Komori talks about Connected Automation at virtual.drupa 2021

Helping printers build smart factories

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Komori at virtual.drupa
Komori at virtual.drupa

At the recently concluded virtual.drupa 2021, Komori Corporation talked about Connected Automation and how the company is developing technologies that will help customers in building smart factories. Connected Automation improves productivity through implementation in the Manufacturing Execution System (MES)-based KP-Connect Pro solution, the heart of the Connected Automation concept, as well as in the new advanced series of cutting-edge presses.

“Connected Automation is Komori’s concept of creating smart factories by promoting the use of internet of things, developing labor and work saving designs, strengthening standardization and inspection mechanisms,” the company said during the virtual.drupa presentation. “Through products such as KP Connect, digital press, and PESP postpress, Connected Automation helps enhance productivity.”

KP-Connect Pro

Talking more about its technologies, Komori highlighted the KP-Connect Pro, which improves printing processes, increases productivity, and optimizes production output. By integrating all press data with both prepress and postpress as well as the existing MIS system, KP-Connect Pro manages each process with its Scheduler function, enables visualization for identifying any bottlenecks, and offers end-to-end Automation. 

The integration of KP-Connect Pro into a production workflow provides a streamlined process: fewer touchpoints and easier operation, thus eliminating errors and increasing throughput. In addition, KP-Connect Pro addresses the problems of the limited labor force and the requirement to increase production and thus profitability. 

Komori new press technologies

Komori also presented the latest developments that have taken place in its press technologies and focused on the advance series. The new advance series ROI printing presses also took the virtual stage. In the advance series, the Lithrone G40 advance presses deliver high productivity and print quality with easy operation. 

Based on the Connected Automation concept, strengthened collaboration and optimization between processes and high-level Automation with presets based on information from high-end systems are realized, thus contributing to productivity improvement throughout the entire printing process.

The company also talked about the Komori Impremia NS40 40-inch Sheetfed Nanographic Printing System, a unique solution that does not require any plate changing or color changes. The demo featured a seven-color machine with an onboard in-line coater and double-pile delivery.

virtual.drupa in two sessions

The Komori show at virtual.drupa was produced in two sessions: packaging and commercial. For the packaging session, Komori’s flagship machine, the six-color Lithrone GX40 advance with coater, demonstrated the power of these technological innovations by running three jobs on 350 g/m2 stock. The key advances shown were ultra-short makeready times enabled by parallel makeready and the creative possibilities to be had with Komori’s Smart Color wide gamut process color printing system, which adds orange, green, and violet to CMYK colors to cover 80% of Pantone colors in a six-color system and 85% in a seven-color system.

The Apressia lineup of postpress finishing solutions highlighted the Apressia DC105 and the first platen-type die-cutting machine focused on packaging solutions. It was shown with Komori’s Apressia MB100E high-performance blanking system.

 

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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