Post-print lamination at Dharavi’s One to One Creations

Thermal lamination brightens photos for kidswear garments

Arun Sunki with the Hi-Tech thermal lamination machine

One to One Creations, based in the bustling economic hub of Dharavi, offers print solutions to garment manufacturers with manufacturing units in the area. It prints photos for kidswear makers who use those photos as identifiers or promotional tools on their packages. The company recently installed an HRL 14 thermal lamination machine from Hi-Tech Systems. The thermal lamination machine is used to enhance the prints it produces on a Konica Minolta digital press.

“The photos that we print on the Konica Minolta digital press go to the thermal lamination machine that has been provided by Hi-Tech. The prints get the required gloss and their attractiveness at the point of sale is enhanced. This is essential because our customers demand high gloss images as they use these photos on their packaging for supply to their customers,” says Pradeep Sunku who manages the operations along with his brother Arun Sunki.

Sample of prints done by One to One Creations

Since One to One Creations services only kids wear manufacturers, the photos that it prints are of kids in the variety of garments produced by the manufacturers in the surrounding areas. While Pradeep Sunku looks after the printing and designing, Arun Sunki looks after the photography department. One to One Creations offers photography or portfolio creation, designing, and printing services under one roof. The three-year-old company employs 12 people. 

Sunku says the company went in for the new lamination machine as the older one was manual and required intensive manpower. “Because the HRL 14 lamination machine has an automatic feeder and cutter, the productivity is much higher than the laminator we had before. This saves not only manpower but also electricity cost. There has been a big reduction in wastage as we are already laminating about 1,400 copies daily, although the maximum capacity of the machine is 2,000 copies per day. We will ramp up gradually,” Sunku says.

In addition to the Konica Minolta digital press, One to One Creations also operates one from Noritsu. On the Konica Minolta press, the company prints about 1400 impressions of 12X18-inches stock every day while on the Noritsu, it prints about 2,000 impressions of 8X10-inch sheets. 

Business back to normal

Business at One to One Creations was disrupted only during the first phase of the lockdown in 2020. In the second wave of the pandemic, things were mostly normal and the Omicron wave did not have any impact on the company’s business.

“Since we service a very specific set of customers, that is kids wear manufacturers, we were not impacted much in the second and the third wave. Yes, the first lockdown was national so we were closed for three months. Currently, our business has returned to normal. We expect things to be good going forward as shopping for kids wear ahead of the Eid festival has been very good,” Sunku 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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