Replika adds a pair of POD digital book presses from Canon

Replika further enhances its POD capacities with Canon

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Canon VarioPrint monochrome digital press Replika
The new Canon VarioPrint digital monochrome press installed at Replika in Kundli in the Delhi NCR Photo Canon

One of the leading book printers and exporters, Replika Press has added another digital press to its battery of digital presses that it has built up in the past 15 years in addition to its massive offset printing and binding capacity that extends across its three plants in Kundli in the New Delhi NCR. The newest Canon digital machines to be added at Replika are the ImagePress C10010 VP color press and the high-capacity monochrome VarioPrint 6270 press.

Our readers will recall that one of our first in-plant visits during one of the breaks in the pandemic lockdowns was to Replika in Kundli to see its just commissioned sheetfed inkjet Canon Varioprint i300 full color inkjet press in the second half of 2020. The digital press section also included three VP6000 Series, ImagePresses and a C650 press at the time – all in Replika’s newest building of 400,000 square feet in Kundli that contains the entire book production chain under one roof. The three Replika printing, finishing, binding and packaging plants near each other in the Kundli export industrial area, make up almost 650,000 square feet of production space.

Replika Press
L to R, Sanandan Seth, director, Bhuvnesh Seth, managing director and Vikaran Seth director, Replika Press with some of the books being printed on the new Canon VarioPrint i300 inkjet color digital press.
Photos: IPP

As Replika’s managing director Bhuvnesh Seth told us more than two years ago, many export orders require only 300 copies of a book in each shipment of an order. While the plant has massive multicolor offset and both hardcover and softcover binding capacities with in-line processes, the publishing on demand ecosystem is gaining ground with run lenghts from one to 1,000 in both full color and monochrome books.

Replika produces general books and education on all types of paper. Its enormous capacity for delivering school and higher education textbooks, STM utilizes all types of substrates and binding styles. It is one of the substantial Indian exporters of trade, children’s and coffee table and illustrated text and coffee table books with high visibility at the relevant books trade fairs internationally.

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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