Amid pandemic, Sakurai conducts annual open house

The four-day event sees 75% decline in the number of visitors, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and strict government regulations imposed in Japan.

10 Jul 2020 | By Aultrin Vijay

Visitors were able to inspect the products closely due to less footfall

Japanese printing press manufacturer Sakurai Graphic Systems showcased latest technologies during the 10th edition of its annual four-day Open House event held at Gifu factory in Japan in a rather low profile manner, with only a fourth of visitors compared to its previous year attendance. The company said the event was conducted carefully in a safe environment adhering to government rules and regulations.

The show titled 10th New Technology Introduction Show, which was held from 14-17 April 2020, introduced new technologies from Sakurai's stable. "Due to the Covid-19, we carefully and safely exhibited it following the guidelines from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare this year," the company told PrintWeek.

Although there was a 75% decline in the number of visitors, according to Sakurai, the exhibition was able to take off successfully and visitors were able to inspect the products closely, unlike the chaotic environment that an exhibition usually has.

New product launches
At the show, Sakurai launched a two-colour screen printing press – DMS-80SD-EXT – equipped with an inkjet unit that can perform complex processing of thermal transfer sheet in one pass, denoting the show's theme “Fusion of Analog (Silk Screen) and Digital(Inkjet) Technologies”.

The two-colour line DMS-80SD-EXT, a screen printing press equipped with an inkjet unit, is based on the concept of Extra Combination of Inkjet Technology (EXCITE). At first, it prints CMYK four-colour using an inkjet print head and then cures with an LED-UV lamp. For gluing, hot-melting powder is applied only to the point where the varnish is printed by screen printing.

The company claimed that this particular product caught the interest of the visitors. The demonstration was conducted with only a single pass of complex processes. "We received a strong interest in a labour-saving transfer system that can improve productivity and reduce personnel by consolidating processing steps," a Sakurai spokesperson said.

Apart from that, the company demonstrated another screen printing press MS-102AX, alongside new foiling unit LQM-105 Evolution and SI-102IN inspection unit.

Product upgrades
In the upgraded product category, Sakurai introduced MSDR-30 with UV and hot foil, which was equipped with a compact hot air dryer developed exclusively for cylinder type, roll-to-roll screen printing press.

"For peripherals, we have introduced the screen plate cleaning device SSW-104 with a fluid recycling system option and floor tabs along with a demonstration," the company stated.

In addition, it also showcased a flatbed, fully-automatic screen printing press MF-80VII, stop-cylinder type fully-automatic screen printing press MS-102SD, Sakurai Image Setter SIS-1800, a two-colour double-sided offset printing press OL-266SIP, and a rotary composite processing machine OL-266RCS.

Ryuta Sakurai, president of the company, said, "We have been working on the development of new technologies and products through communication with many customers... Sakurai Graphic Systems Corporation will continue to devote ourselves to holding the 11th New Technology Introduction Show, so that we can support new markets and new added value for printing companies."

Availability in India
Ajay Gandhi, president at Kunal Enterprise, which is also the one of the official dealers of Sakurai products in India, told PrintWeek that the newly-launched machines will be available in India "almost immediately".

Amid the lockdown blues in India, on a positive note, Gandhi said that Kunal Enterprise has successfully installed a MS-102AX screen printing press at Art In Art in Mumbai, soon after his company started operations on 8 June 2020.

Gandhi also said he has maintained a good rapport with his customers throughout the lockdown. "Our technical team was also ready to support our customers in Mumbai throughout the period of lockdown. Through video call, the team also solved a problem that one of our customers in Nairobi was facing," he added.

Gandhi said many of his customers from the pharmaceutical industry have made value addition in products using the Sakurai machines. He is also hopeful of new business opportunities in industrial printing by the end of this year or next year, "as many companies would be potentially moving from China to India".

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