What’s next after the first installation at Dina Digital?

The Konica Minolta AccurioJet KM1 in India

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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 marketing 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 marketing manager, KM (file photo)

The Konica Minolta B2+ sheetfed inkjet press known as the AccurioJet KM1 was installed at Dina Digital in Chennai just a couple of months ago and is now in stable production. Although Dina Digital is a company that provides a variety of commercial and photo printing services with 40 outlets of its own across Tamil Nadu, it is now exploring several new markets that have been opened up by the new B2+ size inkjet press.

The B2+ (585 x 750 mm) size of the AccurioJet KM1 means that it can handle sheets 53 to 55 mm bigger than the other B2 digital presses available from other manufacturers. “This gives it the flexibility to print up to 6-up letter size pages on larger sheets which can lead to a wide variety of commercial print possibilities. Advertising collateral with gatefolds and full color books in a range of finished sizes can be printed productively. The press works on all kinds of untreated papers without the use of any primer or coating of the paper,” says Kuldeep Malhotra, Konica Minolta India’s vice president of sales who has brought the company to a leadership position in the country.

The Accurio UV inkjet press has also been tried by Dina Digital for trials of short run FMCG packaging. By reaching out to leading packaging printers in the region, the company is quite ready to support them for their rapid prototyping and short run carton printing needs. The next step is to conduct trials for cartons printed on paperboard laminated with metallized polyester. Logically, this should work quite well since the AccurioJet uses UV cured inks. Textured surfaces are also not a problem for the press and non-tearable materials can also be printed.

Konica Minolta has already installed around 75 AccurioJet KM1 presses around the world, including a significant number in China. The company has tied up with Alwan systems and uses Alwan’s ink savings software on the press along with its own built-in color quality controls. Konica Minolta India is fully supporting the first installation with its own trained engineer stationed in Chennai  and with the logistics support for consumable and inks.

Konica Minolta has its own inkjet technology used for a variety of applications like textile, signage and graphic applications. There is already a good expertise within the group on inkjet technology. Besides AccurioJet KM1, customers use Konica Minolta inkjet technology in digital textile printing also. Nevertheless, the company is both observing the press in action and showing it to potential customers and collecting feedback.

Malhotra adds, “There is considerable interest in AccurioJet KM1 press amongst commercial, packaging and digital printers in the country and seeing it in daily action in the premises of a local printers is far more convincing that seeing it in an exhibition. It compels printers to think of the benefits to their own market and to do the maths for such an investment together with the recurring costs.” Nevertheless, even while the technology is being proved in local conditions, Konica Minolta India is conservative about the additional installations of the KM1 that it expects within this financial year.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

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As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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