Print Tech advances into the future of inkjet and print technologies

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Océ VarioPrint i300
Océ VarioPrint i300

Canon Solutions America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon  U.S.A., announced that Print Tech has installed the Océ VarioPrint i300 color digital inkjet press to help them close its gap between traditional offset work and the digital transformation taking place across the print industry. Print Tech’s newest investment was installed in late April; it has since produced good results for the company’s vast range of customers.

With over 48 years of industry experience, Print Tech is dedicated to providing its customers with results-driven solutions, best-in-class partnering, and an investment in state-of-the-art technology that produces industry-leading quality. Over the course of its history, Print Tech has evolved within the radically changing print industry;it has since grown to become one of  Pittsburgh’s  largest commercial printers by adopting new trends.

Part of that ability to maintain its leadership position in Western Pennsylvania is the company’s dedication to satisfy its customer’s unique needs. The print leader has a proven track record of providing quick and responsive service with a keen ability to stay at the forefront of what’s pushing the industry forward.

Achieving productivity goals while keeping it time and cost-effective

“We felt that by choosing the VarioPrint i300, we were collaborating with a true inkjet leader in Canon Solutions America; it could immediately help us consolidate and transfer much of our digital toner and offset work to the new inkjet press,” said  Rick Baker, chief operating officer at Print Tech. “Despite not being your typical inkjet customer – we do some variable, some static, and other various jobs – we knew with the i300 that we could effectively achieve one of our main productivity goals: close the gap between traditional offset and digital production print work.”

By extending the cross over point for digital print versus offset and helping Print Tech migrate more pages to digital print, the Océ VarioPrint i300 has already helped Baker and his team experience cost-savings as it pertains to running both monochrome and color print jobs on one press. The inkjet press is also helping Print Tech handle its increased demand for longer runs and book manuals by combining black-and-white and color on one platform; simultaneously, it is increasing efficiencies by saving manual time and labor required when working with offset equipment.

“From a time-savings, manual application, and production perspective, the VarioPrint i300 has made an immediate impact,” added Baker. “The multi manual step process was quite expensive. However, with the i300 we have an end-to-end solution that has also vastly quickened our time to market capabilities. Comprehensive jobs that were taking us two-three weeks to complete now take three-four days.”

Foraying into new markets with new possibilities

Since its installation, the i300 has also helped enable Print Tech to compete in new markets; an aim that the company did’t originally pursue. Specifically, with mid-range print jobs, Print Tech has confirmed it can now win jobs with its advanced technologies. Adding to that, the i300 has provided Print Tech with increased flexibility, expanded application offerings, and robust inkjet versatility.

What’s helped justify the acquisition even more for Baker and Print Tech has been the use of PRISMAprepare, a workflow solution that’s worked seamlessly with the i300. The all-in-one document preparation software has helped simplify the document make-ready process for Print Tech from the composition portion through to print production. According to Baker, the PRISMA solution has been seamless and helped streamline the document preparation and prepress workflow.

“The optimized color quality and consistency and simplified pre-press workflow option have helped us continue to meet tight deadlines. It has also added to our dedication to provide unwavering service for our valued and expanding customer-base,” said Baker. “We look forward to our future with the i300. Also, we are curious to know how it will help us expand with inkjet and production print.”

“We are certainly proud to have Print Tech as a customer as they begin their own journey as a commercial printer adopting this great inkjet technology,” said  Francis McMahon, executive vice president, Production Print Solutions, Canon Solutions America. “It always excites us to see long-time customers expand their relationship with us; meanwhile, embrace new inkjet technologies that can help transform their future in business.”

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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