Fujifilm wins sustainability award for its process-less printing plate

19th Green & Sustainable Chemistry Awards

Fujifilm thermal CtP printing plate

Kenji Sukeno, president Fujifilm Corporation announced that it won the 19th Green and Sustainable Chemistry (GSC) Awards, awarded by the minister of the Economy, Trade and Industry, organized by the Japan Association for Chemical Innovation, for the development of the completely process-less printing plate for the newspaper, Superia ZN-II.

The award was granted in recognition of Fujifilm’s development of the completely process-less printing plate for the newspaper, which has eliminated the use of chemicals, water, and electricity, liquid waste in the development process. At the same time, this has substantially reduced the need for packaging materials, thereby contributing to mitigating the environmental impact, one of the tasks for the newspaper printing industry. The GSC Awards are extended to businesses and individuals for their contribution to promoting green and sustainable chemistry (chemistry that is kind to people and the environment and supports the development of sustainable society).

Newspaper production involves using a laser to output electronic data onto printing plates and setting the plates on a newspaper press to print. In this procedure, CTP plates are used as printing plates. In Japan, some 50 million copies of newspapers are circulated every day, and all of them are printed on offset presses using CTP plates. Conventional CTP plates must undergo the development process using a processor, in which data is output to prepare printing plates. This process poses an environmental challenge, as it requires harsh alkaline chemicals, water, and electricity, and generates liquid waste associated with the use of chemicals. Fujifilm has worked on developing a new type of CTP plate that does not require the development process, in an effort to achieve newspaper printing with a lower environmental impact.

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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