Ohshika Printing wins Kodak Sonora Plates Green Leaf Award

Ohshika Printing wins Kodak Sonora Plates Green Leaf Award

Ohshika Printing has become Japan’s first printing company to receive the coveted Kodak Sonora Plates Green Leaf Award. It’s an honor well deserved for the 117-year-old printing company, which is a leader in UV packaging printing for a slew of popular Japanese snack brands and consumer goods. Since 2001, the company has made significant strides to reduce their environmental impact at its six manufacturing sites, where steps have been taken to reduce their energy consumption through the use of LED lighting, installation of solar panels and use of hybrid cars.

When Kodak first introduced the Sonora XJ Process Free Plates in 2015, Ohshika saw the potential to expand on its commitment to run a more sustainable printing operation. However, as a UV printer, Ohshika was cautious about switching to a new plate system, . “While we saw the potential for significant energy savings and elimination of processing, we were not sure if Sonora could handle the demands of our UV presses and provide the desired quality our customers demanded.”

The company’s caution turned to excitement after Ohshika began a thorough testing period. On an average month, the presses consume 5,000 plates to serve the needs of customers’ packaging jobs. Ohshika set a benchmark for testing at 30,000 impressions per plate. After a week of testing, Sonora proved it was fit for the job. The test demonstrated the UV plates are capable of delivering longer run lengths for UV print applications than any other process-free plate by offering consistent quality across all the impressions.

Hiroyuki Furuta, general manager at Ohshika said, “After the test, we felt confident that Sonora UV was the right fit for our operation. It can handle the complex and challenging jobs that we do every day for our customers, while also delivering a significant benefit to our bottom line and impact on the environment.” Since the initial testing period, Ohshika changed all of their plates to 100% Sonora XJ. The company’s general manager in the production department, Nobuyoshi Hamatake, commented, “I was worried that the move to a new plate would be challenging for my team, but with Kodak’s support, we were up and running very quickly. The transition was quite seamless for our company.”

The adoption of Sonora XJ is also improving the bottom line for Ohshika by helping the company eliminate chemical waste, all the costs associated with the disposal of hazardous liquids, and the related maintenance costs for the developer to the tune of 5 million Yen annually. In addition to the significant environmental improvements, Furuta and his team have been delighted by the on-machine image quality, especially with their oil-based printing and UV printing presses.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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