Pune’s Inkfish Creations gets into digital commercial printing

New Canon imagePress C710 installed in early October

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Inkfish Creations
Pune's Inkfish has installed its first digital production printer for commercial print, A Canon imagePress C710

Pune-based Inkfish Creations has diversified into digital commercial printing with a brand-new Canon imagePRESS C710 digital production printer. The company was till now specializing in wide-format signage printing, which started in 2013. The Canon press was installed in early October and is expected to be fully commissioned within the week.

“This is our first digital production press. Before finalizing the deal, we saw a couple of brands and found the quality of the Canon press the best. The color consistency is excellent and the resolution is 2,400 dpi x 2,400 dpi,” says Usama Yaqub of Inkfish Creations. “Also, the training provided by the Canon India team during installation was excellent.”

The imagePRESS C710 can print at a speed of 70 pages per minute at what is claimed to be a resolution of 2,400 dpi x 2,400 dpi (and which we assume means 600 dpi in each color). It can handle a variety of paper stocks such as plain, heavy, coated and specialty, from A4 to 13X51-inch size. In addition to the EFI Fiery G250 kit, the printer also comes with the option of having an IPR kit for printers who want a more economical option. Inkfish has opted for the Fiery kit and a paper deck.

From outsourcing to in-house commercial print

Talking about the reason for expanding into the digital commercial print business, Yaqub said this was primarily to reduce the total reliance on the wide-format printing. “We started the wide format printing business in 2013 and earlier this year we thought it was time to branch out into another segment. We were already outsourcing digital commercial print jobs to third part printers. So, we decided why not bring the printing in-house,” he says.

Yaqub is optimistic that he will be able to print about 15,000 impressions every month once the press gets into full operation. Inkfish plans to print items such as visiting cards, invitation cards, brochures, and leaflets.

Business still sluggish

Like most printers across the country, Inkfish Creations was also shut during April and May. It was however doing some sporadic work related to the pharmaceutical and medical sectors. The business has picked up since June but is still sharply lower than what it was pre-lockdown.

“Wide-format printing market saw a steep decline during the lockdown. It has picked up in recent months but recovery is slow as customers are avoiding expenditure on promotion and advertising. Wide-format printing is expected to get back to normal only in the first quarter of the 2021 calendar year. However, with the new Canon imagePRESS C710 in operation I expect digital commercial printing business to augment business,” Yaqub concludes.

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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