Orange O Tec at Gartex Texprocess 2019

Digital textile printing to pick up in future

Aayush Rathi, director, Orange O Tec at Gartex 2019. Photo IPP

Orange O Tec, a Surat-based distributor of digital and dye sublimation textile inkjet printing machinery by MS and Colorix (an Orange brand), displayed MS JP2 dye sublimation printer, Colorix Fab Pro II direct-to-textile digital printer, and Sub Pro I, a dye sublimation printer at Gartex Texprocess 2019.

The dye sublimation printer by MS can print up to 1800 meters per day and uses 4 printheads and 8 channels. The machine features double CMYK arrays and is suitable for transfer paper printing and feeding paper system. The Fab Pro II direct-to-textile digital printer features a production speed of 150 meters per hour, 8 printheads, dual row printhead alignment, tension adjustable system and anti-scratch printed protection design. The Sub Pro I dye sublimation printer can print at 180 meters per hour with 2 to 4 printheads. The machine can run up to 1000 meters non-stop and has 4 to 8 color configuration and auto paper detect sensor.

Aayush Rathi, director, Orange O Tec said, “We have more than 140 installations of MS textile printers in India and over 1000 installations globally. The MS printing machines are high speed machines with productivity of 4000 meters per day.”

Rathi explained that Colorix is targeted at entry-level customers who want to foray into the digital textile printing segment with productivity of 1000 to 2000 meters per day. “We follow the Kyocera technology in all of our machines; it produces the best results in terms of sharpness,” he said.

Speaking about the company, Rathi said, “We started off by selling conventional printing dyes to printing houses. Today, we are working our way to digital and we have recently launched Mini Lario digital printing machine with productivity of 12,000 meters a day, similar to a rotary machine.”

Sharing his viewpoint on the digital textile printing industry in India, Rathi said that as of now, the industry is less than 1% of the total textile printing market. “In Surat there are 300 process houses and each house produces 100,000 meters a day in average, which means Surat produces 3 crore meters a day and the rest of the process houses in the country produce around 6 crore meters a day. Now in digital, the production is around 30 lakh meters a day including dye sumblimation, which amounts to 1% of the textile printing industry,” Rathi remarked.

According to him, customers are looking for high speed and productivity in new machines. They are still adapting to the new technology in digital. “There is no choice apart from digital if they want high productivity; conventional is simply not built to serve that purpose,” 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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