Quality business opportunities unpacked at PACK PRINT International 2015

Power-packed with conferences, seminars, one-stop packaging and printing consultations and presence of a horde of 14,615 visitors from 50 countries, PACK PRINT International 2015 held from August 26-29 at BITEC in Bangkok hovered quality business opportunities, reports PRINT & PUBLISHING editor SK Khurana. The 5th International Packaging and Printing Exhibition for Asia (PACK PRINT International 2015) marked a successful showcase of products and technologies from 300 leading exhibitors from 20 countries. The specialist trade fair was represented by a broad mix of latest developments for printing and packaging supply chain. As strings of printers and machines covering broadly all areas were on display, visitors to the expo were thrilled to get hands-on experience of the latest in printing and packaging.

Collaboratively organised by The Thai Packaging Association, The Thai Printing Association and Messe Düsseldorf Asia, general sentiments on the success of the expo were reflected in the strong levels of exhibitor and buyer satisfaction. Gernot Ringling, managing director, Messe Düsseldorf Asia said, “We’re very heartened by the success of the exhibition, also in light of the recent safety and security concerns in Bangkok. On closing, we registered strong visitor numbers and significant sales transacted on the show floor – both of which validated the ‘pull’ factor of this world-class exhibition.”

Successful business network

The expo was propounded to be a common ground to numerous business transactions with leading companies, such as Hewlett Packard (HP), Konica Minolta, Takano Machinery, Heidelberg Graphics, Wanjin, Sansin, Superior Inkjet, among many others, reporting successful sales of their machines. For the first-timer like Wanjin, a specialist in print finishing solutions, they sold two machines by on the first day of the exhibition.

According to Korarit Jindatanon, PSB product marketing manager, Fuji Xerox (Thailand), they chose the expo as launch pad to introduce their Colour 1000i Press in Thailand as they were quite confident of quality regional audience the exhibition would draw. Similarly, for regular exhibitor HP, which had the largest digital printing booth at the expo this year, they highlighted their extensive fleet of game changers, specifically HP Latex printers and HP Indigo digital presses. Daniel Leong, business development manager, HP (Singapore) said, “The objective of our participation at PACK PRINT International was to showcase the latest Latex and Indigo technologies and others to the Thai market.” He added that the show was amazing as they had lots of visitors jamming around their booth with sales enquiries and leads.

Big industry player like Heidelberg Graphics, which announced its strategic partnership with Masterwork Machinery (MK), one of the largest Chinese manufacturers of die cutters, also secured several business transactions during the exhibition, including one to a new buyer – further paving the way for the company’s expansion plans into the Thai and regional market.

Consultancy Clinics

Geared up primarily to provide consultancy advice and business matching recommendations to packaging and printing companies, the two one-stop consultancy clinics organised by The Thai Packaging Association and The Thai Printing Association received warm response from local and international companies alike. Chaivudhi Pungthong, president, The Thai Packaging Association, said the Packaging Clinic saw more than hundred companies comprising international firms, particularly suppliers from India, China and Latin America enquiring and sourcing for new packaging designs and materials.

Serving the needs of the market, the Printing Clinic received positive response and great interest from Indian and Chinese publishing companies looking for association with printing houses in Thailand. Pimnara Jiranithitnon, president, The Thai Printing Association, said, “Each segment has been represented at the clinic, with consultants from offset to digital printers offering advice and links to relevant local Thai printers. We are confident these engagements will spin off to greater trade prospects.”

Diverse trade visitors

All four days of the expo welcomed a diverse profiles of trade visitors from different industrial or market segments, such as printing and packaging domains, and others including vocational students from printing and design institutes/faculties as well as corporate groups, visiting delegations and industry associations from India, Vietnam, Philippines and Mauritius, for the first time this year. Preliminary statistics indicated that majority of the overseas visitors came from India, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Vietnam.

Mentioned by Allan Driver, president of Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (Mauritius), PACK PRINT International 2015 successfully showcased new printing technologies and was a great platform to explore possibilities for joint ventures and partnerships with Thailand and regional companies. The 21-group delegation representing printing and packaging SMEs in Mauritius were impressed by the expo’s line up, including the breadth of machinery and technology on display and how it suitably mirrored the leading global trade fairs like drupa and Interpack in Düsseldorf, though on a more regional context.

Enhanced next edition

“As an exhibition for the industry by the industry, PACK PRINT International is a platform dedicated to driving the industry forward in the region, and together with our partners, we are committed to developing the exhibition further through research and strategic partnerships, and to build upon the success of activities such as the one-stop consultancy packaging and printing clinics,” said Gernot Ringling adding that they as organisers look forward to an enhanced next edition of PACK PRINT International.

The next edition of PACK PRINT International will take place from September 20-23, 2017 at the same venue.

Seminars on perfect packaging

Stefan Glimm, executive director, Alufoil hosted a seminar on ‘Packaging Design Innovation and Technology’ in which he ticked some innovative packaging methods and technologies to save wastage while unpacking any packaged food item and the like. Picking up the example of Indian consumers who constantly lose net content of packaged pasteurised milks during pouring process, Stefan urged to develop correct and intelligent packaging processes to reduce the significant waste.Sector-specific seminars and conferences complemented the expo, attracting overwhelming response from participants. Crowd pullers were particularly the Food and Beverage Packaging Conference, organised by Food Focus Thailand and Kasetsart University and the Packaging Design Innovation and Technology Conference organised by The Thai Packaging Association and the European Aluminium Foil Association and Flexible Packaging Europe, which was held in conjunction with the Thai Pack Awards ceremony that saw leading Thai companies with their innovative product packaging being recognised for setting industry standards.

Dedicated pavilion for local printers

One-of-its-kind ever found in any printing expo, Thai Printing Association presented a unique and separate dedicated pavilion designed only for exhibitors who are local printers. The locally produced outputs and activities being put on display at the pavilion impressed more than a hundred of overseas visitors who showed keen interest in the exhibits.

Global traveller S VENKATARAMAN

Veteran industry stalwart S Venkataraman has his reasons of travelling the world over. He travels around neither for holidaying nor sightseeing but to attend printing expos, wherever it is, in any part of the globe to gain knowledge and pass it on to industry fellows. Recent PACK PRINT International 2015 in Bangkok was where Print & Publishing editor SK Khurana met him to chat over his life and works.

A dweller of three metropolitans, S Venkataraman was born on December 02, 1948 in Mumbai where he spent eleven years of his childhood before moving to New Delhi with his father who worked as engineer with a French company in the capital city. After schooling at DTEA School (Mandir Marg), Venkataraman graduated in English (H) from Shaheed Bhagat Singh College of Delhi University in 1972 and he further pursued a six-month course on PSS (Professional Selling Skills) in Chennai.

His exploration of different cityscapes in varied time periods has transformed him into a man of multilingual personality who knows six languages—Tamil, Marathi, Gujarati, Malayalam, Hindi and English. He can read, write and speak five of them fluently, except Malayalam that he falls short in writing. Venkataraman loves to be involved in humanitarian activities too; to point out an example: he has donated blood 20 times.

The first fulltime job of Venkataraman at Dynamic Engineering in Chennai had no connection to the printing industry. In 1978, he left the company that engaged in selling DIY (Do It Yourself) educational kits for school children. Soon after that, he joined Mototype India, a UK company, as a sales executive where he worked until 1984. Overall activities of the company revolved around selling of mono casters, plate making equipments, arc lamps, vertical cameras, printed circuit board (PCB) etching machines, perfect binders and others as it was a transition time of ushering in new innovations and phasing out mono-casters.

As his journey continued, Venkataraman worked with MSL Graphics in Chennai from 1984 to 1996. The company later changed its name from MSL Graphics to EAC Graphics and became quite popular in the market catering compugraphic photo typesetting machines and others like Muller Martini, Heidelberg, etc. He then worked for a couple of years at Monotype India until the company’s closure in 1998 following its acquisition by Jalan Group.

Venkataraman ventured into a brief partnership firm called Vignesh Associates with partner V Ganesh, selling Autoprint machines, Heidelberg spare parts, spray powder from Nikka (Japan) and PCS blades, before taking his final lap at Monoprint Equipment & Spares where he was involved from 2000 to 2013, dealing in various equipments and spares. Today, Venkataraman is fully retired from job; but his determination is still stuck to travelling and attending print expos around. As a life member of the Printing Technologists Forum (PTF), Chennai, he currently lives in the city with his mother and wife who is a state rank holder in MSc chemistry and now learning Sanskrit.

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