An offset plate designed for CtCP from Kapoor Imaging

UV-PH CtCP plate: A first for the print industry

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Chennai-headquartered Kapoor Imaging is a major importer and reseller of offset plates under its Topaz brand. With the ending of the anti-dumping duty on the import of offset plates on 3 June 2018, the company is planning to source and introduce a high-sensitivity plate. The product will specifically aim at the high growth CtCP output devices segment.

The company says that its Topaz UV-PH CtCP plate to be launched in Q4 of 2018 will be a first for the print industry in the country. And being more sensitive to UV lasers, it will be 20% faster; while at the same time it will have the capability of rendering fine dots at high resolutions – from 1% to 99% even at 175 lines per inch (LPI).

The improved sensitivity of the Kapoor Topaz CtCP plate should mean better turnaround times and improved productivity for prepress bureaus and trade shops. For printers the benefit of these plates, apart from the quality angle, is of improved run-lengths of 100,000 to 125,000 impressions using normal inks without having to bake the plates. The company says that the plates is usable with UV inks as well; however, it will then only be able to perform short runs within 5,000 impressions without baking.

High performance plates for the newspaper segment

It is possible to bake the same CtCP plates; however, they are claimed to then be capable of running above 200,000 impressions with normal inks and 50,000 impressions when used with UV inks. The emulsion layer and coating of the Topaz UV-PH plates are blue in color similar to many thermal plates. Apparently, they also deliver quality and performance that approaches thermal CtP offset plates. The company is also ready to provide a quality developer that will make processor cleaning easier.

Kapoor Imaging recently launched its 2-layer thermal TPU plates that can deliver up to 50,000 impressions unbaked even with the use of UV inks. This plate has been qualified for all thermal CtP output devices.

The Chennai-based importer and soon to be manufacturer of its own plates is also launching a Chem-Free Violet plate. This PPVG (which should save considerable amounts of chemistry and water used for processing) is aims at the newspaper segment for medium-length runs from 100,000 to 125,000 impressions.

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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