Parkar Communications Private Limited is a one-stop shop for on-the-ground marketing communication in Mumbai. Design, product development, offset and digital print, signage, POP, events, and corporate film production – from concept to execution on the ground, Parkar's signage and POP solutions for brands such as P&G, Gillette, Cadbury, Onida and Mahanagar Gas are visible throughout Mumbai's stores and malls around the country. Six months ago, the company installed an Esko Kongsberg XN cutting and creasing table with Esko's ArtiosCAD 3D and i-cut Suite software at its Andheri East plant.
Till the company installed the Kongsberg XN, PCPL was totally dependent on manual labor for executing its signage and POP projects, engaging almost a dozen persons in that department. That count is now down to just one. "It was all manual cutting and involved quite a bit of labor management. Also, the cost of blades and cutters were a big expense. And we could not get the desired quality. That led us to Esko," says Mahesh Parkar, Managing Director of PCPL.
Parkar adds that earlier, manually cutting a 8-foot by 4-foot sheet took close to 45 minutes. With the Esko Kongsberg XN, that time is down to only 6 to 8 minutes. "The Kongsberg XN cutting table not only helps us save on labor, but it also allows us to reduce the material costs; which is in fact a huge saving," states Parker.
Confidence, Excellence, Productivity, Growth
Apart from cost savings, the Kongsberg table provided the company the necessary confidence to take on all kinds of jobs. Earlier PCPL would cut only certain types of materials and outsource the rest. This has now changed. "We are now cutting materials which we were outsourcing to a third party. Earlier we were not sure if we could do justice to clients where certain materials were involved. We would either not take that work, or we were compelled to outsource it. After installing the Kongsberg XN our reliance on third parties is over and our commitment levels have increased," Parkar says.
Esko's ArtiosCAD allows PCPL to create its POP designs from scratch in 3D and send them directly to the cutting table, while i-cut's preflight checks the PDF files coming in and makes sure the files will RIP and print and cut correctly. The i-cut Suite also saves material and optimizes production by determining the most accurate and efficient cutting path. Parkar says it was very easy to train his staff to use ArtiosCAD 3D and i-cut Suite effectively. "We had an impression that extensive training would be needed to operate the Esko software. On the contrary, it turned out to be very easy software to handle. Yes, it would take some time to become an expert but one can be trained for basic operations in a very short time. The proof is that one of our staff who was part of our labor department is currently operating the system," Parkar states.
Shrihari Rao, who leads Esko's sales team in India, says that he was really impressed that Mr. Parkar's decision was based purely on versatility and throughput – 'On how quickly can I offer accurately finished products to a variety of demands and opportunities in the market': "Whether it's short or long jobs, or prototypes — the Kongsberg tables offer quick throughput because they require very little setup time. There are equipment manufacturers who claim they can produce hundreds of pieces an hour, but take hours to set up and that is inefficient. Absolute market leadership in India with almost 100 installs and local support by factory trained engineers from our Bangalore and Mumbai offices added to the decision making."
Huge boost in business
With significant savings across the board, and a rise in productivity and improved consistency in quality, PCPL has seen a major boost in its signage and POP business. "In the last six months our business in POP and signage segment has seen a growth of close to 50%. This is because of the rise in our capacity and our confidence in taking on a variety of work. However, this is just a start and we still have sufficient capacity in the signage segment to see a further growth of another 50%," concludes Parkar.