Chennai’s Ultimate Print Process plans to opt for MGI technology

Planning to add value to its post-print services

Chennai’s Ultimate Print Process plans to opt for MGI technology
L to R: S.R.Vasudevan of Konica Minolta and S. Ekambaram of Ultimate Print Process with the AccurioPress C6100

Chennai-based commercial printing firm Ultimate Print Process is looking to invest in a post-print embellishment solution from MGI in the next three to six months, S. Ekambaram, proprietor of the company, told Indian Printer and Publisher.

“We have been planning this investment for some time now, but it has been getting delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We are hoping to wrap up this investment in another three to six months. With the MGI, we hope to provide more value-added post-print services like UV and foiling,” Ekambaram says.  

Ultimate Print Process shares its experience of Konica Minolta AccurioPress

Ultimate Print Process bought a Konica Minolta AccurioPress C6100 digital production press two years ago. The intention to go for an MGI solution is largely driven by the company’s solid experience dealing with Konica Minolta.

“We installed the Konica Minolta AccurioPress C6100 press in June of 2019, and in almost two years, we have not seen any serious shutdowns. Even if there is an issue, the Konica Minolta team makes sure the machine is up and ready in a day. Konica Minolta’s after-sales service is excellent,” he adds.

The Konica Minolta C6100 can print at a speed of 100 pages per minute. The AccurioPress C6100 press uses a fully automated, closed-loop quality management system, as well as accurate front-to-back registration. It offers 1200 x 1200 dpi (dots per inch) resolution with 8-bit processing. In addition, the press can handle up to 400 gsm stock weights – simplex or duplex.

Konica Minolta launched the AccurioPress C6100 / C6085 color digital press series in September 2017. In addition, Konica Minolta India showcased the AccurioPress C6085 for the first time at Pamex 2017, which was held in Mumbai. 

Ultimate Print Process print items like brochures, pamphlets, stickers, and flyers, for customers in the food industry. 

The second COVID wave dulls sentiment

The print industry was in a sort of weak recovery phase before the second COVID wave hit the country. Ultimate Print Process had witnessed some recovery in the second half of the last financial year. Still, the resurgence in COVID cases since April has severely impacted the business in Tamil Nadu, which has been badly affected by the pandemic

Since Ultimate Print Process works for customers in the food industry, which has been categorized as an essential industry, its operations have not been that badly hit, but the business is down.

“Although we have been functioning throughout the lockdown that has been placed in Tamil Nadu, our business has nonetheless taken a hit. Our volumes are down 20-30% since the second wave hit us. Even our workforce has been impacted because we have had a few cases in our company,” he says. 

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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