Fujifilm displays Acuity LED 3200R and 1600R among others

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Fujifilm
SM Ramprasad, assistant vice-president of Fujifilm India

At the recently concluded Media Expo, held at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, we at Indian Printer & Publisher met with SM Ramprasad, assistant vice-president of Fujifilm India. “Media Expo is a platform that provides an opportunity to interact with existing customers as well as generate queries for the printing solutions we offer. The platform has been immensly supportive in terms of new launches. Every time we attend the show, we bring along the latest solutions offered by us. These solutions are popular and we manage to display it to a larger segment of audience,” said Ramprasad. “Over the years, we have set the benchmark in the industry as far as UV printing is concerned. We started this journey almost 3 to 4 years ago. Now, almost every stand at the show is displaying and promoting UV technology. So, we at Fujifilm now look to raise the bar,” he added.

Primarily driven by solvents and eco-solvents, the market for sign and graphics has evolved with time. The industry is now shifting towards UV. There is a surge in demand for eco-friendly products in the market. “This is quite encouraging. In fact, people are now graduating from talking about UV to looking for better print media on which they are printing right now. Very few players now print on flex. They have moved to printing on fabrics, paper-based media or on boards, which signifies that the industry is moving in a good direction since there is growing consciousness towards a sustainable environment. Thanks to some of the state governments who are laying out strict norms on the use of PVC-based material. We’re extremely happy with this development as we have been talking about the ill effects of these practices for a long time now,” Ramprasad said.

Fujifilm showcased Acuity LED 3200R, a 3.4 m roll-to-roll UV printer. The press was launched recently and has already been installed at 8 to 9 different locations in the country. The machine is specially designed for the Indian market keeping in mind the emergence of environment-friendly fabric printing. Fujifilm also provides a soft media kit along with the printer with instructions on printing on soft media.

“Most of the roller-based printers for roll-to-roll printing are not able to provide proper print on soft media because the media doesn’t have the grip. The soft media kit has an encoder-based sensing of the media movement to ease printing on soft media,” Ramprasad explained. Fujifilm also launched a compact version of the printer, the Acuity LED 1600R, a 60 inches roll-to-roll UV printer. The company also displayed its flagship product, the Acuity EY which has completed more than 50 installations. So far, Fujifilm has completed 100 UV printing unit installations in the country.

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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