Replika installs Canon VarioPrint i300 inkjet press

First installation in India for Canon’s sheetfed inkjet digital press

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L to R Sanandan Seth, director Replika Bhuvnesh Seth, managing director, Replika Press, Puneet Datta, senior director, Canon India and Vikaran Seth, director, Replika Press Photo Canon India
L to R Sanandan Seth, director Replika, Bhuvnesh Seth, managing director, Replika Press, Puneet Datta, senior director, Canon India and Vikaran Seth, director, Replika Press Photo Canon India

On 22 September 2020 Canon India and Replika Press announced the B3 VarioPrint i300 installation at Replika’s Kundli plant just north of Delhi. Replika, a well-known book printer, and book printing exporter becomes the first to run the Canon sheetfed inkjet color digital press in the country.

Specialized in book printing and high-end commercial print production, digital printing, and a separate plant for packaging, Replika has generally been an early adopter of technology. Apart from its automated offset and binding equipment, it has run several digital presses. Many of the leading global book publishers with a strong presence in the country have been encouraging book printers and exporters to invest in the latest digital printing technologies.

Speaking about the installation, Kazutada Kobayashi, president and CEO of Canon India, said, “Innovation and customer delight remains integral to every offering we bring forth at Canon. Staying true to this commitment, we have been addressing diverse market expectations of the professional printing industry through our product portfolio. With the first installation of our latest marvel VarioPrint i300 in the country, we aim to strengthen our foothold in the print industry further and achieve new milestones. We are proud to be instrumental in empowering publishers with innovations that will help their productivity goals and be future-ready in these unprecedented times as well.”

The future of book printing is digital inkjet

Bhuvnesh Seth, managing director of Replika, said, “We have always invested in future-ready technologies and solutions, and for our customers and us, the future is digital inkjet. The VarioPrint i300 brings us the ability to enhance our book publishing offerings and also enables us to explore new markets outside of that industry. The solution is well-equipped to meet the advancing prerequisites of publishers, empowering higher and faster production volumes on the majority of offset stocks and uncoated media without compromising quality. We have always trusted Canon as our technology partner to bring such cutting edge solutions for our customers and our decade old association with the company is a testimony to our faith.”

The book publishing segment has witnessed several challenges in changing market demands. Combining new inkjet innovation and high-speed sheetfed color, Canon has introduced the VarioPrint i300 to help meet the publishing industry’s evolving needs. The Canon VarioPrint was also featured as a book production press at the Hunkeler Innovation Days in February 2019 in Lucerne.

Expressing his views, Puneet Datta, senior director, Canon India, said, “Replika Press has been one of our trusted partners in the country, having multiple digital printing solutions installed. We are proud to state that Replika depends 100% on Canon for all their digital printing requirements. We are pleased to continue our association with them and play a critical role in their vision for supporting the publishing industry. As pioneers of inkjet technology, we have fostered the publishing industry’s growth by offering innovative solutions across the globe. Bolstering our footprint in India, our first installation of VarioPrint i300 is a testament of our commitment to delighting our customers and is extremely strategic to us for our growth in the publishing segment.”

He further adds, “The VarioPrint i300 series has by now become the benchmark within this category for the whole industry with more than 250 installs globally, and users are so impressed with the technology that more than 20% of the customer base has invested in an additional device. Customers can get a good return on investment by shifting more of their offset volumes to sheetfed inkjet printing solutions, benefiting from reduced wastage and shorter time to produce and ship.”

The Canon VarioPrint i300 is a highly productive inkjet engine capable of printing full-color B3 Size sheets with superior near offset quality on uncoated and offset coated papers. With the VarioPrint i300 series, one can increase productivity by printing more than 4 to 6 million A4 pages a month using aqueous-based inks with sharp and vivid color quality.

Canon says the VarioPrint i300 features optimized print quality at a perceived 1200 x 1200 dpi via inkjet drop size control. The print head nozzle monitoring and automatic failure compensation on the press are built to maintain color quality consistently on a wide range of media, including woodfree, inkjet treated, offset uncoated and offset coated stocks. Standard sheets, tabs, and NCR media are supported as well.

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.

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– Naresh Khanna

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