Mumbai’s Digital Plus adds Canon imagePRESS C8000VP press

Catering to short-run print demand

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Karshan Sodha, owner of Digital Plus, with the Canon Imagepress C8000VP
Karshan Sodha, owner of Digital Plus, with the Canon Imagepress C8000VP. Photo IPP

Located in the industrial hub of Goregaon East, Digital Plus offers both digital and offset printing services to mainly corporate clients. In the last week of December, it commissioned a brand new Canon imagePRESS C8000VP high speed production printer. This is Digital Plus’ second Canon production press; it was already employing a Canon imagePRESS C800. In addition to the two digital presses, the print house also has a Komori 5-color offset press.

“We had to go for our second production printer because of the rising demand for short-run print work. Digital Plus deals mostly with corporates, who are now demanding a variety of short-run print solutions at a faster pace than ever,” says Karshan Sodha, owner of Digital Plus.

Digital Plus was established in 2011 as a digital print house but added a pre-owned Komori Lithrone LS529 offset press in 2015 to become a full-fledged commercial printer offering both digital and offset printing services. At present, digital and offset contribute equally to the company’s topline. Digital Plus prints brochures, flyers, visiting cards, booklets, certificates and other types of promotional items. It operates out of two units in Laghu Udyog Kendra near Goregaon railway station and in addition to a solid press department also has a fully equipped finishing section.

The print house managed to print 30,000 impressions on the Imagepress C8000VP in the first week of operations and is now planning to significantly scale up print volumes in the coming weeks.

“We commissioned the imagePRESS C8000VP on 24 December and managed to print 30,000 impressions in one week. Our target is to print 300,000 impressions every month on the new Canon press,” adds Sodha.

The imagePRESS C8000VP has a maximum speed of 80 ppm and offers an optimum productivity across an extensive media range up to 350 gsm. The press is equipped with a dual fixing unit with enhanced cooling capability, while an external heat belt ensures stable fixing performance at high speed. It comes with 2400 x 2400 dpi resolution and an in-line spectroscopic sensor and new multi-density adjustment technology, which delivers real-time color calibration to ensure consistent quality.

For Sodha, the main highlights of the press are 80 ppm high speed, high print quality and ability to handle 350 gsm media. “We have been very satisfied with the printing solutions offered by Canon,” he adds.

The year 2019 looks promising

After somewhat of a slow 2018 for Digital Plus due to slowdown in the real estate sector, its main customer base, the new year is likely to be a better one. Sodha expects the year 2019 to be a promising one for commercial printing because of recovery in the economic activity and also due to upcoming general elections.

“A much clearer picture will emerge in a month of two, but my assessment is that this year will be a good year for us due to expected recovery in the real estate sector and also due to 2019 general elections. These factors will drive demand for commercial printing work going forward,” he concludes.

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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