Dina Color Lab set to transform India’s print industry

Southeast Asia gets its first AccurioJet KM-1

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R-L: Kuldeep Malhotra (vice president at KM), Daisuke Mori (managing director at KM), Dinakaran, Dina Color Lab, Vasudevan-regional sales manager at KM, Manish Gupta national narketing manager, KM
R-L: Kuldeep Malhotra (vice president at KM), Daisuke Mori (managing director at KM), Dinakaran, Dina Color Lab, Vasudevan-regional sales manager at KM, Manish Gupta national narketing manager, KM

Established in 1991, Dina Color Lab is a partnership firm dealing in all kinds of photo printing, binding, book printing and short-run packaging jobs. Based out of Chennai’s Triplicane area, which is the major printing hub of the city, the company has seven branches located mostly in the southern part of India.

On 31 May 2018, Dina held an inaugural ceremony to mark the first ever India installation of Konica Minolta’s inkjet press, AccurioJet KM-1. The press is also the first installation in the whole of the Southeast Asian region.

The AccurioJet KM-1 comes with a B2+ sheetfed inkjet press, bundled with Konica Minolta’s patented UV inkjet technology. With a printing speed of 3000 sheets per hour in simplex mode and 1500 sheets per hour in duplex mode, the press completely eliminates the need to use special digital stocks or expensive coatings. It can handle a wide range of substrates and is extremely consistent when it comes to paper feeding, image quality, registration and repeatability through excellent front-back registration accuracy, enabled by a gripper-to-gripper offset technology.

Speaking to Indian Printer and Publisher during the inaugural ceremony of the AccurioJet KM-1, Dinakaran of Dina Color Lab said, “In the printing industry, size of the press definitely matters. There’s a lot of advantage of the B2+ size as it gives us an unprecedented edge in the market. The UV inkjet technology makes a lot of difference to the end print quality, not just in offset but in a variety of applications like book printing, photo printing, etc. The press combines the speed and flexibility of offset presses with the digital benefits of variable data printing and zero make-ready. It is also ideal for variable data printing applications.”

Dinakaran does not see any competition as such in the market. “We are our own competitors and each time we strive to raise the bar we ourselves have set in the market. We have been the trendsetters in the industry and we only strive to get better by the day. With the installation of the AccurioJet KM-1, we are definitely setting a benchmark not only in India but in the entire Southeast Asian region,” he said.

Speaking about the installation, Daisuke Mori, managing director, Konica Minolta India said, “There is tremendous growth potential in India and considering the pace at which the industry in moving, the country is quickly nearing its vision of becoming a digital-first economy. At Konica Minolta, we are committed to empower our valued customers with the solutions they need to capitalize on the immense business opportunities that this country offers. The first India installation of the AccurioJet KM-1 at Dina Color Labs underlines that commitment.”

Mori also shared the end number of advantages that the new AccurioJet KM-1 offers in terms of high productivity with high-speed printing, automatic duplex printing with no drying time, wide color gamut (which covers the Japancolor ink gamut), high precision color matching technology, sharp text quality and natural gloss finish.

“We have immense trust in Konica Minolta and being one of the leaders in the photo printing segment, we thought this would be the best investment to enter the digital packaging segment too,” added Dinakaran.

In addition to the AccurioJet KM-1, Konica Minolta has also provided its web-to-print solution to Dina Color Lab to ensure round-the-clock availability to its customers through its additional communication channel.

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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