Amar Fax in Lucknow installs new MGI Jv3D machine

KM-MGI Accurioshine embellishment machine installed at Aliganj

Amar Fax
Prabhjot Singh, the owner of Amar Fax installs new MGI Jv3D One at their new facility in Aliganj. Photo Amar Fax

A digital printer for more than two decades, Lucknow-based Amar Fax produces books, business cards, pamphlets, menus, high-end invitation cards, point of sale (POS) material, and other print products in the administrative headquarters of the district and division. “We have two facilities, one at Hazratganj, the main branch, and another in Aliganj, which started two years ago,” said Prabhjot Singh, the owner of Amar Fax.

Singh discussed the company’s new installation and the improvements in efficiency that it has enabled. While discussing the latest equipment and the overall success of its various Konica Minolta digital presses, he noted, “We have installed the new MGI Jv3D One machine. It has UV inkjet technology combined with Konica Minolta’s drop-on-demand piezoelectric print heads for high quality and speed. It has a software suite that allows you to follow jobs, manage job queues, create job tickets, recall reprints and adjust your AIS scanner.”

On a monthly basis, the company can print 1,80,000 color pages in the Aliganj branch, and at Hazratganj, it can produce up to 1,10,000 color pages. And for the B&W prints, it can print around 1,00,000 pages from both facilities each month. 

Other Konica Minolta digital color production presses acquired by Amar Fax include the Accuriopress 101, C1100, C6100, C1060, two pro-1100 black and white presses, and KIP and HP wide format output devices and a Xerox Map machine. 

On the expansion, Singh said, “The company is interested in the high-end digital presses launched by Konica Minolta recently. We are planning to buy it soon to give better and to add more embellishment to the prints.”

General overview of the printing industry

The Covid-19 period has been a prolonged setback to the commercial print industry, and many printers are still suffering. Many of the smaller printers are at a standstill, although the recently concluded PrintPack exhibition has injected a bit of in-person networking and new product enthusiasm into the printing industry. 

The weekly, if not daily, digital press installations signify that commercial printing is back and that more capacity is required. Digital print is still more expensive per page than offset print but there is some change in the mindset that points to more short runs and an increase in volumes. Although digital is predominantly used for business cards, pamphlets, menus, paper bags, albums, and photo books, many customers are no longer interested in the economies of longer runs of offset. 

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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