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PRINTPACK India 2017
presents some key wide-format technologies

Among the 428 exhibitors assembled at PRINTPACK India 2017 was a group of wide-format players showing revolutionary products and technologies that pulled a tide of 86,900 trade visitors from different parts of the country. The showcases were meant for diverse applications extending to varied parameters of signage, whether it could be UV graphic, textile printing, laser engraving, CNC routing, backlit LED display or others. JYANESWAR LAISHRAM reports a brief account of the expo.

The leading companies from the wide-format segment that stole the show at PRINTPACK India 2017 included FUJIFILM India, Canon India, HP India, JN Arora, Apsom Infotex, UV Printers, Mehta Cad Cam Systems, Arrow Digital, Monotech Systems, Kapoor Imaging, Esko, Vee Kay Enterprises and Zund India. The marvel showcases flaunted by these leading wide-format players opened up new prospects in various domains of the signage and graphic industry.

Attracted by the widely popular Acuity EY and Acuity LED 1600 II printers, crowd that jammed at the stall of FUJIFILM India was accentuated towards the applications the two versatile wide-format machines produced. SM Ramprasad, assistant vice president, Graphics Art Division, FUJIFILM India said the major highlight of signage applications at their stall is thermo-formed display solutions. “We are presenting the versatility of our Acuity Series, which are designed for a vast application range,” he added.

Canon India, another big show stopper at the expo with its stall filled with machines of all sorts for all possible applications in the printing and packaging sectors. The company announced the exclusive India launch of 10 new machines, among which four Canon imagePROGRAF Pro Series models are for the signage segment. “Our newly unpacked machines are designed to set a new revolution in the graphic art industry,” said Kazutada Kobayashi, president & CEO, Canon India Pvt Ltd. The newly launched Pro series printers are Canon imagePROGRAF Pro-540S/560S and Canon imagePROGRAF Pro-520/540.

Joining hands with AGFA Graphics, New Delhi-based JN Arora Group has gained a new collaborative ground as the group has to distribute the former’s range of products in the Northern and Eastern Indian markets. The tie-up was announced in a big way during the expo with JN Arora heralding their distributorship of a range of AGFA machines including ANNAPURNA as well as others like Jeti MIRA, TAURO & TITAN series alongside UV inkjet systems. Moreover, the portfolio also consists of AGFA’s ACORTA, an automatic cutting and finishing system. Above all, JN Arora also showcased Polyprint TexJet shorTee direct-to-garment printer at their stall.

Apsom Infotex at its stall presented a combo of innovative signage making solutions that consisted of a couple of groundbreaking Roland machines—VersaUV LEF-300 and VersaCAMM VS-300i. Ravi Agarwala, director, Apsom Infotex Ltd said the machines are designed to push the bar of innovations in signage and display graphics to a new level. “VersaUV LEF-300 is a productive digital customisation system, specially engineered for custom display panels, texture effects, embossing, personalised gifts, etc,” he added. According to him, another printer on display at their stall, VersaCAMM VS-300i is a print & cut system that features the new high-density ECO-SOL Max 2 ink for stable and consistent outputs.

Presenting a complete range of machines for both commercial and wide-format graphics, HP India revealed fresh graphic innovations possible with the line of wide-format machines they presented alongside Indigo presses. The wide-format machines shown for graphic art segment at the company’s stall were HP PageWide XL 5000 Series, XL 5000 Series, HP DesignJet D5800 production system and HP DesignJet Z5600 PostScript Printer. “Our approach with the complete line of machines is to accelerate the graphic art industry towards a new pathway of innovations,” said Appadurai, country manager-HP Indigo, Hewlett Packard India Sales Pvt Ltd.

Three innovative products from Mehta Cad Cam Systems were demonstrated at the company’s small and compact stall. The three machines on display were the ever demanded Erina 100 laser engraving machine, RJ 1016V UV LED curing flatbed printer and high-speed Erina 250 laser engraver. The RJ 1016V UV LED is powered by RICOH GH2220 printhead, offering ‘best cost vs performance value’ proposition. Meanwhile, Erina 250 is designed with optional roll-to-roll cutting and engraving technologies. \

Introduced at the stall of Vee Kay Enterprises was its Qi-Jet, a new industrial system. Alongside this newly announced printer were some versatile and highly precision engraving and cutting machines, namely IDS-1390, IDS-1610, IDS-1325 and IDS-1325. The IDS-1610 is an automatic feeding laser cutting machine; IDS-1390 is a computerised CNC system; IDS-1325 is a high-speed woodworking machine; and IDS-1325 is a metal and non-metal cutting laser engraver.

UV Printers, which has been acquired by Apsom Infotex, showcased its popular Dilli hybrid UV flatbed printers, powered by RICOH Gen-5 printhead, with lenticular and other print samples during the expo. “Our focus is on UV printing; we have achieved a benchmark in the sector in the last six years,” said Mohan KT from UV Printers, adding that their merger with Apsom Infotex is a move to collaboratively reach wider market domains. “Apsom Infotex is a tried and tested company for us; and with their 150 people set-up and virtuous dealer network, we form a wonderful partnership. They have the dedicated workforce, we have the expertise—so we expect to grow our market share in the coming years.”

A crowd-pulling showcase at the ESKO stall during the expo was its popular Kongsberg X Starter cutting table, displayed alongside workflow solutions. As the system is being designed for signage as well as packaging applications, a horde of trade visitors from both the segments showed ardent interest in the cutting table whose 100th unit was sold to TCPL Packaging (Mumbai) during the expo. According to Arnab Matti, sales director-South Asia, ESKO, “Initially, we were assuming people in the post demonetisation might deter investment in new systems, but we are surprised to see the new development, and I personally feel that the investment season has begun or sentiment of investment is back.” He mentioned that ESKO offers its customers with seamless workflow solutions. Shown at the company’s stall also included some software solutions from its sister concern X-Rite Pantone.

Alongside a range of commercial printing and packaging systems, Monotech Systems showcased a line of systems for the wide-format segment, including its ever popular Pixeljet Series (Starfire 3302/3304) with Mimaki, Canon/Oce printers which they distribute. The systems they showcased consisted of a Mimaki JV400LX Series, a Canon imagePROGRAF iPF 8410SE/6410SE poster printer, Oce PlotWave 345/365, among others. On the other side of the show floor, Kapoor Imaging announced their breakthrough into the signage industry with the introduction of a set of groundbreaking products, such as SUN Universal UV printers (from Russia) and many others including Apollo PV flex, foam-boards and WPC boards.

Zund India at its stall displayed their S3 L1200 digital cutting machine, which is equipped with high-powered RM-L router option and a new routing technology. The powerful spindle of the system delivers 3.6 kW of processing power for acrylics, polycarbonates, Dibond, Forex, and MDF, making heavy-duty routing ever more efficient. “Exceptionally powerful tool in the cutting system opens up new possibilities in terms of performance and applications,” said Prasanna Venkatesh VA, managing director, Zund India (P) Ltd. The machine has been booked by Sattik Exports from Kolkata and Mumbai-based leading carton manufacturer, Parksons Packaging, during the expo.

PRINTPACK India 2017 has proved its stature as the best printing expo in India with the showcase of what it takes to boost the industry, which included a complete range of machines, materials and services to meet the sheer requirement of the industry in all aspects, covering all parameters of printing and packaging. The next edition of the bi-annual expo will be organised from February 01-03, 2019, attracting more and more international participants. A source from the expo organiser IPAMA (Indian Printing Packaging and Allied Machinery Manufacturers’ Association) said the show will soon poised to be Asian drupa.