It’s tar product at the show is Valloy’s DuoBlade WX, which is an all-in-one digital label finisher that includes unwinding, lamination, knife-cutting, matrix removal, slitting, trimming, and rewinding or sheeting. This is the latest offering from Valloy Incorporation, Korea, which will benefit a lot of label manufacturers to finish labels of urgent jobs or short-run jobs as you do not need to make and wait for dies to start finishing your labels.
“It is a unique solution as it uses four cutting heads at a time to finish the labels, overcoming the drawback of slow speed that various other digital label finishers in the market currently have,” Akshat Pardiwala, CEO, New Print Solutions, said.
To add to that, DuoBlade WX applies Artificial Intelligence to select and change jobs automatically without any operator intervention. The CCD camera recognises the barcode and automatically changes the job on the fly and accordingly adjusts the distance between the cutting heads.
Nippon Color, a leading supplier to the Indian printing industry since 1972, offers a wide range of solutions from offset to flexo to digital, in terms of pre-press, printing, as well as post-press equipment. Headquartered in Mumbai, it has branch offices in New Delhi, Chennai, and Kolkata, with multiple engineers deployed at each location for prompt after-sales.
What should the Indian printers do to improve their production methods? Pardiwala has two solutions — digital printing and automation. “When you say digital, you are eliminating a lot of makeready steps and time, you are eliminating the need to print a master (plate or cylinder) which can be time consuming. Of course, it depends on your job run length, but for shorter run jobs digital is the faster and economical way to go. And with automation, you are maximising the time and cost savings and reducing the operator intervention and in turn reducing human error,” he said.
He added that this is what the company is providing in DuoBlade WX. To put it simply, DuoBlade WX has an embedded computer. One can store as many cutting files in it as possible. Software can call a job from DB. It puts a list of jobs. Printed roll can have multiple jobs in it. The CCD camera reads the code and loads the job. When a different code is detected, it loads a different job accordingly. Following the cutting job info, the cutter adjusts the head distance automatically. It cuts different jobs in series automatically.
“This is the advantage of digital workflow,” he said.
Pardiwala said there is a lot of fear and uncertainty in the industry because of the pandemic. “Not only due to Covid, but input costs of paper, printing plates, etc have also affected our industry adversely. The main concern from our customers has been that print buyers are not empathising with the situation and not paying for the rise in costs,” he said.
He added, “It is a very difficult time for commercial printers where survival has become the goal instead of growth. This scenario may be true for many industries. But Covid has also given rise to a few opportunities, as eCommerce has boomed. Whether it is printing of labels for food or hygiene products, or carton packaging to ship the online orders, there is scope for being optimistic during these difficult times.”
He added that the impact of the pandemic has been mixed for the printing industry. Those catering to clients in the hospitality and travel industry are suffering, while those into labels and packaging have seen growth opportunities.
“As established suppliers to the industry, we have added digital solutions in our portfolio mainly aimed at labels and packaging, diversifying from commercial printing solutions. In this manner, we are working to motivate and facilitate commercial printers to expand their product offerings,” he said.
Pardiwala said the next big thing is web-to-print. “It’s already out there, but with the pandemic changing the business models and driving eCommerce, web-to-print is something every printer will look at to optimise their workflows,” he said.