Sofine digital photo lab installs MGI JetVarnish 3D 1 with Accurioshine 101

Growing demand for premium print finishing & embellishment

The MGI JetVarnish 3D One. Photo Konica Minolta

Nashik-based Sofine Digital Photo Lab has invested in an MGI JetVarnish 3D One with Accurioshine 101 digital embellishment press to cater to the growing demand for value-added print. The MGI press was commissioned in February this year.

Sofine Digital prints and finished photo albums and also provides commercial printing services. “We have been in this business for many decades and we are always looking to adopt the latest technology. Postprint embellishment is something for which the demand is growing, so we thought it was a good idea to get an MGI press. MGI is the leading solution in this segment and it was natural for us to opt for the JetVarnish 3D One. We have been using Konica Minolta presses for both commercial and photo printing work,” says Vikrant Sonavane, proprietor of Sofine Digital Photo Lab.

BK Sonavane, the first generation of the family started in the field of photography in 1943, establishing his studio in 1957. Vikrant and Akshay Sonavane represent the third generation in the family’s imaging business.

Sofine Digital uses the MGI press to add extra decorative value to items such as photo albums, booklets, stickers, greeting cards, wedding cards, book covers, cartons, labels, and posters, among others. The printed and embellished products use a variety of special substrates.

Excellent feedback from customers

Since the MGI press was commissioned earlier this year, Sofine Digital has received excellent feedback from its customers regarding the results. Sonavane says that the company is actively trying to increase awareness about MGI’s value-added capabilities among its print customers.

“The initial feedback that we received from customers about the work we are doing with the MGI has been excellent. This has encouraged us to work even harder to increase awareness about this technology among our customer base. The demand for this type of service and embellishments and enhancements to print is growing, and there is a huge potential in the Nashik market for such services. We expect that in a few years we will be able to service even more customers with the MGI,” Sonavane says.

Talking about the company’s further investment plans, Sonavane says that it is looking to add some finishing equipment to ease that bottlenecks and service newer clients and segments, such as in the wine industry. “As you know Nashik region is a hub for wine production. We are printing premium labels for some wine brands and will be adding some cutting machines to finish those labels. We will be adding the new equipment soon,” he concludes. 

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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