West Bengal’s DN Mitra Lab marks first HP Indigo 15K in East India

DN Mitra Lab has become the first company in the eastern part of the country to install an HP Indigo 15K digital press at its facility in Ranaghat, a city in Nadia district of West Bengal, as it looks to broaden its customer offerings and take on new types of work.

23 Feb 2023 | By Noel D'Cunha

Mitra: “With the 15K, we aim to expand our product portfolio”

Ranaghat is about 77kms north of Kolkata and is known for its handloom industry, various types of flowers and floriculture and a flower market.

DN Mitra studio was established in 1930, and carries the legacy of Debendra Nath Mitra, an eminent photographer of his time. Over a while, DN Mitra evolved to become a film and colour lab, DN Mitra Lab. 

“We partnered with HP to invest in HP Indigo presses to cater to quality printing needs in photo printing as well as the premium segment of high-end photo printing, which has increased the volumes simultaneously,” said Somnath Mitra, managing director of DN Mitra, the third-gen of the 93-year old print company. Mitra is also fondly known as Piku Da in the industry.

As DN Mitra’s digital transformation continues, it has upgraded from the two 19-inch-format HP Indigo presses to the new 29-inch HP Indigo 15K press, decommissioning the half-sized presses. The company presently produces nearly 350 photo albums of 40-50 sheets daily.

The HP Indigo 15K is the Series 4 press, capable of seven-colour printing at the speed of 4,600sph B2 sheets and is targeted at premium commercial applications. It can handle a more comprehensive media range, up to 600micron, and 1,600 dpi and FM stochastic screening in HD configuration.

Besides the photo business, the company has an offset operation, established in 2019, producing close to 50,000 books per day. The company also produces premium mono cartons and boxes. In the offset segment, the company has a Heidelberg Speedmaster SX74 printing press, Heidelberg Suprasetter A75 CTP, Heidelberg Saphira range of consumables, Heidelberg Saphira APD 100 thermal digital printing plates, Polar 115 PF paper cutting machine, and Stahl and Bindwel (formerly Welbound) folding machines among other post-press machines.

With the investment, DN Mitra Lab aims to expand its product portfolio. Mitra said, “The installation will further strengthen the business by venturing into big-size albums, gift boxes, wedding invites, sheetfed labels, personalised amateur photo books, and short-run light packaging.”

DN Mitra has over 600 agents and a chain of dealer networks offering various photo print-related services to the Indian photo printing industry. “We did a good amount of wedding work, Covid-19 related crisis notwithstanding; work coming from different parts of East India. Nepal is just 40kms from Siliguri, where we have an office. "Not many were doing what we do during the Covid-19 pandemic,” explained Mitra. "We invested in HP Indigo 15K digital press to maintain and fulfil this growth momentum with changing business requirements.”

Over the past few years, the digital printing industry has undergone a paradigm shift and broadened the photo print industry with many innovations. “The demand for extra and special colours has set the higher printer benchmark. Having HP Indigo 15k with additional ink stations and unlimited colour combinations will help our customers achieve an extra gamut of colours. Today to cater for the needs of the eastern photo market, we can print with vivid pink and vivid green special inks designed to meet the enhanced photo quality for Indian wedding photos,” explained Mitra.


Inauguration of the HP Indigo 15K at DN Mitra’s Ranaghat facility

A Appadurai, country manager, HP Indigo and PageWide Web Press, HP India market, said, “We have provided the power of innovation to our customers across all the regions in India, and they are revolutionising the photo printing industry with the usage of the right colours, delivering high quality and cost-effective print in the speediest timeframe to photographers and photo studios. We are proud to strengthen our alliance with DN Mitra and support them as a partner in achieving the highest standard of photo print quality by providing HP’s digital technology.”

The HP Indigo 15K comes with additional software such as PrintOS, which will enable DN Mitra to become more automated and hands-on, allowing the company to keep track of the daily production and monitor the real-time performance of the press.

KS Ramesh, vice president - sales for HP Indigo business at Redington, said, “Our goal is to enhance accessibility and accelerate the adoption of the latest technologies in the country. We are glad to facilitate the deployment of the HP Indigo 15K HD Digital Press at DN Mitra, which will help them to provide enhanced printing services to their respective customers by offering a one-stop print service for photo album printing and fuel a big shift to the commercial printers.”

DN Mitra has an office in Kolkata, besides a collection centre in Siliguri. The print production plant, a six-story building built on a 42,000 sqft area, is in Ranaghat. At present, the digital and offset operations occupy two storeys. The company hopes to make the site future-ready to entertain every kind of printing where a customer can meet all his printing needs.  

“Our investment in HP Indigo presses has gone really well for us. We are thrilled with the prospects of work we can do with the new machine and look forward to building on that. We will also move a small amount of commercial and packaging work from our offset segment to the new 15K. We will also be looking at more capex investment early next year,” concluded Mitra.