manroland sheetfed looks forward to strong future – great show at Drupa 2012

Hira Prints, Mumbai places order for brand new ROLAND 706 LV at Drupa 2012

The sheetfed printing division of manroland AG was acquired by UK Based Langley Holdings plc to form a new company - manroland sheetfed GmbH which began trading on February 10, 2012. The newly formed company is aggressively moving forward to set new milestones and goals, with focused strategies to enhance their sheetfed business spread across the world through a worldwide sales network of over 40 subsidiaries. In a formal interview with P&P editor SK Khurana during drupa 2012, Rafael Penuela Torres, member of the board, manroland sheetfed GmbH shared his experiences of the formation of the new company and the future plans of business.

Reasons for confidence…

With the just-over episode of ownership transfer, what are going to be the initiatives in terms of bringing back the confidence of buyers?

“We are back to normal operations and looking forward to a strong growth trajectory in the coming years. We welcome a new investor with engineering background, Langley Holdings Plc who believes in long term investments giving us the confidence in the stable operations and long term secured future of the company, despite a change in ownership,” conveyed Rafael. “The new owner Langley Holdings Plc seeks profitability in the same way, as we expect for our customers,” he added on asking about the message from new owners to the company’s senior officials.

Focus at drupa 2012

“At drupa, we have showcased our latest innovation – Roland 700 with new Inline Foiler Prindor with indexing function for up to 55 percent savings on foil consumption. We will be continuing our entire range of products and offers as earlier world over,” said Rafael on asking what is the main focus targeted during drupa this year? “We are very proud to announce our first order for drupa 2012 for the Indian market with Mumbai-based Hira Print for a brand new six colour ROLAND 700 press with an inline coating system,” he added.

Succeeding via customer satisfaction

With the ongoing recession or less demand atmosphere, what is going to be your strategy for further penetration- specifically after drupa? Replying on this question, Rafael said, “Improving production efficiency and more R & D on technology will be our main strategies with a strong focus on further enhancing customer satisfaction through value added after sales service programmes. Customer’s ROI has always been a major factor in our business strategies. Presently several new product applications are becoming popular in the print market especially in packaging printing, and manroland sheetfed machines are highly suitable for these changing market conditions since our presses are FutureProof - universal in print applications, capable of handling a wide range of substrates and the ability to add upgrades at any time such as InlineFoiler becoming our USP (unique selling point).”

Making perfect sense in marketing structure and distribution network

What will be marketing structure and distribution network for equipments and services in the global market? Will you continue to have your worldwide market organizations such as in India? “Langley Holdings plc is the strong British investor behind the takeover of manroland sheetfed with over 40 subsidiaries across the world. These 40 plus sales and service companies were acquired alongwith the Langley deal, while subsidiaries in India and Australasia were acquired by Possehl. manroland web systems GmbH and manroland sheetfed GmbH, the companies owned by the German Possehl group and British industrialist Tony Langley, have announced a global sales and services agreement wherein manroland web systems subsidiaries in Australasia and India will continue to represent manroland sheetfed in those countries and the other 40 subsidiaries will represent manroland web systems. This arrangements make perfect sense for all concerned and both manroland web systems and manroland sheetfed look forward in continuing to support their global customers with the highest possible levels of service,” illustrated Rafael.

Offset v digital

With the introduction of large size (B-2) digital presses by many companies, and additionally cooperation with Landa Nanographic Printing Technology, how do you see the market of conventional offset printing? Will you advice commercial printers to continue investing in offset printing machines? “Investment in any type of machines depends on the business model adopted by the printers. However, integration of digital with offset would happen, but conventional offset printing shall continue as the main workhorse of commercial printers. So far inkjet hybrid printing process is not meeting ‘offset’ in terms of quality and per copy cost,” opined Rafael, “Though R&D has evolved to identify possibilities of inkjet heads for black and white specific applications. At manroland, we believe that the best solution is to combine the best of both worlds, adding inkjet variable printing capabilities to the offset quality and speed in full colour printing. We call it ‘hybrid printing’ to benefit from the low cost of offset production and the high value of the digital print. Even though drupa 2012 has already been announced as the ultimate inkjet show with many suppliers presenting solutions to print in full colour with inkjet technology, we know that many of these new solutions don’t meet print market requirements because either the print quality level is not yet reaching the offset standard, or the cost per copy is far above the cost for offset products.

Focusing on India with pre-owned presses

Talking about the concentration on the sale of pre-owned presses in India, Rafael said that due to over-capacity in the world market, pre-owned offset machines are available in plenty, resulting in age of machines significantly reduced. Around 3000 units of such sheetfed offset machines are installed in India every year.

As per Anil Bhatia, Managing Director, manroland India, the company sold and installed more than 80 sheetfed units including pre-owned and new printing units (with 60 percent units covered under AMC). Though in general pre-owned machines are sold by dealers, but they have many limitations in terms of installation and post-installation services. Buying good quality pre-owned sheetfed presses are crucial purchases, wherein a buyer not only requires delivery of machine but more importantly an efficient after sales services support to ensure the machine delivering high productivity. Considering this phenomenon, manroland India has initiated offering pre-owned presses with complete post installation services and the concept has been greatly welcomed in the industry.

Group Publications