Exhibitor speak: S Swarnangka of TechNova

S Swarnangka of TechNova explains why SmartJet is a winning product for the company

01 Nov 2014 | By Noel D'Cunha

What’s the status on SmartJet?
You can treat this (the display at Labelexpo) as a commercial launch. If you ask me the difference between the time it was unveiled at Pamex 2013 and now, I would say, we were talking more about the concept, a prototype then, how it was developed, and the benefits a customer can derive from the machine. Here, apart from impressing upon the benefits, we are also letting the customers know that the product is available, and should they want to buy it, we would be able to deliver it.
Who do you think are your buyers?
We are looking at two different segments. One is definitely the flexo players who would like to cater to the print-on-demand market, or someone looking to supply small quantities of labels or maybe advance copies of labels, a typical digital requirement. We have also observed that there are even manufacturing companies with in-house labels requirements, for this, SmartJet is a perfect choice. 
The immediate benefits are zero-level inventory, full control of print jobs, plus customised marketing information that can be printed over the labels. For example, a tiles manufacturer wants to create say, a marketing promo plan, he can do it in-house. 
That’s a new excitement we are experiencing.
What about the bottleneck in post-press?
We have a solution in the form of die-cutting, embellishing, foiling, everything that is needed. 
Will there be multiple islands?
No, we are not looking at multiple islands. We will be looking for existing capabilities. So, we will look at a roll-to-roll solution, without multiplying or duplicating the efforts. Second, say someone has a specific requirement, a manufacturer, what is the post-press capability that he needs to have? Probably, a die-cut? We will have a dedicated solution for that kind of application. These two are one part of phase I.
We have embarked on the phase II of the digital solutions, and at this juncture, I can only say that it’s still in a developmental stage, and has something to do with lasers.
What are the things to come in the digital press space?
Higher speeds and high print quality.
There is a lot of competition, both within and from outside, in this segment of digital label printing. Do you see this as a threat to your solution?
No, I don’t think it’s a threat. I think it’s a great opportunity, because, when we came up with the concept, there was hardly anyone doing something like that in the country. If there are more entrants, I think, there will be believers for this particular solution. Looking forward, I think the segment will expand and for one company to feed all the requirements is near impossible.
If you look at the industrial manufacturing base and add to it the ‘make in India’ goal, each packaging box will require a label. Therefore, the numbers of labels that you are looking for is phenomenal. Hence, you will need a bunch of companies providing solution to this particular segment of the market. 
What are the numbers you are looking at?
I can tell you that we have installed a few at beta sites, and a long list of interested customers.