Second edition of Screen Print Sri Lanka expo concludes with good response

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The second edition of Screen Print, Sri Lanka expo (22-24 June 2018) concluded at Sri Lanka Exhibition and Convention Centre (SLECC) in Colombo. Sri Lanka being an emerging market, the exhibition received a good response.

The exhibition had more than 40 stands representing over 200 global brands. The products and services on display were related to screen printing, textile printing, sublimation printing and digital printing and signage. Besides Sri Lanka, products and services from India, China, Japan, Thailand, S. Korea, France, Germany, Turkey, Taiwan and USA were also on display.

Some of the leading textile printers in Sri Lanka visiting the event called it a great platform for exploring new technologies and see live demonstrations of different garment decoration techniques, traditional screen printing, new-age DTG, heat transfer vinyl films, sequin and stone motif machines, sublimation printing, textile embossing and tagless label printing by pad printing process.

For the Indian exhibitors such as Skyscreen, Lakshmi Bio Chem, TechNova (exhibited through local dealer), Hi-Tech Marketing, Chola Heat Press Machines (exhibited through local dealer), and Varsha Transprint, the exhibition provided an opportunity to display their export capabilities.

For the first time, Mumbai-based Skyscreen showcased its WTS Automatic Sequin Motif machine with constant live demo. The company also had on display Stahls’ heat press and heat transfer vinyl films and the live demonstration of the GCC cutting plotter.

TechNova showcased its range of prepress products such as positive output films, HP inkjet film printing machine, screen making chemicals, etc. through its local distributor Be Es En Traders. “This was our first ever screen printing exhibition in Sri Lanka. We participated in this expo to expand our presence in Sri Lanka’s screen printing market as we already have a strong presence in offset printing industry,” shared Pravin Jha, deputy general manager – Sales, TechNova Imaging Systems, Mumbai.

Surat-based Hi-Tech Marketing, manufacturer of sublimation paper, was another Make in India brand which participated in the event. “Sri Lanka being one of the growing hub of garment/textiles, by participating in this expo, we tried to boost our market presence and we received well-focused visitors,” said Amit Jha, business head of Hi-Tech Marketing.

“Sri Lanka is an important market for us, and being a manufacturer of a wide range of textile printing inks, the expo gave us a platform to showcase Make in India products in the overseas market and we received many new business leads,” said V Prakash, director of Lakshmi Bio Chem, Tirupur.

As a value addition to the exhibition, a series of technical seminars were conducted. The seminars on textile printing vis-a-vis garment decoration were conducted by Charlie Taublieb, Taublieb Consulting, USA, who is an international textile screen printing expert, a board member of ASDPT and a member of SGIA. On the other hand, Charles Arputhaswamy, a screen printing consultant and a printing technologist, conducted a series of seminars on advanced screen printing with special focus on screen making and industrial printing.

In addition, the Charlie’s Corner, a separate hands-on training lounge, witnessed a big rush of knowledge seeking visitors who wanted to learn the art of textile screen printing from Taublieb.

Taublieb demonstrated T-shirt printing on the 6-color M&R manual carousal textile screen printing machine. “I am quite happy to see the enthusiasm of the Sri Lankan printers who asked some sensible questions during my technical seminars. The growing Sri Lankan garment printing market certainly needs knowledge upgradation,” said Taublieb while commenting on the Sri Lankan textile market. The Charlie’s Corner was supported by Inkuin, a Turkey-based textile screen printing ink manufacturer.

The exhibition was supported by Screenprinting and Graphics Imaging Association of India (SGAI), INGRIN Institute of Printing and Graphics, Colombo, and South India Printers’ Association (SIPA). The 3-day exhibition was inaugurated on 22 June 2018 by Ranjit Fernando, president of Sri Lanka Association of Printers (SLAP), along with Ananda Wickremaratne, managing director and chief executive officer of INGRIN and the board members of SGAI, Taublieb, and other invited guests and exhibitors.

“The technical seminars being organized on the sidelines of the expo were really beneficial to the printers at large,” said Fernado.

Commenting on the exhibition, Wickremaratne said, “It is appreciable that an Indian exhibition organizer (Aditya Exposition) has well thought of organizing a trade exhibition related to screen and textile printing for the second time in Sri Lanka. Such exclusive screen printing exhibitions were never held in Sri Lanka.”

Devang Sheth, director of Aditya Exposition concluded saying, “The expo was also an opportunity for some of the Indian exhibitors to proudly showcase Make in India products in an overseas market. Many of the exhibitors said that they received focused visitors’ footfall, rather than overcrowding. They said that they could spend a lot of time with potential customers. Most of the overseas exhibitors were very optimistic about the Sri Lankan market and wish to expand their presence in the island nation.”

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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