Real Graphics’ Konica Minolta AccurioPress 6120

Rising demand for monochrome digital print in Vapi

Sohil Daredia, owner of Real Graphics
Sohil Daredia, owner of Real Graphics

Vapi-based digital print service provider Real Graphics recently installed a brand-new Konica Minolta AccurioPress 6120 monochrome production press to cater to the rising demand for black and white printing. The press was installed in the second half of September.

“We expect to see a sharp rise in demand for black and white print jobs as we have tied up with a few customers who will provide us with large volumes to print. In anticipation of these volumes, we decided on buying an AccurioPress 6120 monochrome production press. We expect to print about 15 lakh (1.5 million) impressions within the next twelve months,” says Sohil Daredia, owner of Real Graphics.

Real Graphics is a Konica Minolta digital press customer for a number of years. It currently has two Konica Minolta color digital production presses. The company prints leaflets, posters, stickers, flyers, visiting cards and business cards and other commercial work. Most of its volumes come through canvassers and designers while direct customers represent a small part of the overall production. Real Graphics services areas in and around Vapi which is an industrialized city just across the state border in Gujarat and yet near the Mumbai megalopolis.

Talking about his relationship with Konica Minolta, Daredia says that he once used a refurbished Konica Minolta digital press and since the last four years he has been using only brand new KM presses. He is all praise and he terms his experience in using these as excellent.

“Our association with the company is very old and we have enjoyed the relationship. The quality of the output of the machines is excellent and the after sales service is also very good. In fact, it was our customers who asked us to buy the AccurioPress 6120,” he says.

The AccurioPress 6120 monochrome press has an output of 120 pages a minute and has an output resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi. It also contains a high-speed, dual-color scanner with a maximum scanning speed of 240 opm.

Slow recovery post lockdown

During the lockdown Real Graphics was relatively less impacted as it serviced the pharmaceutical companies categorized as essential services. The print service provider was also printing stickers for a sanitizer manufacturing company.

“We were somewhat less affected by the lockdown because we were servicing a customer in the essential services segment. However, the overall business is still down from what it was in January and February this year,” Daredia says.

He is uncertain about how long it will take for the company to fully recover, but there is some uptick in business in recent weeks thanks to the festival seasonal demand. “We expect an increase in business in the next three months. However, the real picture will emerge by January once the festival season is over,” Daredia concludes.

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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