CGSASP’s finishing solutions at CEIF 2019

Luxury and lay-flat photobook solutions

Vpaper Tower exhibited at the CGSASP stand at CEIF 2019

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.”

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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