Star Offset set to target retail market with the Bizhub C71

Mumbai-based Star Offset has installed India’s second and western region’s first Konica Minolta Bizhub C71cf label press at its Bhiwandi facility. The installation will also serve as a demo centre for the Western and Southern region.

24 Oct 2018 | By Sujith Ail

(l-r) Ajit Suvarna of Star Offset, Sunil Thakeria of Insight and Vijay Kamat of Konica Minolta

Ajit Suvarna, owner of Star Offset, said, “For a mid-segment label converter, the unorganised retail segment is the business of the future. Small start-ups, private shops or companies such as sweet shops, local retail shops are mushrooming in the Indian market and their job requirement is in lesser quantities but the job ratio is huge. With this new kit, our focus is to work with the stakeholders in this segment where we can offer jobs of any run-length with minimal lead times.”

The machine is a roll-to-roll form four-colour digital press based on the dry-toner electrophotography technology. The ioniser in the machine removes the static present on the plastic substrates such as PP, PET and doesn’t require any corona treatment prior to printing. It can run at a high-speed of 18.9 m/min and ensure image quality of 1200 dpi. The toners used are FDA approved.

Highlighting the substrate handling of the machine, Suvarna, said, “One of the benefits is that the digital kit can handle all kinds of the substrate that are used in the narrow-web conventional label press.” Plain paper; gloss-, matte-coated paper; synthetic paper, PP, and PET are the substrates handled by the C71cf. Highest paper thickness is of 176gsm for non-tack paper and 256gsm for peeling paper.

Vijay Kamath of Konica Minolta, said, “This is an ideal machine for converters who are continuously facing challenges of running short-run jobs using the conventional label press. The Bizhub C71cf can manage the rapidly growing demands of high-mix, low-volume print jobs and offer shorter lead times.”

Commenting on the breakeven, Shayak Mukherjee, business consultant – R2R, sales division of Konica Minolta, said, “If the machine runs for four hours/day with an output of 3000m, ROI for the machine can be achieved with a span of two years.”

Konica Minolta has brought this kit into the market targeting the requirements of mid-segment converters where the runs are getting shorter and running the short run jobs on the conventional press seems to be a non-viable solution. 

Suvarna said, “The burden of plate cost, wastage cost and also the addition in the lead time for the plate-making is eliminated when you are running a short-run job on a digital press. If you are running short-, medium-run jobs on a conventional press, the wastage of substrate amounts to almost 30% which is not feasible at all.”

Along with the latest addition, Star houses a six-colour and seven-colour narrow-web printing lines which are capable of operating inline lamination, coating and foil-stamping. 

Ajit Suvarna had visited New Delhi’s Hora Art Centre to witness the live demo of the machine and within one month the deal was made for the digital kit at Star Offset. The machine was sold by Insight Print Communications, sales partner for Konica Minolta for the Eastern and Western region. Meanwhile, Reifenhauser India looks after the region in North India. 

Sunil Thakeria, director, Insight Print Communication, said, “Digital production is now an everyday reality in the label printing industry. Brand managers constantly have been trying to stay ahead of new competitors with the threat of counterfeiting. To cater to growing need of digital label printing and depending upon label printers/converters applications and requirements, Insight Print Communications offers solutions of digital label press from Konica Minolta.”

Konica Minolta’s focus is how to penetrate the label segment with their portfolio of digital presses and target the mid-segment converters. New Delhi’s Hora Art Centre and Star Offset will serve as a demo centre for Konica Minolta’s digital label press.