Capital Graphics (CGSASP) offers customized solutions to the graphic arts and packaging industry apart from offering full-time technical support to the wide range of products it offers. At the recently concluded CEIF 2019 in Greater Noida, it exhibited three machines for finishing and photobook production at its stand. The first was the Unifoil Printer, a digital finishing machine that allows print shops to print names, logos and images in gold, silver or any color foil. Especially useful for bound volumes including photobooks, the machine enables customers to better personalize and premiumize their products. The solution was offered to photobook printers and commercial print shops to print foil in different colors and several machines were sold at the show itself.
The second machine on display was the Vpaper Tower for producing lay-flat photobooks with double-sided print. While most of the lay-flat solutions in the market are expensive and require single sided printed to be glued back-to-back, this machine makes softcover and hardcover lay-flat books from sheets that are printed on both sides using a special double creasing system. These books open fully and stay open.
For photobook producers the solution offered was much cheaper in comparison to others. “The Indian market has a huge potential in the wedding album segment. But, on the other hand, there is also a big market for the commercial printers who do more on-demand production with fewer quantities but more print work. They want to finish these print work on the higher end as they have a greater profit margin in finishing,” says Kunal Gandhi, director of Delhi-based CGSASP.
The third lay-flat machine for photobooks shown was also from Italy – from Marcello Strada. It is a very simple and practical machine with a single compressor motor that uses pre-gummed boards (adhesive removable boards) to which one-side printed sheets are fixed with precision. Marcello Strada himself was at the stand demonstrating the machine.
“In India, normal binding is more prevalent as compared to other forms. When the books are thicker, normal binding doesn’t help. The books do not open properly. The center-stitched books are still better in comparison to the ones which are glued. For books to lay-flat some amount of creasing is required. That is possible with the machines that we offer. The lay-flat market is growing in India because now people are becoming aware about this technology,” adds Gandhi.
“The print quantities are increasing day-by-day. The demand for more printed work in a short span of time is increasing. In addition to these factors, the cost of manpower is increasing and all these factors are playing a vital role in automating processes. “These factors will sooner or later compel print shops to adopt automated solutions because profitability will take a hit if one remains rigid in the longer run. Also, there is a heaven and hell difference between the work done by a machine as compared to that done manually. There won’t be any consistency in the job if automation isn’t adopted. For example, if one produces 500 books and all the books don’t have the same finish, the entire stock would be rejected. Today, quality has become the key and, hence, automation is inevitable,” he says.
Even though the lay-flat technology is fast growing in the country, there are still many who have no knowledge about it. There is a need for companies offering this technology to introduce it to the market on a wider scale. “There is a need to market this technology well. This is not known to people now and we cannot expect random people walking by our stand to stop and ask us about it. We need to educate the market about lay-flat books. This machine adds value to the print work. Generally, value-addition needs a lot of knowledge to be shared. At the same time, all those who came to know about this technology are looking for ways to integrate it at their workspace,” Gandhi concludes.
Also at the stand was Gabriele Spano, a photographer who has built up the I Nobili studio in Italy which fabricates luxury packaging for photobooks. These are the ultimate in cases, valises and boxes with handles for the preservation, storage and display of memorabilia and luxuriously bound photobooks. Speaking of his desire to spend more time in India to understand its culture and the need to create new luxury products, Spano says, “We believe that beauty will save the world and we hope to contribute.”