the benefits of the digital technology, and the print and packaging industry cannot be an exception. Taking the benefits of digital technology to this industry, ATE’s business unit, EcoAxis, has developed customised industrial IoT solutions and services for rotogravure printing, lamination and slitting machines. EcoAxis provides integrated system bringing together data from ERP systems, production planning systems, machines, auxiliary equipment and manufacturing facilities at one single platform to give dashboards, reports and practical, actionable insights. The real-time insights for print and packaging industry include drill-down production reports, operator performance, quality reports, ink, solvent and adhesive consumption per print and energy consumption reports. The system also keeps track of deviations between recommended machine parameters versus actual machine parameters during production.

Towards safe & eco-friendly environment

ATE also represents some of the world’s most renowned manufacturers in the safety and environment fields to offer high technology solutions to the Indian printing industry. They include residual solvent analysers and LEL monitoring and heat recirculation systems from NIRA, distillation systems for solvent recovery from waste ink from IRAC, solvent recovery systems from DEC Impianti, regenerative thermal oxidation from DURR, electrostatic print assist from Eltex, and hazardous waste incinerators from McClelland, among others.

A spotlight on the Lucknow digital printing industry

Lucknow - the city of Nawabs has some gems of digital printing services providers as well. Print and Publishing recently visited the city and brings a report. Lucknow, the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, has always been known as a multicultural city that flourished as a North Indian cultural and artistic hub and the seat of power of Nawabs in the 18th and 19th centuries. It continues to be an important centre of governance, administration, education, commerce, aerospace, finance, pharmaceuticals, technology, design, culture, tourism, music and poetry. Here’s a glimpse of the digital printing industry in this city.

Amar Fax Service
–From photocopy to fully functional digital printing set up

Harpal Singh AllaghAs the name goes, the present digital printing service provider has sprouted from being a photocopier-cum-fax wala. Established in 1989, the PSP is co-owned by Harpal Singh Allagh and Surjeet Singh Oberoi. They flagged off their journey with a black-and-white Xerox machine, later followed by other high-end printers from Konica Minolta and Xerox. At present, the facility houses Konica Minolta bizhub Pro1100 and bizhub Press C1060 for colour printing requirements, besides a colour plotter from HP.

As Harpal puts it, “Lucknow is under a lot of transformation and hence a lot of constructions are taking place. These sites need colour maps and hence there is a huge scope for map printing in Lucknow. This is where Amar Fax services tapped in the market and we are well equipped with Xerox printers designed to print maps ranging from A0 to A1 paper sizes.”

Telling more about their 1200+ sq ft facility, Harpal shared that they were the first one in UP to install Color A0 printer from Xerox. Harpal does not wants to rest on his past laurels and is now looking at adding more state-of-the art printers.

Harpal shared that they have a huge pool of clients, including government and corporate clients, though he preferred not to share their names. “The digital printing segment in growing not only in Lucknow, but also UP as it is now offered at comparable rates,” he concluded.

Ajanta Electrostat
–Catering to PSUs in Lucknow

Govind AmarnaniGovind Amarnani has been associated with the printing industry for last 27 years and his firm Ajanta Electrostat is well known for typing, colour photocopy, color printouts, ammonia print, map composing and binding. The company started as a typing service provider and soon made a mark for itself in digital printing.

The facility houses black-and-white photocopying machines from Ricoh and Xerox, besides Konica Minolta bizhub C360 colour printer, which prints 100,000 pages every month. At the same facility, Govind has also installed Canon IR 105 digital copier cum printer, with a monthly volume of up to 600,000 prints. According to Govind, they have an annual turnover of Rs 70-75 lakhs.

The company boasts of some big clients like LMRC, PWD, Jal Nigam, besides regular walk-in customers.

Sun Digital Print Media
–Catering to the educational printing market

AshutoshMajorly working for regional coaching institutes’ stationery requirements like notes, study material and test papers, Sun Digital Print Media is ideally situated in the educational hub of the city – Kapoorthala. Ashutosh, who started this outlet in 2009 as a photocopying shop, is now equipped with two Xerox machines viz. 5755 and 5790 black-and-white printers. Besides, for meeting colour requirements, the facility houses Epson L210 and L360 printers. Though, the PSP has a humble set up now, Ashutosh is planning to install high-end digital printer in near future.

Janpath Printer
–Always in seek of upgradation

Kanhaiya AmarnaniEstablished in 1985 with a sole purpose of copying documents, Janpath Printer is housed in a single room of 250 sq ft. Later, Janpath Printer redefined itself with the installation of some state-of-the-art printing machines in different formats in order to keep abreast with the changing times. Within a span of 10-12 years, the company diversified into three units in Lucknow, each spread over an area of more than 500 sq feet.

Kanhaiya Amarnani the proprietor of Janpath Pinter, situated at the heart of the capital city – Janpath Market – insists on their consistent ‘upgradation’ which makes them one of the prime PSPs in Lucknow.

While talking about their set-up, Kanhaiya enlisted large format printer from OCE, a multifunctional digital laser printer which is majorly used for drawing, copying, scanning and printing maps. Also housed is a Xerox 700 digital color printer, which is chiefly used for digital printing, colour copy and scanning.

For photocopying purpose, the PSP features refurbished machines like three Canon 105 and Konica Minolta bizhub C360. In his post press section, Kanhaiya has a line of best in class machines, providing all sorts of binding like wiro, spiral, thermal, etc.

On asking about how he maintains consistent quality, Kanhaiya mentioned that he used quality media for mono color printing. While, for digital printing, he majorly relies on company’s provided consumable and services.

Talking about their future plans, Kanhaiya shared that he plans to install a machine which can print on 300 GSM paper, for which he is considering Canon imagePress C850 and Ricoh Pro 7100X. Kanhaiya believes that Lucknow printing market is now accepting the new technical advancement with open arms and there is a surge in the digital printing needs.

Kesarwani Computers
–Catering to stationery requirements

Vineet KesarwaniStarted as a graphic designing unit, Kesarwani Computers has come a long way and has made a name for itself in offering solutions like pre ink stamps, steel brass, acrylic plates and flex boards. While talking about his Kaiserbagh situated outlet, the proprietor Vineet Kesarwani shared that his single color offset printer, Prakash 101 (installed in 2003) is fit to meet voluminous print demands.

While, in digital printing, the facility houses Canon 4050, which is generally used more for photocopying. Six months back, Vineet installed a Ricoh MP C2011 for applications like visiting cards, scanning, and color printing. In the post press section, the PSP houses lamination machine and a 32-inch cutting machine.

The outlet being situated at one of the business street of Lucknow majorly caters to walk in customers as well as shops for their stationery requirements.

Designed for brand identity and recall!

Leaf Design is a branding and design consultancy firm that collaborates with entrepreneurial minds and businesses to help create integrated brand experiences, driven by radical insights and coherent strategies. Here’s a case study by Leaf Design on brand identity & communication, brand environment and brand packaging for their client Adret Retail Pvt Ltd. Client: Adret Retail Pvt Ltd
Sector: Healthcare
Product: Kapiva Ayurveda

Ayurveda is the holistic science of health, focused on maintaining a physically and emotionally balanced state. Kapiva is a fresh retail concept where the health and wellness of people is enabled by best Ayurvedic doctors, finest medicines and natural healthcare products. Envisaged through the idea of unique treatment for individuals, according to their body type, the nationwide chain of Ayurveda clinics aims to provide highest quality of product and service.

Kapiva is all about knowing, achieving and maintaining that harmony of good health. Our objective was to transform the way people perceive Ayurveda –– present it in a contemporary and purest form so as to be accepted as general practice.

We sought to build and develop a graphic identity with consumer education and awareness at its core to dispel myths and build assurance. The overall identity created a trustworthy, clear and straightforward look that spelt wellness and harmony.

Leaf Design is a branding and design consultancy firm that collaborates with entrepreneurial minds and businesses to help create integrated brand experiences, driven by radical insights and coherent strategies. Here’s a case study by Leaf Design on brand identity & communication, brand environment and brand packaging for their client Adret Retail Pvt Ltd.

Approach & Naming

We named the brand so as to represent the ideal tri-dosha balance of Kapha-Pitta-Vata, which is the basic core of Ayurveda for harmony of health.

Taking an elementary approach for the visual, we blended custom sans serif typography with basic geometry, where the circles became metaphor for the equilibrium of three doshas and the leaf in the centre represented purity.

Pure Ayurveda

The power of Ayurveda at its purest can heal people naturally. Kapiva does this by combining the best doctors, best medicines and broadest and most relevant range of natural healthcare products. Thus, the simple, striking and clear brand tagline of “Pure Ayurveda” spelt out the promise of healing with ayurveda at heart.

Ecologically Friendly

For a brand built on an ethos of maintaining a balance within our bodies as a foundation of good health, caring and sensitivity towards the environment comes as a natural progression. All the print and promotional material uses natural colours and 100% recycled paper. It upheld and enhanced the pride of the person carrying the bag, as a bold statement of their solidarity with an eco-friendly world.

Retail Environment

In its quest for equilibrium, the clinic was built to inspire an elevated state of good health. With its soothing hues and informative yet personalised messages, the space re-assured consumers. This in turn made them comfortable, taking them closer to experience wellness.

We kept the visual language simple and natural. Taking inspiration from nature itself, using elements of herbs and leaves to illustrate compositions on to brown background. We aimed to bring about a sense of balance within the space itself, emulating the true harmony of body mind and soul that is Kapiva.


The doctor boards did not stop at mentioning the doctor’s name, qualifications and timings etc. They served as powerful brand extensions, emphasising the significance of the proposition at key touchpoints.

Brand Communication

The brand communication was kept powerful and memorable, and was mainly translated into simple posters in subtle and natural hues. The messaging was clear, easy-to-understand and reflected the simplicity of the brand at all times.

Packaging System

The comprehensive product range was split into classical (prescribed medication) and OTC products (over the counter). This allowed a visual system that was both different for two categories, yet emerged from the same family. To be in step with that division, we crafted a diverse yet unified language that could be applied across a large range of products.

Designing packaging for a healthcare brand always needs to inspire trust in the consumer that the product will meet their specific needs. To stay true to that requirement, we designed an informative system that allowed one to identify the nature of the products in 3 simple steps: key description, composition, benefits. This information architecture enabled a clear pattern across all products.

OTC Products: Over the counter products are typically known to be impulse-buys. Hence, we used a bold vertical colour block to make Kapiva products more appealing, identifiable and easily distinguishable from the Classical range as also on the shelf.

Classical Products: Ayurveda packaging typically reserves labels for name and ingredients as the traditional practice. Packaging for the Classical Range brought to life, the values of the apothecary look and feel. Blocking information as labels was supported with crisp typography and a vibrant colour system, allowing consumers to hone in on what they need. Ink illustrations of ingredients in the background brought alive the natural aspect of the products.

Kapiva Juices: Known for specialising in healthy living and natural food, it was vital for the packaging of Kapiva Juices to show the natural ingredients of its products in all its glory. Vibrant water color illustrations were used on the package front instead of pictures. The identity of solid color blocks was extended from the classical products to connote a clear communication between ingredients and the function of juice, making the messaging extremely clear to the user.

Packaging Design

The Kapiva packaging was a predictive extension of the traditional practice of packaging in Ayurveda that reserves labels for the name and ingredients. Bringing alive the apothecary look and feel, we used blocking information as labels and supported them with crisp typography and a vibrant color system. This clear segmentation allowed consumers to hone in on what they need at all times. Ink illustrations of ingredients formed an informative background to convey the pure and natural quality of the products.

Kapiva was built with a mission to transform the way people perceived Ayurveda. It sought to re-establish how Ayurveda is all about knowing, achieving and maintaining that harmony of good health, so that it can be accepted by masses as a general practice. Kapiva has built its products on the ethos that good health is a balance between nature and the human body – and thus its products are created through the union of both elements.

The packaging had a specific objective to infuse a vibrant, relatable and contemporary look. We built the system on five key premises: Users, Functionality, Aesthetics, Technology & Nature.

The packaging segmented a massive range of products by bringing it into a predictable system of colouring and patterns. While the hues stood out on the shelf, bold ink illustrations served as gentle reminders of the products being natural at heart.

The illustrations represented each product’s active substance and generated the consistent balance between technology and nature. The fonts along with the numerical identification system complemented the natural personality established by the brand’s name and logotype. Combined with clean layouts, the packaging reinforced the pure, practical and scientific character that permeated the brand.

Meet V Vaidyalingam, director, Suba Solutions Pvt Ltd

–in conversation with D Ramalingam of Print & Publishing.

V VaidyalingamV Vaidyalingam, director, Suba Solutions Pvt Ltd, is a household name in printing fraternity all over India. Always smiling, he builds a rapport with any one he meets. A BE Printing from Anna University, Chennai with PGDM from National Institute of Sales and Digital Marketing from NII, he knows his job well. Presently, he is director - marketing in his company Folding Carton Division providing print finishing for paper board packaging production. D. Ramalingam (DR) from P&P finds out more about Vaidyalingam (Vaidy), his business and other interests in an exclusive interview.

What did it take to opt for B E Printing?

Vaidy: Honestly I was never sure about what I should be doing in my career. I got admissions on merit in an engineering college in Coimbatore initially and after I had joined Coimbatore Institute of Technology I got admissions in College of Engineering, Guindy, Anna University to some programs like Leather, Mining and Printing. I chose printing because I wanted to get back to study from my home in Chennai and chose printing over the other two options I had in Chennai. That time, I did not have a clue about what printing held for me. So essentially the decision was an accident.

Right from beginning, you seem to be interested in Sales & Marketing. Does it reflect your personality?

Vaidy: Neither I was cut out for marketing nor did I choose it. Since I was never sure what I wanted to do, I was literally thrust into that position when my career with TechNova began. And slowly I found my feet. Luckily the companies I had worked for, TechNova for a short period and largely Proteck gave me space and time to understand, learn and grow in my profession. Importantly since I had the motivation to keep learning, I could evolve, progress and try out my ideas without any restriction. It laid the foundation for my entrepreneurship. I also had the opportunity to interact with owners of companies that elevated my thought and confidence.

Having said that, I basically like to interact with people. I have my own opinion on a subject that is independent on what other people may say or like which actually may not be an advantage in marketing.

What made you look to China?

Vaidy: In 2003, China was fast emerging as machinery maker of the world. In our industry, machines had started to come into India and Sri Lanka. While in Proteck, I had seen a Chinese machine or two during one of my visits to customers in Sri Lanka. Having been in marketing for about 10 years by then, I had a fair understanding of what was required for printing industry in India. The following were my observations at that time:

  • There was a clear lacuna in print finishing equipment.
  • Quality suppliers / manufacturers at that time in India were few.
  • I believed that print finishing held the future.
  • I could also make out that not all jobs, particularly in commercial printing, would pass through the same finishing process. So the capacity utilisation of print finishing machine would not be high in many cases. Therefore for high cost machines, viability was simply not there. So customers would like to have affordable investment and reasonable performance.
  • Once you want affordable automation, the way to go was obviously China.
  • I could also understand that with my very talented, experienced and committed partner, Balaji, we can bring in Chinese equipment into the country and support them well. That was the key to success.

So, I thought it would be a good business model to start off and we began contacting and evaluating good Chinese companies.

What do you think about print industry fairs now held in every nook and corner of our country?

Vaidy: We pick and choose our fairs. We work with committed partners. Our sales team size is very small. So good fairs give us an opportunity to talk to our customers and understand their constantly evolving needs.

These days it is getting a little too much like everything else, but that is the way the world is. We need to make our choices.

Tell us something about your demo centre?

Vaidy: When we took up agency business in 2003 we had three verticals for print finishing: print finishing for commercial printers; print finishing for book printers; and print finishing for packaging printers.

Somewhere in 2010-11, we thought that the future lies in packaging and decided to focus on the same. Actually the demo centre is an offshoot of that fundamental decision. We have a folder gluer in our demo centre. It is basically used to train our people and the operators of our customers. The production facility helps in the same.

Tell us about your Paper Board Packaging section?

Vaidy: We have three divisions: folding carton division which I head, Corrugation brown box making division headed by my co-director Naresh; and Manufacturing division headed by co directors Balaji and Senthil.

Group Publications