Aakruti Prints is transforming digital print for the better

In 2016, when Amruta Pitale decided to invest in a Duplo DC 616 she knew her company is transforming for the better.

15 Jan 2021 | By Noel D'Cunha

(l-r) Amruta Pitale and Parag Pitale

“We had just upgraded our first Xerox press, DC 700 with a Xerox Versant 2100, and the existing finishing machines, the cutting tools, just did not have the juice, to help us grow,” said Pitale, who was looking for a more accurate, fast and reliable machine which would give her company’s prints a polished look.

As the company started printing from a meagre 5,000 sheets in 2009, when it established itself in a rented, basement space, to 20,000 sheets per month in 2016 following the installation of the new Xerox kit, it knew that if it had to grow it would need to take a more progressive approach.

“We were very happy with the print quality of the Xerox kit, but somehow we had to compromise when it came to finishing. Plus service was a problem,” said Pitale, who manages the firm along with her husband Parag. While Pitale takes care of operations, Parag handles the finances.

Pitale said, “We started scouting for finishing equipment to bolster our post-press, moving around at exhibition, reading magazines like PrintWeek. We came across TechNova, which was planning to introduce a range of products in the post-press segment. We were shown the Duplo DC-616, and like the idiom – just what the doctor ordered – the kit seemed like a perfect solution for someone like us who did visiting cards, brochures and catalogues.”

It did.

The DC-616 was capable of producing six slits, 25 cuts and 20 creases in one pass; scan barcodes, and adjust the depth of the crease for a variety of media types. As a result, in the next couple of months, Pitale said, Aakruti’s print volumes jumped by about 10,000. “We started delivering finished print products in quick time, doing more than 30,000 sheets and processing more products per month.”

It’s not easy to achieve growth in a mature market – a problem many print firms face. However, there are proactive approaches which can trigger the growth of a company, and equip it with the ability to offer new products when things improve.

In 2019, Aakruti invested in a Jwei LST-064RM, a digital cutting table, thereby adding few more print applications to its portfolio. “We could produce labels, cartons, envelopes and small boxes,” said Pitale.

Pitale: We started scouting for finishing equipment to bolster our post-press

The Jwei is a multifunctional device for kiss-cutting/half-cutting, creasing and perforation equipped with QR code scanning for automatic job switches among other features.

Very recently, in November 2020 the firm added a set of digital embellishing devices – DDC-810 and DC-X II from Ucas to decorate the products it produces.

Pitale explained. “Today, there is competition and prints are available at every nook and corner. In order to distinguish ourselves, we saw UV and foiling as effect enhancers. For example, an invitation job can be done anywhere, even at a centre which has a refurbished printing machine. But with the new kit, I can produce the same invitation with a UV or a foiling effect to it.”

The DDC-810 powered by Duplo and DC-X II powered by Ucas is fitted with a 600x600dpi printhead, which TechNova’s product marketing manager for DIS, Ekta Mhatre explained, can fill solid areas and fine details in one go and deliver a first-sheet -saleable quality. "Restriction during this pandemic has meant fewer print, more embellishment, particularly invitation cards."

 Mhatre who led the sales pitch at Aakruti, added, “Any deviation can cause havoc, and the wastages would amount to loss.”

Aakruti has been producing 50,000 printed sheets per month, converting them into different kinds of products. The wow factor is added by the Jewi, Duplo and Ucas kit.

Citing an example of how the new investments have come in handy, Pitale said, during the pandemic and the many restrictions have meant weddings are held with fewer people. “The customers are now demanding better quality invites with embellishments, and are actually spending more than they would have had they printed simple cards in more numbers,” said Pitale.

Mhatre said, “Our customer’s customers are demanding exceptional value, choice and convenience. TechNova’s post-press solutions portfolio consisting Duplo DDC digital spot UV, Jwei cutting tables and Duplo finishers help our customers score on each of these criteria.”   

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