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Growing exponentially in thermoforming with Fujifilm Acuity

23 December 2016

Established in 2012, Delhi-based manufacturer of signage and a master of thermoforming, Creatique has grown exponential in the last four years, staying true to the two words that make up its name – creative and unique. The company’s three Acuity flatbed printers from Fujifilm have been an integral part of this growth story. Two of the machines are in the company’s Delhi factory and one in Mumbai. During his recent visit to Delhi, Ramu Ramanathan talks to the husband-wife team of Creatique, Amarjeet Kaur and Inderjeet Singh, and Pradipta Chowdhury, manager sales, WFIJ, graphic art division, Fujifilm India.

creatique Amarjeet Kaur and Inderjeet Singh, the husband-wife team of Creatique

Ramu Ramanathan (RR): If you could share the experience how the Creatique team had come to the demo centre in Mumbai and selected the machine and also the amount of effort Inderjeet Sing, who is also an architect, took to explore the machine and its capabilities?
Pradipta Chowdhury (PC): Creatique is one of the top quality sign manufacturers in northern India. I received a call from Creatique that it wanted to have a look at our machine. So we extended the invitation to visit the demo centre in Mumbai.

When you sell a quality machine to quality people, it always clicks. The Creatique team spent three days with the machine and looked at every aspect – not only the macro parts but also the micro parts, including applications, quality, different types of files to be printed, understanding thermoforming technology. After three days, Creatique decided to invest in the machine.

I know Inderjeet for many years. He is an expert in signage manufacturing. He is a kind of a person who wants to give the best to the industry. Before the investment in the Acuity, the company had other brands, but Inderjeet was not satisfied with those. Now, we have successfully installed three machines at Creatique.

RR: How has the experience been with Fujifilm in terms of being a partner? The kind of support they gave to you whether the machine support, calibration, helping you in terms of products, etc?
Amarjeet Kaur (AK): We enjoy a good business relationship with Fujifilm. The machine is so good that we don’t need any kind of service and maintenance.

PC: This is the best part of a Fujifilm machine. The machine and application are so steady, you cannot compare it with other brands. It’s a foolproof system from the head technology system to machine manufacturing system. We are always particular about the working environment of the machine at the shopfloor.

AK: Fujifilm helps us. Whenever we call, they come down and advise us how to maintain the machine to reduce downtime.

RR: Have you encountered any technical issues for which you had to consult the Fujifilm team? For ink or some additional support which you required
PC: The substrates are application based. We do multiple substrates. Sometimes you need technical support when you try new substrates. Our aim is to support customers in the best possible way.

RR: What kind of service support does Fujifilm give to a customer like Creatique, who is a fast mover?
PC: The fast movers are always challenging. Lack of execution knowledge is there. At Fujifilm, we provide support to all over the world and exchange our experiences at different sources. We share all bits and pieces of information with the customers.

However, our machines are designed such as way that it does not require frequent support. All the components are steady. Yet, whenever a customer needs support, especially to develop new substrate, to get some new sampling, in some or the other way, we are always there to support our customers.

RR: The job I had seen about one-and-a-half month ago at Creatique and the jobs I saw today, they very nice work. From the jobs, the print quality stands out perfectly. The machine features are of course very impressive and secondly, you are adding what you have knowledge in hand.
Inderjeet Singh (IS): Earlier I did not have these kinds of options. My background is technical. I solve most of the things. It’s not possible without machines and ink. After purchasing the Fujifilm Acuity EY, we created a lot of design, especially thermoforming. My reason behind purchasing a flatbed was to create something in thermoforming with backlit applications, which are not very common in India. There is a company which does it with screen printing. With Fujifilm, I tried what we can do with thermoforming. With it, there is 400% increase and there is no crack in the product.

When you work on backlight, there are many challenges. When the light appears, the dot does not come and to control it, we need a dust-free environment. And a static forming comes, from which the pin starts coming and you have to control it. We have majorly controlled that part of the machine.

Thermoforming is going to be big in the future. Now, thermoforming options are available with ink and machines. The ink is Sericol of Fujifilm. Just like Apple, who have hardware and software in-house, we have benefitted from it.

RR: You have worked in the market and with a lot of people? Can you share something about it?
IS: Our projects are customised. All the projects are challenging and we have received commendations with every project, sometimes for quality, sometimes for shapes and delivery.

RR: You are doing ten times higher work with Fujifilm machine; what benefits are you getting with it?
IS: When I first bought the machine, I had committed to Fujifilm that I will purchase three machines from them, and within a span of three months, I purchased three machines. There are two different inks, AY and KY. It’s better to go for new machines rather than doing changes in the existing machine. I have opened a set up in Mumbai as well. Here, we are doing jobs with KY ink with thermoforming. In Delhi, there are two machines, AY and KY ink machines. With these two machines in Delhi, the project delivery time has reduced. The machine has a limit and it cannot go beyond it and this is not the case with this machine, it’s with every product. The machine is user-friendly and anyone can operate it with ease.

RR: Your view of this space in the next three years? And how big will be Creatique in the next five years?
IS: In the next three years, we will be in the top five companies in applications, backlit and signage industry. Currently, I think we are at the seventh or eighth position.

RR: How many machines do you have in UV flatbed and what kind of machines you have chosen and why did you select UV inkjet?
AK: We have one roll media and three UV flatbed machines in New Delhi and one machine in Mumbai. Out of these five machines, we have three Acuity EY machines. We already had a UV flatbed machine, so we knew this is what we wanted.

RR: What are the things in Acuity EY that stands out for you?
AK:
The quality and the speed, and the maintenance of the machine. The single side printing is the best thing on this machine.

RR: You had mentioned that you could create some of the jobs you did because of this machine...
AK: Take, for example, the Johnnie Walker job. This is blockwood printing and it is on thermoforming, and it is three-layer printing. We started with thermoforming about a few months ago. First, it is run on CMYK, which is the layer on this. Then we use white ink and later black ink, to complete this blockwood printing.

RR: How Creatique was born?
AK: We started in 2012. We opened the doors of the company to give creative designs with a uniqueness of design to achieve the goals of our clients. The name Creatique is a combination of creative and unique. It was Indrejeet’s idea.

RR: What kind of technology you had and what was the plan when you started in 2012?
AK: At that time, we used to make simple acrylic boards with and without aluminium channels.

RR: Today, you are dealing with a lot of big brands. What is it that you go and tell you customers?
AK: We do thermoforming and blockcoat materials and print sun board. We also have a fabrication unit. We work for liquor companies as well as telecommunications.

RR: What is the pressure from these brands? What they expect from Creatique?
AK: To give you an example, during Diwali, we had a project for old standees, about 1,000 pieces. It included printing and metalwork. The brand gave us one month to complete the project. At the same time, we had to do printing and metal frames work and different LED panels. We at least needed three to four days to procure the materials. It was very difficult to manage all the production work within 30 days.

RR: In that particular job, it had super specialisation of LED.
AK: We have a separate LED, metal and acrylic team for it.

RR: Did you finish the job in 30 days or were you able to do one week in advance?
AK: Not before one week, but we try to meet the deadline.

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