Digital printers continue to opt for latest technologies

Digital printing trends in the first half of 2016


The first six months of 2016 have been promising for digital press manufacturers and suppliers. The number of installations reported during the first half of the year has been higher compared to last year. drupa this year saw a large number of visitors from India with digital printing being one of the highlights during this edition. Indian printers showed keen interest in the latest digital printing technologies unveiled at drupa.

Bhalchandra Nikumb, Kodak’s managing director for India and West Asia Cluster, says, “At drupa, Indian visitors were second only after Germany. They were keen to know more about what’s next. In digital printing, people are exploring new ideas and applications not only to add value to print but also diversify their products and services, while manufacturers such as Kodak are delivering solutions to meet these growing demands. Printers are looking at digital as a brand new setup altogether, or as a complementary setup to their existing printing operations. The pace of investment in digital is steady.”

In total, there are close to 20 installations of Kodak Nexpress with maximum installations of SX 3300 and 3600 in India. However, there have been no installations in the first six months of 2016. All currently produced models of the NexPress are upgradeable to perform heavier duty cycles. Digital flexo plates have also been a robust growth area. Kodak has more than 20 installations in India and has received many new queries for Flexcel NX.

Digital technology in wide format printing has seen good growth as well. Insight Communications, dealer of HP’s large format printers, has recently tied up with Mimaki. “Latex machines are majorly consumed for indoor signage, though they are suitable for outdoor jobs too. And at present, wallpaper is a massive segment for the large format printers. Consumers buying expensive homes are ready to invest in printed wallpaper that can give a living room a fresh contemporary look. The signage markets in western and southern parts of India are comparatively larger than the northern market,” says Ashish Save, director at Insight Communications.

Save declined to disclose the exact number of installations but said that it would be higher than last year. Edifice Technologiesis another supplier of HP large format printers based in Mumbai. Saumitra Trivedi, managing partner, Edifice Technologies says the first six months of 2016 have been excellent with the number of installations done by Edifice up by almost 30% compared with the first half of 2015. “Growth in graphics has been very robust,” he says. Edifice recently installed Mumbai’sfirst HP Page Wide XL 5000 at Arihant Jumbo Zerox.

In terms of some new launches this year from HP, he says that the number too is up over 30% in the first half of this year. “More is expected post drupa.” Trivedi says that more and more digital press manufacturers have realized the importance of emerging markets.

In terms of trends witnessed in the recent past, he says one of the most important one is that printers are now replacing their machines before the lifespan is over. Earlier, he says, the printers used to continue using the same machine even after its lifespan was over. The scenario has changed and printers opt for presses in time. “Not only do they become technologically up to date but with newer machines their cost is also lower.” 

Earlier, the printers used to continue using the same machine even after its lifespan was over. The scenario has changed and printers opt for presses in time. “Not only do they become technologically up to date but with newer machines their cost is also lower.”

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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