Made in India: Swifts VDP presses

By 22 Jan 2016

VDP presses from the Swifts portfolio offers an advantage due to its ink costing over the conventional thermal inkjet printers. PrintWeek India's Priya Raju finds out how the presses manufactured in Nashik offer key solutions in customised data printing.

VDP Max: The A2 sized combination press with piezoelectric inkjet head and offset technology
With the advent of digital printing, Nashik-based Swifts with expertise in manufacturing mini offset printing machines diversified into manufacturing of variable data printing machines range. The machines were launched during PrintPack 2015. The product portfolio of Swifts include products for variable data printing, numbering, bar coding and UV coating. These machines offer solutions for numbering and barcoding jobs.
The Swifts VDP series is available in four variants, based on the paper size (A4, A3 and A2). These include VDP Mini, VDP Compact, VDP Surya and VDP Max.
The VDP Max is an A2 sized machine whereas a VDP Compact is the A4 size kit. These machines can be used for various applications involving numbering, barcoding, mail address printing among others.
The Swifts VDP is a combination press with piezoelectric inkjet head of large widths plus a bulking system and the traditional offset technology. Due to this, one can print anywhere on the paper effortlessly. Vasant Marathe, director, Swifts, says “Due to bulk ink system on them, they offer great cost advantage in running ink cost, over conventional thermal inkjet printers.”
The number of printheads in each machine varies and is installed as per the customer's demand. Swifts offers printheads with variable widths of 17mm, 53mm and 72mm. The VDP range of machines offers an option of installing printing heads across the entire width of the paper and thus eliminating the need to adjust the heads while printing. Depending on the type of print head used, the machines can offer print resolution from 180 dpi to 720 dpi.
“The printhead coupled with an oil-based inking system eliminates the possibility of ink clogging which is a critical factor in a VDP printer. This helps to reduce maintenance cost and the breakdown time due to the clogging of a print head,” informs Marathe.
The VDP compact and VDP Max can print at a speed of up to 2000 sheets per hour depending upon the stock thickness. Paper stock with thickness ranging from 40gsm to 350gsm can be printed on this machine.
The machine caters to industries for various jobs which require customised data in the form of numbering, bar coding, mail addresses etc.
Thermal inkjet printers which use cartridge for inking system available in the market can act as an alternative to the Swift’s VDP range of the machine. But, according to Marathe the various features of Swifts machine is what differentiates it from the inkjet systems.
“The compact design of the machine results in use of lesser floor space. Also, the large sizes of print heads help in easy set-up and the bulk ink system results in cost saving in the press," says Marathe.
He adds, “The equipment is low on cost, both in initial investment as well as running and has a smaller footprint." The machines are built as per the customer’s requirement and end applications. Hence, the pricing of each machine differs as per the requirements.
Marathe informs, “The machines are built in a way that it is very user-friendly to operate plus has a quick setup time.” Training and support services for the machine are available throughout India through Swifts’ head office in Nashik.
The first VDP Compact has been installed at Computer Appliances in Ajmer, Rajasthan. In addition to this, one of the kits is slated to go to the East Africa in 2016.
Swifts, founded by Appasaheb Marathe in 1955, is in its 60th year of operations.
Swifts has five decades of expertise in manufacturing mini offset printing machines, the company is a key player in this market segment. The product applications range from printing on paper, polythene, nonwoven bags, computer forms and aluminum sheets.
The company bagged the National Award for Import Substitution in 1978 for substituting the imported mini offset technology with its ‘Made in India’ product.
Numbering jobs like bus tickets, railway tickets, lottery tickets

Answer sheets of schools

Voter lists

Courier receipts

Utility bills

Application forms for visa, banks etc

Mailing lists

Telecom scratch cards

Price tags for garment industry




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