International conference on smart packaging and printed electronics

Event organized with support from MSME ministry at DCRUST Murthal

International Conference
His Excellency Shri Bandaru Datatraya, Hon’ble Governor of Haryana inaugurated the International Conference at DCRUST, Murthal

The Offset Printers Association (OPA) organized an International Conference on Smart Packaging and Printed Electronics with the support of the Union ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) at Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram University Of Science And Technology (DCRUST) Murthal from 3 to 6 September 2022. 

Inaugurating the conference, Governor of Haryana Bandaru Datatraya said the need of the hour was to take steps to make the country self-reliant by establishing high quality in the field of electronics and technology. He said the business of smart packaging and printed electronics was continuously growing rapidly in the country and the world over. 

According to an estimate, India’s printed electronics market stood at US$ 0.78 billion in 2021 and was expected to touch US$ 3.11 billion by 2029, he said. “We have to work together with complete honesty, social service, and truth to make India a ‘Vishwa Guru’ again. India has already shown this during the Covid-19 pandemic.” 

Prof Rajendrakumar Anayath, the vice-chancellor of DCRUST, said the work of printing as a technique of adding ink to paper or on a substrate was already over, and we have to think about the new ideas and latest technologies in printing now.

Welcoming the delegates and dignitaries, Parveen Aggarwal, president of OPA said, now things were fast becoming normal and they were looking forward to meeting the experts and hearing their ideas for solving the problems of the printers. Pointing to the decrease in commercial printing, the best option left, Aggarwal said, is packaging, which is growing and is expected to continue to grow.  

P Chander, president of the All India Federation of Master Printers (AIFMP) said the OPA was working hard to educate the printers about the latest technologies. AIFMP is the apex body of 250,000 printers in India. 

Kamal Chopra, chairman of the conference, said the main motto of the conference was to understand the present situation and to know and deliberate on the alternatives available. Chopra said that the concept of printing had undergone a major paradigm shift in the last few years. One of the major reasons behind this is the rapid growth in printing technology. This has created a scenario where printers have evolved much beyond the basic printing function. Nowadays, printing is not only ink on paper, Chopra said.  

Chopra said they invited expert speakers from around the globe to discuss and elaborate on the current status and future of printed electronics and smart packaging. 

Fourteen eminent speakers from seven countries, including Greece, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka besides 13 Indian resource persons took part. More than 237 registered delegates from 32 different cities in India attended the meet.

Presenting the vote of thanks at the close of the inaugural session, Ashwani Gupta, Co-Chairman of the International Conference, appreciated the gesture of the DCRUST and the team of teachers working round the clock for the success of the event.  

During the technical presentation, the expert speakers spoke on different topics of printed electronics and smart packaging, covering business ideas, research, demand and future scope, challenges, and solutions. 

In his keynote address, Prof Anayath said printed electronics refer to a process in which printing technology is used to produce various kinds of electronic goods, such as electronic circuits, displays, sensors, and RFID. It is based on organic conducting and semiconducting as well as printable inorganic materials. The area of printed electronics is very wide, which includes a large number of different materials and printing technologies. As it can provide new functionality to packaging, printing electronics is seen as one of the emerging technologies for food packaging. 

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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