Ahmedabad’s Define Design installs Fujifilm Acuity LED 3200R UV inkjet

Robust demand for high quality LED UV inkjet for interiors

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Dignesh Manubhai Khatri and Vishal Navinbhai Shah of Define Design
Dignesh Manubhai Khatri and Vishal Navinbhai Shah of Define Design

Ahmedabad-based Define Design is one of the city’s leading printers of stretchable ceilings, wallpapers and backlit signage and displays. It supplies signage and interior decor materials to hotels, restaurants, showrooms, corporate offices and residences in all the major cities of Gujarat as well as Mumbai, Hyderabad and Indore. The company recently installed a superwide Fujifilm Acuity LED 3200R UV inkjet roll to roll printer.

“Before zeroing in on the Fujifilm Acuity LED 3200R, we were outsourcing our work to another printer. However, with rising volumes we could not continue to rely on the third-party printer anymore and decided to start our own in-house printing operations. We commissioned the Fujilfilm Acuity LED UV printer six months ago,” says Vishal Navinbhai Shah of Define Design.

Shah says that from the very start he had decided not to go for a Chinese brand but rather for a known global solutions provider. “We had the option to opt for a far more economical printer from China, but we consciously decided to buy Fujifilm’s UV LED technology. This is not only because Fujifilm is a world class brand but also because they have a great after-sale support in India and they deal directly with customers instead of relying on a distributor. This gave us a lot of confidence,” Shah adds.

Stretchable ceiling printed by Define Design at Ahmedabad’s Jalpaan restaurant
Stretchable ceiling printed by Define Design at Ahmedabad’s Jalpaan restaurant

At present Define Design prints about 1,000 square feet of material every day on the new Fujifilm Acuity LED 3200R at very high resolutions using the printer’s eight channels for maximum quality. Offering a maximum print width of 3.2 meters, the Acuity LED 3200R was shown for the first time at drupa 2016 in Dusseldorf. LED UV generates much less heat and consumes far less energy than other UV curing systems.

With a top speed of 110 square meters per hour for CYMK printing, the Acuity LED 3200R features eight ink channels as standard, including cyan, magenta, yellow, black, light cyan, light magenta, white and clear inks. Fujifilm’s Uvijet inks are used to reproduce a wide range of colors. The Acuity LED 3200R allows media rolls weighing up to 100 kilograms and can handle the printing of two rolls simultaneously, boosting productivity as two different images can be printed at the same time.

Working to increase awareness of UV technology

Despite the apparent advantages of UV technology vis-à-vis conventional printing technologies, awareness about the technology is still not widespread in the Gujarat market. Shah says Define Design is working very closely with the industry to spread awareness about various advantages of the technology such as its environment-friendly nature and higher print quality.

“Our main customers are interior designers who further service high-end hotels, restaurants, showrooms, corporate offices and residences. For such customers price is not the defining parameter; for them quality is the most important criteria and consideration. However, we still interact regularly with other segments of customers and educate them about UV technology and its benefits. We have already seen a robust increase in demand for UV and are very hopeful in the coming few years that demand will increase further,” Shah says.

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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