World’s first super-wide Acuity Ultra installation

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UK Creative production business, Echo House, has become the first company in the world to invest in Fujifilm’s new, high-quality, high-productivity super-wide printer. With the sale confirmed at FESPA 2018, the machine was installed and began operation at Echo House’s premises in Surbiton, Surrey in June.

“We are a design-led business aiming to push the boundaries for our clients,” says Peter Onyskiw, technical director at Echo House. “Specializing in every aspect of the creative production process, from design through to fulfilment and installation, our extensive knowledge and experience within the Luxury Goods Retail Market, world-renowned museums, and the exhibitions sector, allows us to achieve the highest standards, no matter what the challenge.

“We have always invested in state-of-the-art technologies to operate alongside our creative design and experienced project management teams. We offer the complete spectrum of in-house production facilities, from the finest large format print to stunning multi-media fabrication and cutting-edge, large and small format 3D printing.

“We see the Fujifilm Acuity Ultra as the perfect new cutting-edge addition to Echo House,” Onyskiw adds. “It will sit alongside our current specialist print technology to continue offering our clients the finest quality production.”

Available in either 3.2 or 5 m widths, and capable of delivering exceptional quality, the Acuity Ultra makes the production of high-end graphics much more profitable than ever previously possible. With a 3.5 pl drop size ensuring the highest possible quality – comparable with litho and leading water-based ink systems – the machine is ideal for the high-end, indoor display market, especially for luxury brands. Furthermore, the format size, multi-roll potential and impressive speed give it the ability to print these high-value applications quickly and efficiently.

According to Kevin Rhodes, marketing applications manager, Fujifilm Speciality Ink Systems, “Echo House has been a valued customer of Fujifilm for a number of years and we’re delighted now to be providing them with a solution to take their large format graphics production up yet another level. With the ability to print at production speeds in excess of 200 m2 per hour at a 3.5 pl drop size, the Acuity Ultra is set to revolutionize the large format, high-end interior graphics marketplace and we’re delighted that Echo House has been the first to recognise its tremendous potential.”

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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