Ricoh and Ultimate TechnoGraphics enhance partnership

Tighter integration for workflow efficiency, control, and faster ROI

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Ricoh production printer
Ricoh drum and toner production printers are now sold in India by Monotech Systems

On 4 May 2021, Ricoh USA and Ultimate TechnoGraphics announced their enhanced global partnership that will offer digital print providers improved upstream workflow automation at a reduced price. This expanded collaboration between the companies will equate to increased flexibility, control, and visibility over jobs at any point in production for printers. It could empower commercial printers, in-plant printers, and book printers to overcome obstacles to profitability with the combination of Ricoh TotalFlow BatchBuilder and Ultimate Impostrip.

The timing of this arrangement coincides with the latest release (version 2.4) of the vendor-agnostic Ricoh TotalFlow BatchBuilder solution, which includes the merging of all features into the base product. BatchBuilder enables a quick turnaround on various short-run jobs from multiple sources by performing batching work upstream, automating scheduling, and reducing back-and-forth setups for print and finishing.

Tight integration works better

“Ricoh TotalFlow BatchBuilder seamlessly integrates with Ultimate Impostrip to resolve common workflow bottlenecks,” said Chris Reid, vice president, Global Software & Services, Ricoh. “This tight integration provides a powerful automated job management solution to succeed in today’s digital print environment.”

Designed with productivity in mind, Ultimate Impostrip optimizes every aspect of the prepress imposition workflow with easy-to-use tools yet remains highly versatile. Ultimate Impostrip delivers power, speed, and flexibility to automate complex imposition for high-volume print production.

Julie Watson, CEO of Ultimate TechnoGraphics, stated, “Our enhanced collaboration with Ricoh empowers a larger variety of printers to automate their workflow and optimize their shop’s productivity. Ultimate Impostrip combined with Ricoh TotalFlow BatchBuilder improves flexibility and control over jobs and reprints, and provides increased visibility into all jobs in production via BatchBuilder’s intuitive dashboard.”

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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