Kerala reboots at Print Miracle

Print Miracle was the premier trade show in Kochi and was a combination of Chennai’s Print Expo gooodwill plus Kerala Master Printers Association’s outreach in the state. The exhibitor side of the show was light but once Kerala grows, many more brands will be present next time.

04 Feb 2015 | By Ramu Ramanathan

Print Miracle Expo, the three-day show, from 12 to 14 December 2014, saw HP showing a live demo of the HP Indigo, Xerox launching two digital presses in India and Canon launching a new “surprise” kit in India. In addition, Monotech showcased several equipment, plus there were Heidelberg, Mitsubishi, TechNova, Insight, Welbound and many others exhibiting their wares.
Ashok Neelkant, CEO of Showcase said, “The three-day show was a success with 95 direct exhibitors representing more than 125 brands.”
The Kerala Master Printers Association who were co-hosts of the show had lined up a variety of conferences and seminars during the three-day exposition with the two-pronged intention of educating the print fraternity of Kerala and complementing the tradeshow.

The first Dreamlabo in Kerala at Photopark in Kochi
Advantage digital in Kerala
The Kochi-based Photopark, a digital printing company, which was established in June 2012, was looking for an equipment to enhance the sheets printed on HP Indigo. This, finally, led them to commission a Scodix digital print-enhance equipment. Monotech had a special gallery which displayed print applications produced on a Scodix.
Canon‘s C700 Imagepress saw official “public” launch of the press. Xerox’s Versant 2100 made its first public appearance and HP’s Indigo 7800 attracted maximum visitors to its stall.
TechNova Imaging Systems secured multiple orders at the show. The major breakthrough for the company was the sale of first Duplo DC 646 digital finishing kit in Kerala to Print It (Computer Park), informed S Swarnangka, chief operating officer at TechNova.
The Duplo DC 646, which will be installed at Print It (Computer Park), is an offline digital slitter, cutter and creaser, which operates at 30 sheets per minute and can handle non-coated, coated and laminated paper types of up to 350gsm. It has six rotary slitters (can be extended to eight), and can cut up to 25 cuts per sheet and 20 creases per sheet.
One of the highlights of TechNova’s stall was the SmartJet LP 112 digital inkjet press built on the revolutionary Memjet waterfall technology. The machine, which saw its first installation at Plus Creations in Rai, Haryana during Labelexpo India in November, lured potential buyers to the company’s stand.
Monotech Systems highlighted the Scodix installation at Kochi-based Photopark.
Five Star Offset starts packaging operations in Kochi
Kochi-based Five Star Offset has entered the packaging space by acquiring Bobst’s Novacut 106E die-cutter and Visionfold 80 folder gluer. The acquisition was officially announced during Print Miracle 2014 in Kochi.
Novacut 106 E is a die-cutting machine to convert materials like paper, carton-board, corrugated board and semi-rigid plastic. The Novacut has Autoplaten technology which helps in quicker setups, better product quality, and fewer stops in production. Novacut 106 E reaches the speed of up to 8,000 sheets per hour and has been installed at companies like Parksons Packaging in Chakan and Rudrapur and Sai Packaging in Bangalore.
The Visionfold 80 folder gluer is one of the most flexible machines available, letting you fold and glue  different box styles, from small pharmaceutical cartons to large cereal boxes. It adapt at folding and gluing carton board and corrugated boxes as it can handle substrates up to 600gsm.
Started in 1991 to cater to the marketing and communication industry in Kochi, over the last 20 years Five Star has established itself as a key player in Kochi’s commercial print market with a Heidelberg Suprasetter system with a Prinect, two four-colour presses (a Printmaster and a CD-102) plus a Polar-Stahl folding machine.
Heidelberg in Kerala
Heidelberg has a market share in Kerala for new sheeted presses.  Ganesan Venkataraman of heidelberg India said, “As far as the market potential is concerned, I feel that Kerala still has lot of potential and in my opinion we need to look at “growing the cake instead of sharing the cake” . 
He explained how Kerala printers are equipped with top class, state-of-the-art printing machinery coupled with advanced pre-press solutions and web connectivity. 
Today, Heidelberg has an impressive roster of clients in Kerala. Other than Fivestar Offset, these are: Divine Printers (SM 74 - 4); St Francis Press (SM 52-4); Benzy Prints  (SM 74 – 4); Varna Graphics (PM 74 -4); SN Offset Printers (SM 52 – 4); Maya Printers  (PM 74 - 4), Manappuram Offset Printers (SM 74 -4) and Anaswara Offset  (SM 74 4+L SE) – (please refer to Anaswara’s O Venugopal’s big interview on page 22-23).
In addition there are three print firms in Kollam: 
Koppara Enterprises   (Printmaster GTO 52 – 4); Sujilee Color  (SM 74 – 4) and Mata Amruthanandamayi (PM 74-4).
HP Indigo in Kerala
Kerala printers have opted for HP Indigos because they want to differentiate themselves as short-run, high-value producers, according to top Capricot Technologies executive,  R Jesudoss, who is country manager. Jesudoss was at the stall which saw the launch of the HP Indigo 7800.
Kerala has 25 machines installed and Josedoss, said digital machines such as the HP Indigo could help printers produce ‘smart’ print and beat the ‘commodity trap’.
“There are a lot of things that Kerala photo album players does much better than the rest of the country in the printing industry. He showed print samples of how companies in Kerala were increasingly finding ways to keep work local by adding value to their printing.
Josedoss said Kerala has benefited from the partnership because it meant Capricots along with Redington could supply them with high-quality equipment and good finance deals.
HP has already sold Indigo 7800 to Glo in neighbouring Coimbatore. The HP Indigo team hinted that more orders may soon be finalised. “There is a lot in the pipeline, a lot of customers in South India that are considering the Indigos for their growth trajectory.”
The Indigo 7800 which had nonstop demos during the Print Miracle show is designed on the success of its predecessors; Indigo 7000. The machine boasts of direct printing on synthetic substrates with one-shot colour technology, automated on-press colour management with the in-line spectrophotometer and the HP SmartStream  Production Pro Print Server.
The Indigo is the only commercial solution delivering offset-like print quality using liquid ink,” said Josedoss. This was followed by a tech-demo of the well-known offset principles of a plate, blanket and impression cylinder construction.




HP Indigo


Sapphire was seen driving reconditioned digital offset engines
• Thrissur-based Redlands launched its partenrship with Mohr cutting kit
Autoprint’s creasing kit was sold to a printer in Ernakulam
Welbound scored with orders for perfect binder & Colt folding kit from Orange, Nirmala, My Signature, Sterling and Supriya among others
• Ooty-based R Senthil Kumar booked a fully bundled Kodak 8-up Trendsetter for its new unit in Coimbatore


Trend watch: CTP in Kerala

An interesting snapshot captured by PrintWeek India after consulting the top CTP suppliers is, even though the installed base of thermal CTP systems is higher than violet, in terms of plate consumption, thermal and violet plate consumption are on par. 
This is because, “average plate consumption of thermal plates is 800 sq/m per unit and that of violet is 1100 sq/m,” as stated by the regional manager of a major plate supplier. The other trend is, the slowdown among CTP service bureaus; since most of the major print firms have installed a CTP device in-house.

In the state, TechNova accounts for a majority of CTP device installations, while Heidelberg has installed 10 Suprasetters in the state. 
This growth in CTP systems and plates is driven by the print market in Kerala, which is short runs and enhanced quality. These range from 1,000 to 10,000 copies be it brochures for real estate and jewel and gems market.  
PS: The update doesn’t include CTP systems for newspapers