KM’s Accurio C6100 and KM1 for top digital segments

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Konica Minolta
Yoshinori Koide

Konica Minolta Business Solutions, headquartered in Gurugram, is a subsidiary of Konica Minolta Business Technologies of Japan. In a short period of six years, the company has achieved the fastest growth in the Indian digital printing industry and has for the past several years enjoyed a dominant or about 50% market share.

In most markets, Konica Minolta’s office multifunction business has the larger share but in India its digital business is the one that is in the limelight. “In India, around 45% of our business is in the office segment. Typically, we make more business in the office segment,” says Yoshinori Koide, director – business planning, Konica Minolta Business Solutions India. The company is also a strong player in the Indian digital textile printing market with a footprint in the region of 50 installations. “I believe that the stronghold of digital textile printing is in Italy and has quickly spread to other markets. Digital textile printing today is quite popular and is picking up in India as well,” says Manish Gupta, deputy general manager, Konica Minotla Business Solutions India.

As far as digital printing is concerned, Konica Minolta has supplied and supported more than 3,500 digital presses to more than 2,000 customers. The company established a strong base with competitive machines at the entry level that have consistently outperformed machines in similar and even higher price and quality segments. This has enabled it to bring in newer and higher specification digital presses with better quality, higher speeds and with capabilities such as longer banner prints and continuous upgrades and up-sell to its established customers.

In the mid-level segment, the Konica Minolta C8000 and C1100 have been selling well in the past two years but have now been replaced by the just launched Accurio C6100, which should within a year of its launch reach annual sales figure of 100 presses given the company’s track record and the continued double-digital growth of the digital print industry in India. The Accurio C6100, which is supplied with a hand-held KM spectrophotometer and an in-line spectrophotometer inside the machine, is able to automatically calibrate the press and make density adjustments while running. Apart from superior built-in color management, the C6100 uses optical devices internally and automatically for front-to-back registration in duplex printing.

KM harish 2A hand-held Konica Minolta spectrophotometer

The print speed of C6100 at 1200 x 1200 is 100 pages a minute and a key feature is the wide range of paper stock from 52 to 400 gsm, and the print on embossed paper and envelopes has been enhanced. Another enhancement is printing on board and paper banners up to 51 inches long, which is apparently a profitable segment for digital printers.

The top digital segment
The Konica Minolta AccurioJet KM1 incorporates the company’s own UV ink, high-performance inkjet print-heads, while the UV ink developed for the B2 press avoids paper problems caused by thermal drying. With high accuracy of front-to-back registration, the single pass inkjet system prints 3000 B2 sheets an hour at a high image quality of 1200 dpi. In the duplex printing mode, the output speed of the machine is 1500 sheets per hour. The KM1, which is now installed in North America, Europe, Japan and China, is likely to be sold if not installed in India within the 2017-18 financial year. This represents Konica Minolta’s entry to the top level of digital printing in the country, where all digital press manufacturers face the twin challenges of capital cost and consumable charges. From what we understood at a recent meeting at Gurugram, Konica Minolta’s click charge for KM1 will only pertain to the cost of maintenance and replaceable parts while the ink will be sold directly by volume.

The Konica Minolta MGS JetVarnish press has already achieved a dozen installs in the Indian market. The MGS JetVarnish 3DS comes with a new varnish formula in combination with Konica Minolta print-heads to create a 3D effect on laminated surfaces or on toner directly at speeds up to 2298 A3 pages per hour. The machine can spot UV or foil on digital prints without any treatment and can cover sheets up to 14.33 inches wide and 40.15 inches long. The high-gloss coating formula of the machine delivers a gloss level of 99% (G.U.).

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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