Arrow Digital showcases five machines at MediaExpo

Indigenous label printers for industry requirements

Prakash Chopra, senior VP, Sales, at Arrow Digital at the company's stand at the 50th MediaExpo in Mumbai. Photo IPP

Arrow Digital exhibited five machines at the MediaExpo show held from 2 to 4 March 2023 in Mumbai – an Efi Pro 30h, a Canon Colorado 1650, an ArrowJet Aqua 330R Lite ArrowJet Aqua 330R Lite, a thermoforming machine from Formech, and an ArrowJet EZCUT 330R label finisher. 

The Efi Pro 30h is a 4-color + white hybrid machine with a magnetic drive and a Ricoh Gen 5 printhead. The Canon Colorado 1650 is a UV gel-based technology machine with a high printing speed of up to 1700 square feet per hour. “The prints are scratch-proof, the colors are fantastic and it has got FLXfinish+, which means both gloss or matte can be achieved without varnish,” Prakash Chopra, senior VP, Sales, at Arrow Digital, explained.

The ArrowJet Aqua 330R Lite is an indigenous label printer manufactured by Arrow. It uses Memjet’s DuraFlex technology with water-based pigment inks and comes with a 1600 x 1600 dpi resolution. The  ArrowJet EZCUT 330R label finisher has a 13-inch blade finisher with a maximum die-cutting speed of up to 6 meters per minute and a slitting speed of up to 100 meters per minute. The thermoforming machine from Formech can be used for vacuum forming a variety of digitally printed materials such as HIPS, ABS, PC, PVC, PETG, HDPE, PP, and PMMA.

Chopra informed that Arrow had installed seven machines so far this year – one in Chandigarh, one in Kolkata, one in Delhi, one in Mumbai, two in Ahmedabad, and one in Hyderabad. 

“The future of the signage printing industry in India is bright, and it is gearing up again after the Covid-19 pandemic. The industry has picked up but the last two months were a little bit slow. We hope that by March-end and or the first week of April, it should be in full gear again. These days, printers are shifting towards UV as solvent printing is going down and they are looking for good quality and high-speed industrial machines. We are manufacturing indigenous label printing machines that can print on boxes and paper bags,” Chopra shared.

Chopra said they showcased their latest products to the signage fraternity. “Visitors come here and look at our products, Nobody takes a decision on the machines at the show. The idea is to showcase the products to the maximum number of visitors but marketing seems to be an issue. People from the north and east are not visiting MediaExpo Mumbai. We have been observing this for the last couple of MediaExpo Mumbai shows,” he signed off.

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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