Fujifilm India’s UV Star Studio showcases innovative applications at Media Expo 2018

fujifilm india
Pradipta Chowdhury

With UV-based printing technology gaining traction owing to its eco-friendly nature and flexibility to print on varied media, Fujifilm India has come up with UV Star Studio to showcase innovative applications of UV printing at their stand at Media Expo 2018.

Fujifilm India’s journey with UV printers started four years back. The company has made around 70 installations in the last two years for its UV-based printers. Pradipta Chowdhury, manager sales, Graphic Arts Division, Fujifilm India, states, “We have displayed our products through product samples in this exhibition. We have created our stand to reflect our UV Star Studio, so that printers can have a look at the samples and understand the endless possibilities of UV printing. We have also created the same studio-like feel at our demo center located in Dahisar, Mumbai.”

The strategy for marketing of the UV machines in wide format is slightly different at Fujifilm. Chowdhury states, “Solvent is recognized for printing flex and eco-solvent for vinyl but UV printers are application-based printers, where we need to show how better print quality can be achieved on fabric and backlit fabrics, flex for billboard, sunboard and acrylic. Thus, we have created a studio in our demo center to give our customers a sense of what our machines can do.”

Simon Nuvoletta, product manager for wide format division, Fujifilm Global Graphic Systems, says, “Our focus is on high-end printing market for our wide-format UV printers. We are growing at a slow pace but soon will see a surge. Applications of UV are yet to be known and once the printers are equipped with the same, UV-based technology will experience a boost.”

Chowdhury, speaking on the recent installations, states, “We have more than 50 installations in the last three years. Our adoption rate of UV printers has seen a great surge. Also, we have seen that quality-conscious printers generally chose our product, as the quality that our product is able to generate cannot be achieved easily with other printers. We at Fujifilm manufacture printers for our quality inks and not vice versa like our competition. Our premium-quality inks help printers to obtain better results and our customers are satisfied using our inks only.”

Chowdhury believes that price-conscious printers will also shift towards UV options. He futher elaborates, “The scenario is changing slowly and printers will soon shift to UV printers in the coming years. The adoption has just started, as UV is a highly eco-friendly printer. We believe that in two years we will see that most of the printing jobs will be done on UV-based systems rather than solvent and eco-solvent, as it can print on rigid as well as other media.”

Green solutions
Fujifilm has obtained UL Greenguard Certification (Gold), one of the most stringent scientifically-proven certification criteria for indoor air pollution. This makes Fujifilm’s printers and inks safe. Also, the printed surfaces can be safely installed in schools and healthcare environments.

Interestingly, solvent-based printing technologies are banned in some countries and in India too, it is in the process. Chowdhury says, “Soon UV segment will experience a surge and corporates today relate to such an eco-friendly technology. The organizations are conscious about what they print.”

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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