Afford Digital Inks aims at offering complete ink solutions for Indian market

After years of extensive R&D, Surat-based Afford Digital Inks came into being a manufacturer of the whole range of digital large-format printing inks in the year 2009. In conversation with Sign & Graphics, Raju Patel, CEO, Afford Digital Inks, tells about the company’s ink manufacturing journey till date and how they look forward to manufacturing full range of indigenously made inks in near future.

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Like any other person, Raju Patel worked in some companies from 1992 to 98. He holds a master degree in chemical technology and a diploma in paint, varnish and inks. His vast knowledge of ink technology and years of experience in the pigment dispersion market instilled him to start his own ink manufacturing venture in the year 2009.

“Well, right from 2009 till 2013 we did a thorough R&D on different parameters like digital large-format inks, printheads and allied machines and technologies in the Indian market. After that we came out as Afford Digital Inks with a mission to fulfil the increasing demands for diverse range of inks among the India wide-format machine manufacturers, OEMs, and suppliers,” says Raju.

Humble beginning

After the extensive R&D, Afford Digital Inks fully geared up in 2013 to launch its range of inks for digital large-format printing in the Indian market. It was the year when XAAR also launched its Proton printhead in India. Recalling the momentous moment, Raju says, “We announced the launch of our company as well as ink for the newly introduced XAAR Proton printhead.”

He continues, “When we introduced the XAAR Proton ink in the Indian market, most of those who then imported the ink from China stopped doing it. It was really a winning moment for us to offer the quality ink for the newly released XAAR printhead.” Then the company built a vast network of channel partners across the country.

Ink range

As an exporter, Afford Digital Inks boasts a wide range of digital large-format printing inks for solvent, eco-solvent, inkjet, pigment dispersion and UV curing LED technologies. The inks are highly compatible with the popular printheads like EPSON, Konica Minolta, XAAR, Spectra, TOSHIBA, Seiko, and others.

Raju mentions, “Our range consists of whole variants other than the usual inks, such as cartridge inkjet inks, dye sublimation inkjet inks, screen engraver inks, pigment dispersion inks, inkjet screen engraving inks, power solvents & flushing solvent inks.” He adds that the inks are highly acclaimed among the OEMs, machine manufacturers and suppliers in the Indian signage market. A host of reputed Indian machine manufacturers are regular customers of Afford Digital Inks.

Global quality

As its name suggests, Afford Digital Inks offers the inks which are ‘affordable’ and attributed with features like excellent printability, saturated colour density, water resistant, excellent bonding on surface. “We maintain quality at par with international standards. We are well equipped with high-end machines and technologies to maintain and control quality of inks and warehouses where we store our inks safely and effectively,” tells Raju.

The state-of-the-art production facility of Afford Digital Inks in Surat is well equipped with advanced ink manufacturing machines that can produce a volume of 50 MT per month. The entire facility is segregated into different departments like R&D, production unit, quality checking unit, packaging unit, etc. to ensure optimum manufacturing process.

For Indian market

Constant updates in the product portfolio as well as manufacturing process are the sense of duty for the team Afford Digital Inks. In this respect, Raju mentions that they keep expanding the portfolio of inks with the latest additions, such as UV rage, which is now available as hard, hybrid and soft for different printing machines and technologies.

In his view on the company’s next level expansion, Raju mentions that they are now fully geared up to focus on the ‘Make in India’ initiative under which Afford Digital Inks is aiming at offering complete ink solutions for the Indian market, which in turn will curb the heavy influx of imported inks into the country.