There would be 40,000 printing presses in India which have mini offset presses on their shopfloor consuming approximately 48,000-crore A4 sheets of paper on an average per month.
Small businesses, including publishers and offices, depend on the consistent reliability of mini offset printing. This method is even more impressive when combined with new advances in lithographic techniques. Four-colour print jobs are challenging, as it demands perfect registration.
Coimbatore-based Autoprint Machinery, which is the manufacturer of small offset presses, has developed Dion 450 a four-colour small offset press.
C N Ashok, managing director, Autoprint Machinery, says, “The days are gone and now the perfect registration of a four-colour job can be achieved easily. Our Dion 450 is ideally suitable and capable of achieving perfect registration of a four-colour job.”
Driving the growth
According to a rough “guesstimate”, the small offset has had a significant growth rate of 15-20%. The players in this segment have succeeded in establishing an installation base of more than 40,000 machines in India.
C N Ashok says, “The small offset entry-level machines with 15x10 or 15x20 category has been the growth areas for this segment. The annual growth of 15% in my personal outlook has been there for past several years and still this would witness 15%-20% growth rate in the coming few years, before seeing any slowdown due to various reasons of technology becoming obsolete, impact of new media on the printing demands and option of new digital technologies among others.”
One of the impressive things about mini offset printing is that there are a variety of mediums onto which you can transfer images. Paper is just one of the many materials that can be used. Other materials that are often used in mini offset printing include rubber, fabric, and wood. Quality images can even be applied to leather and metal using mini offset printing.
The other reason is: first-time entrepreneurs, screen printers, DTP houses are able to dream “print”.
Om Arora, director at Faridabad-based Fair Deal Engineers, the manufacturer of small offset presses, says, “The trends have witnessed people entering with small offset machines right from first time entrepreneurs to screen printers wishing to upgrade and even DTP houses expanding their activities with a combination of offset digital segment.”
Arora adds, “The success and experience with the marketing model adopted by the small offset manufacturers has helped them to leapfrog and spread their wings in the international markets and notched some good numbers there as well.”
The small offset is far too labour intense and it is getting harder to find a pressman to run the press. Unfortunately, the small press will have to keep running as it is the foundation upon which the Indian print industry has built its future.
Mini Offset Presses updates
- The small offset has had a significant growth rate of 15-20%.
- There would be 40,000 printing presses in India which have mini offset presses on their shopfloor consuming approaximately 48,000-crore A4 sheets of paper on an average per month.
- Autoprint has installed at least one of its machines in every district in the country, repeat order for Autoprint at robust order rate of 39% per year.
- In 2010 in the small offset segment alone Coimbatore-based Autoprint sold 374 machines.
- Swift has an installation base of more than 2,500 machines
- Sahil Graphics has installed more than 500 machines in the domestic and international market.
- Galantic has installed more than 400 machines.
- Fair Deal Engineers has installed more than 2,000 machines.