Mumbai’s General Photo Stores upgrades to Foliant Vega 400A laminating machine

The machine improves productivity

Hasnain Madraswala of General Photo Stores with the Foliant Vega 400A

Established in 1931, General Photo Stores in a prominent name in Mumbai’s photo lab business. Located on the busy Mohammad Ali Road in south Mumbai, General Photo Stores caters to the walk-in customers as well as corporates, who are mainly from the garments industry. Earlier this year, General Photo Stores bought a fully automatic laminating machine the Foliant Vega 400A. The laminating machine was supplied by Mumbai-based HiTech Systems.

Earlier, our lamenting process was done manually and therefore to remove the bottleneck in the post-printing department, we opted for the Foliant Vega 400A. Although the initial investment is on the higher side, there is significant saving in the running costs. We have been able to save on power, time and space. In addition, we have significantly improved our productivity,” says Hasnain Madraswala of General Photo Stores.

General Photo Stores derives a major chunk of its business from the garments industry to whom it offers a host of services. It has an in-house photo studio, an editing department and a printing and finishing department. With the addition of the Foliant Vega 400A, General Photo Stores has also been able to improve the quality of the prints, according to Madraswala.

HiTech Systems launched the Foliant Vega 400A during PrintPack 2019 in Greater Noida. The machine does high-speed thermal lamination with auto feeding and cutting. Due to its pneumatic high-pressure system (with integrated compressor inside the machine frame), the format and performance of the machine is suitable for all jobs – all kinds of digital printed sheets lamination and high volumes of offset printed sheets size B3+ lamination too. The machine’s maximum speed is up to 18 meters per minute, while its performance is over 2000 sheets per hour of B3 portrait (white paper 200 gsm).

General Photo Stores prints the photographs on a Konica Minolta C71hc, which it bought almost four years ago. It also has a Noritsu QSS 3201 printer for printing on photo papers.

Although the Foliant Vega 400A has helped us in saving our running cost and complements the Konica Minolta printers in terms of speed, the biggest benefit that we have derived is the improvement in print quality. All in all, we are very satisfied with the machine,” says Madraswala.

A new Konica Minolta in the offing

Having strengthened its finishing department earlier this year, General Photo Stores has now gone in for enhancing the capabilities of its printing department. By the end of December, it will replace its Konica Minolta C71hc with a C83hc.

The C71hc has served us for four years and now we are moving to C83hc mainly because of the photo printing quality of that press. We have already booked the order and the press should be installed by the end of the year,” Madraswala says.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital 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.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here