Konica Minolta’s stand attracts visitors at Pamex 2017

Konica Minolta’s stand attracts visitors at Pamex 2017
Yoshinori Koide

At Pamex 2017, Konica Minolta displayed its newly launched Accurio Press C6100 for the first time in India. It is a fully loaded feature of press suites, software and cloud-based tools for managing production efficiently. In addition, the company also displayed the MGI Jet Varnish 3DS and bizhub PRESS C71hc.

Yoshinori Koide, director of Business Strategy & Project Management, Konica Minolta Business Solutions India shared, “The Accurio Press C6100 has been given all kinds of solution both on the machinery front as well as on the software front. It comes with an optional feature of automatic color management and front-to-back registration. The product has upgrades when it comes to media. Earlier versions of the press had limited media capacity, but for this machine we have increased the media thickness from 300 gsm to 400 gsm, making it a worthier preposition for customers. Apart from this, optional upgrades include a 30-inch tray apart from the normal tray.” The Accurio Press C6100 is a result of customer demands that were studied internally with the customers and vendors.

“The C6100 has received excellent response here in terms of enquiries. We received queries from around 20-25 people. All our machines have garnered a very positive response, be it inkjet or digital,” Koide informed.

“The new wide-format machine bizhub C71hc is an upgraded version of our earlier offering. Here, we have added an option for banner tray for supporting media with size up to 13×47 inches. The press also has advanced color reproduction capabilities using the manufacturer’s proprietary high-chroma toner for enhanced printing output,” added Koide.

Recognizing the significance of monochrome, another solution from the company on the display at the event is the black and white bizhub Pro 1100. Talking about the features of the machine, Koide said, “This press delivers value to any print production environment, especially for black & white regular jobs, with high-speed 100 ppm black & white output, high paper and toner capacity, standard built-in print controller and compact footprint to save space on the production floor. We have also improved its registration and consistency.” Koide further informed that even for remote penetration, they have been promoting the bizhub Pro 1100 and others under B&W category. Many printers based out of remote areas come to cities for getting their job work done. It is for this segment that Konica Minolta came up with a cost-effective product which gives competitive print output with consistent registration under the B&W category, making monochrome more vivid.

Another interesting product on display was the MGI Jet Varnish 3DS, which offers special finishing capabilities like spot UV and 3D tactile varnishing capabilities. The machine boasts features like spot UV, 3D embossing and varnish of up to 100 microns, adding vibrancy and texture. Koide shared, “We now have solutions for all the domains—prepress, press and postpress. We are constantly connected with our vendors and customers, who help us improvise and develop solutions for the industry.”

Despite blows, digital is growing
Sharing his views on the digital printing segment, Koide said, “Despite demonetization and the implementation of the new tax regime, the digital market is going strong. No doubt, it has left a great impact on the industry as a whole and even on the sales but it has recovered quickly and will continue to grow. Compared to the global scenario, the Indian digital printing market is growing faster. Our Bizhub Press C71cf, a roll-to-roll label printer, launched during LabelExpo India, is also very popular in the market. Overall, we see a good digital growth.”

Going ahead, Konica Minolta plans to soon bring in a new machine to India. The Accurio Jet KM-1 is a 29-inch sheet-fed UV inkjet press that is all set to make an Indian entry once the due procedures are complete. As per Koide, “We are currently looking at promoting the all-new Accurio C6100 and C6085 in India. Others include bizhub C71hc and bizhub C71cf roll-to-roll label printers. We are aiming to achieve double-digit figures in the current fiscal.”

Manish Gupta, deputy general manager – PP & IP Marketing, Konica Minolta shared, “Apart from our excellent product portfolio, we also focus on training and services that we provide to our existing customers. We offer training regularly from 6 out of our 13 offices. These training sessions are held even at the customer location regularly. We believe that with good training, the customer can harness the optimum potential of the machine backed by the right maintenance of the machines.”

Referring to the challenges and market demand, Gupta stated, “India being a diverse country, the only challenge is to build solutions consistently. The other challenge is that of language issues. Apart from eastern India, where the demand is slightly less, Konica Minolta’s products are always in demand from the other regions of the country.”

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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