Kunika Digital adds Canon imagePRESS C10000VP

Traditional printers boost their digital infrastructure

Bhavin Patel, Partner, Kunika Digital, standing beside newly installed Canon 10000 digital press

Mumbai’s Shah and Nahar Industrial Estate based Kunika Digital recently installed a Canon 10000 digital press to complement its existing offset printing capabilities.

“Every print job differs from the other. When it comes to making a final decision on which print process to select, clients take into consideration the quality and volume they desire, their budget and the timescale involved,” says Bhavin Patel, a partner in the firm.

The short-run print volume is a trend that has gained much significance in the market, resulting in many traditional printers boosting their digital infrastructure.

According to Patel, clients long for quick service turnaround and having an in-house technology to provide 3,000 impressions in an hour naturally gives an edge. The short quantity may comprise of 200 to 500 sheets; however, in a day it turns out to be 15,000 sheets, which is good productivity for digital printers. Interestingly, although the click charges have come down, digital continues to be expensive vis-a-vis offset, argues Patel.

Digital printing is incredibly fast, making it ideal for projects with a tight deadline. Clients pay a visit, and with Canon digital press, Patel effortlessly churns out 5,000 copies in an hour. Earlier, Kunika Digital used to provide offset plates to print service providers, but now they are more focused on the digital print business. “No doubt, offset will never become obsolete. However, digital printing is fast gaining traction and market share.”

In digital press, an operator can identify any issue at an early stage, which helps in saving time as well as money. Additionally, there is hardly any bidding of short-run quantity compared to offset jobs. A fast turnaround of short-run jobs helps to meet the tight deadline.

Apart from the Canon 10000 digital press, the 1,500 square feet shop floor houses a Konica Minolta digital press as well. The offset-like vibrant and stable output quality with a high resolution of 2400 x 2400 dpi at print speeds of up to 100 letter-size images per minute on textured and film substrates are the key reasons why Patel opted for the Canon digital press. “We received a lot of positive views about the Canon press and went ahead with the installation. Also, we required a press that can be utilized for more than five years,” he adds.

Going ahead in the next phase of investment, Patel informs that he plans to bring in-house finishing capabilities to Kunika Digital.

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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