Esko Kongsberg X helps Inndus Cards and Gifts expand product range

Leading printer moves beyond sample making with new in-house serial production

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Esko
A variety of intricate shapes produced on Inndus’ Esko Kongsberg X table 

Growing Mumbai-based digital printing business Inndus Cards & Gifts has expanded its offering with the latest Esko Kongsberg digital finishing technology to enable the company to move into in-house serial production business servicing corporate customers in the financial services, hospitality, information technology, and eCommerce sectors. The company prints, manufactures, and supplies a variety of printed and fabricated items such as paper bags, presentation folders, sun board POS cut-outs, boxes and stickers. As part of ambitious growth plans, Inndus purchased and installed an Esko Kongsberg X cutting table to extend its product range capabilities.

“The main reason for buying the Esko cutting and creasing table was that we wanted to increase the variety of products we were producing, by leveraging our expertise in the digital printing business,” said Shailesh Sharma, founder and managing director of Inndus Cards & Gifts. “Since we do a lot of work where the quantities of specially-shaped and fabricated products range from just 10 through to 300 finished units, we wanted a technology that would help us bypass the conventional die-punching process. The digitally-driven Esko sample-maker made perfect sense.”

Inndus currently uses its Xerox Versant 80 and IGen 4 presses for digital printing for short-run and personalized products and has other wide format and flatbed inkjet printers for larger products. Before the commissioning of the Esko Kongsberg X table, Inndus was using a Chinese-manufactured table for sample making but not production, not even for its short run work.

“When we decided to go beyond just sample making and into in-house serial production, we opted for Esko,” said Sharma. “Esko are pioneers in this field, with a fantastic and powerful support system in India which we really appreciate.”

The key to premiumization

Sharma asserts that the most significant advantage the Esko solution offers is that it helps printers add a great deal of value to their products, which in turn gives them the confidence to charge a premium for their products. “The fact that the precision of the Esko table helps us to make our products look different and better from the other run-of-the-mill products on the market is what gives us confidence. If you fully and optimally utilize the Esko table, you can do wonders with it,” Sharma added. For its print and fabrication work, Inndus is mainly processing sun board, kappa board, paper, PVC, and rigid sheets. The print shop is currently running the Esko Kongsberg X for about eight hours every day.

Sharma thinks that investing in an Esko Kongsberg table is critical for any printer who has multiple digital printing machines and produces short run products that require creasing, folding and cutting in unique shapes. He argues that a robust finishing department is an essential ingredient for a printer’s success. “In my opinion, a digital printer who has two or three presses should invest in a Kongsberg table instead of going for another press. The Esko Kongsberg X will turn out to be a better revenue generator. Also, it is always easy to outsource printing jobs but very hard to outsource finishing jobs. A robust in-house finishing department gives you control over both quality and your delivery schedule,” he says.

However, Sharma cautions that in order to fully exploit Esko digital finishing solutions, a printer should have an excellent design department. “For the Esko table to work like a charm, you need to have a strong design team as well!” he 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.

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