Ricoh’s digital adventure in Pune

The new breed of printers in Pune are investing in Ricoh. They tell PrintWeek India that digital is migrating from a stage of infancy to maturation; and how after-sales services holds the key.

14 Jun 2014 | By PrintWeek India

Amit Bhide
K C Bhide Block Makers

Bhide is a front-runner in commercial digital printing in Pune – and has invested in Ricoh’s digital kit. The companies mantra is simple, if the basics are right then the end product or the service will be of “very good quality”. 
When one visited the unit for an interview, Amit Bhide was busy with his job on the new Ricoh Pro C901 GA+ press. Although he has skilled staff to run the production, he makes it a point to be personally involved. This is evident when he stands next his new press and monitors jobs. The clients walk-in and leave with a satisfied smile, impressed with the print  quality.
Bhide says, “It is not only the press but the Fiery RIP, paper plays an important role. We use imported paper. We do not distinguish from job-to-job. Plus we have standardised.”
Commenting on the number of jobs, the firm converts, Bhide says, “It is an old thing talking about number of jobs. Today, very few machines would be producing more than 50,000 copies. To achieve a break-even point, the production should be 45,000 to 50,000 copies.”
According to Bhide, it is a sad situation. For example if I have invested in digital technology then others will also invest in it. There is no proper study on whether this investment will fetch them a realistic ROI. There should be proper study before the investment.
Most of Bhide’s customers are walk-in and  first timers. Bhide says, “They visit other units before coming to us. But once they get their job printed from us then they become loyal to us. It is our loyal customers who spread good opinion about us in the market.” 
He is points out how Bhide has invested in softwares which aid in producing good quality jobs. He says, “No one invests in softwares because it is an expensive proposition. This is where we make a difference.”
He adds,  “Pune is big market wehere top brands having offices. Having said so, the print demand is less and the number of machines is more, whether it is digital or offset. This has impacted printing business. Today if the market requires 10 machines then there are 20 to 25 machines. It is surplus,” says Bhide.
Bhide signs off saying, “One thing is clear digital print technology is good but if there is no proper planning and study then investment in any other technology is bound to backfire.”


Imtiyaz Shaikh 
Dezigner Enterprise

Dezigner Enterprise located near Shaniwar Wada, the house of Peshwas, is a boutique digital print shop. The firm has invested in the Ricoh Pro C901 press. 
Imtiyaz Shaikh, director of Dezigner Enterprise, says, “Prior to investing in the Ricoh press, we considered other options from Xerox but the Ricoh press was a perfect fit for our budget. Also it  has a smaller footprint as compared to other devices. The customers have appreciated the quality produced by this press which can be seen by the fact that we have already produced more than three lakh impressions since its installation four months ago.”
Shaikh says, “In a walk-in shop like ours, it is difficult to plan the jobs. We cater to jobs as they come to us but yes wedo give the priority to the important once. There are jobs from real estate industry, architects, students with the projects etc who walk-in. The support from Ricoh has been good so far and I expect it to continue.”
The digital print shop is facing space constraint and is seeking a bigger area. plus an  investment in post-press equipment. 
Shaikh says, “Today we have to outsource our post-press activity. In the new place we will have all the necessary equipment in place.”
Commenting about the innovation in print, Shaikh says, “Recently we did a job for a beverage company who wanted to promot an offer on their drinks with a special VDP application. The other job was unique. We created an Eiffel Tower which was printed on the Ricoh press. The post-press activity for this job was manually fabricated. The company who ordered this job had an event with a theme based on Paris.”
According to Shaikh, the market is “very price conscious and there is tough competition. “ He add, the future of digital is inkjet.  


Mandar Thakurdesai - Nandkumar Navale
Unique Offset
Unique Offset based in the heart of Pune near Tilak Smarak. They have ventured into digital printing with an investment in Ricoh Pro 651ex digital press. According to Mandar Thakurdesai and Nandakumar Navale, the directors of the firm, the investment in digital is for the in-house use and not for walk-in customers.
They say, “We get a lot of short-run jobs and each and every time it is not possible to get it printed on the offset press. This is where the Ricoh press comes into action. We are not worried about the click charges, the important point is, it should not remain idle.” Thakurdas adds, 
“The post-press operations for digital is not a problem, as we have an offset setup. The customer does not have to run around for the job.”


Sachin Paranjape
Pavan Plastics
Pavan Plastics manufactures and supplies plastic stationery materials which are supplied to corporates and the educational sector. The firm saw an opportunity of expanding their services and ventured into digital printing. The firm has invested in a Ricoh Pro C751 press.
Sachin Paranjape of Pavan Plastics, says, “We have invested in a Ricoh press for our use. We have good client base for our stationery products and what we have done is, we have extended our services by offering print jobs. Schools, colleges and corporates require prints like certificates, reports, brochures, catalogues etc.”
According to Paranjape, the firm has a clear focused area of operation and does not want to entertain walk-in customers. 
Paranjape says, “Our staff when they visit the institutions and corporate office for the stationery products, they also request for the jobs for printing. It is becomes easy for the customers as they don’t have to move out and search for the print partner.”


Dinesh Mehta
DPM Printers
DPM Printers which caters to commercial offset and digital security printing has invested in raft of Ricoh digital presses latest being the Pro C751. The firm caters to the automobile, chemical and heavy industry. Dinesh Mehta, director of DPM Printers, says, “When we started the digital print business, it was difficult for us to convince our clients as to what kind of quality we can produce. For example, one of the automobile manufacturer approached us for the coupon books for their service centres across Maharashtra. These books required variable data printing (VDP) with unique serial numbers. We could produce the job in four working days along with the VDP.  They could not imagine and were impressed that variable numbers can be printed in one go. Earlier these numbers were printed using letterpress which created a bad impression on the printed sheet. Today I am catering to all the prinitng needs of this company.”


Ricoh Pro C901/c901s GA
Ricoh launched Pro C900 at Drupa, 2008. Ricoh India launched the flagship colour digital production printer Pro C900 and Pro C720 series, in September 2010. In 2011, the company unveiled the Ricoh Pro C901/C901S Graphic Art Edition.
The Pro C901/C901S offers a rated speeds of 90 A4 colour pages per minute in duplex mode and can print on a vast array of different stock types with a thickness up to 300gsm, which Ricoh claims makes it the fastest in its class. The Pro C901/C901S also maintains speed and quality on all media, claims Ricoh. 
The Pro C901/C901S is capable of churning out 5,80,000 pages per month. The Pro C901/C901S is capable of delivering  high quality output for commercial as well as graphic art user with inline finished books and brochures. The machine, is available with EFI’s Fiery E-41 print server as an entry-level option for in-plant and commercial work, and an alternate option Creo C-81 for demanding Graphic Art environments.
Ricoh Pro C751 series
Ricoh India launched its new mid-production digital press C751 series consisting of three variant – Pro C651Ex, Pro C751Ex and C751 at the Ipex South Asia held in Mumbai in September 2011.  The Pro C651Ex and Pro C751Ex are scanner models, while the C751 is a print-only version.
The Pro C751 series uses Ricoh’s brand-new vertical cavity surface emitting laser technology (VCSEL), which enables it to print up to 1,200x4,800 dpi to perform cost-effectively in-house. The VCSEL has as many as 40 laser beams emitting simultaneously, which aids job accuracy.
The top speed in both mono and colour for the Pro C751 series is 75 pages-per-minute (pp/min). The machine is fitted with an LED light to indicate which tray is in use. This enables the user to refill another tray and keep it ready for the next job.
The basic system includes a standard finisher, a large-capacity input tray, the Fiery RIP and the ORUs.