Hitech Systems organizes seminar on lamination

Knowledge-sharing exercise

Amit Shah of Spectrum Scan

Mumbai-based Hitech Systems, organized a knowledge-sharing session on lamination process at the Sunville Banquets in central Mumbai business district of Worli on 7 June. The event focused on imparting knowledge to commercial offset printers, digital printers, book printers, photo album makers, binders and packaging printers.

In the opening session, Parag Shah of Hitech Systems talked about the solutions that the company offers. Hi-tech was established in 1989 and since 2007 it has emerged as a leading name in the short-run, on-demand and quick print finishing solutions business.

After the opening session, Ladislav Moc, managing director of Foliant, gave a presentation on the lamination process. Foliant is a Czech Republic based company that specializes in manufacturing lamination machines and is distributed in India by Hitech Systems.

Ladislav Moc, managing director of Foliant

Moc started his talk by citing a golden rule of lamination; that one should never buy or use a wider laminator than is really necessary. “It is valid for distributors as well,” he said. “They should never sell a wider laminator than what the customer requires.”

He informed the audience about lamination and technologies that compete with it, primarily UV varnishing. According to Moc, UV varnishing is only a partial competitor to lamination given that both technologies are competing only in a small segment of the market—in the surface finish of the medium class magazine cover sheets.

The major drawback of UV varnishing technology is that it is not certified for children’s books and magazines due to the presence of noxious compounds. On the other hand, polypropylene foil is certified even for contact with foodstuff, Moc said, adding that this makes it safe even for children.

Another difference that Moc pointed out that existed between the two technologies is that when the varnished sheets are creased or folded, the varnished coat develops a break and a white line appears on the sheet surface. But in case of a lamination, the sheet will remain intact even after it is bent or folded, he said.

Moc concluded his presentation by informing the audience about the various solutions that Foliant offers.

Value addition for further growth

In the final session of the evening, Amit Shah of Spectrum Scan argued that printers need to add value to the printed product in order to grow in today’s competitive environment. He said that value addition can happen in both the pre-printing and post-printing stages.

“We have to think of what we can do for our customers before the printing process and after the printing process. I feel post-printing value addition is the biggest differentiator,” Shah said.

In the pre-printing stage, printers can add value to the artwork, layout or by color correction. In the post-printing stage, Shah said, printers should explore ways to use scented inks, computer-controlled spot gluing, UV inks, specialty stocks, special effect coatings, UV curable gloss and dull coatings, metallic process color system, embossing, fluorescent inks, die-cutting and foil stamping.

“These are some of the exciting post-printing services that will add significant value to your printed products,” Shah said.

He also advised printers to visit global exhibitions to stay abreast with the latest technologies. “Visit exhibitions across the globe and get exposed to latest developments. Do not restrict yourself to just drupa,” he concluded.

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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