Role of printing technologists in today’s scenario

In every country, printing technologists make the foundation for graphic arts industry, including newspaper publishing. They determine the growth pace with their constructive contributions in diversified manner. So, what is happening in India in this regard? Are Indian printing technologists perfectly fulfilling their duties towards the industry? Are they utilizing their strengths up to the optimum level or whether they are just managing to survive through various means? Are they empowering the customers by becoming their friends, guides and well wishers for advancing their business? Are they involved in research and development for rewarding innovations beyond the existing horizon? We need to ponder over these issues comprehensively. SK Khurana, editor, Print & Publishing discuses the important role of printing technologists in today’s scenario. Printing technologists can either be seen employed at commercial printing presses or facilities of newspaper establishments or as entrepreneurs, some of them holding good positions in the industry. Additionally, some of them are associated with major hardware, software and consumables suppliers from India or overseas, primarily in the role of marketing or sales professionals. Since the businesses now require the professionals to be jack of all related trades and master of at least one, they have competently been playing diversified role in different segments of the industry. They are also enriching the industry with innovative ideas, taking responsibilities of in-house training of the staff, and inspiring other educated professionals from within the printing institutions spread all over the country.

Now, let’s see how they can enrich entrepreneurship…

No doubt successful entrepreneurship in any segment of the industry is of utmost importance for the whole concerned community, but it also brings upon some duties and liabilities, ensuring fair and rewarding operations of the businesses. Being experts, such printing technologists should not focus only on profit making but they should also give equal importance to bring the right technologies to their customers. They should look at customer interest, ensuring that customer grows and they grow along with them.

But there’s a missing link… let’s see how.

Despite performing well as per their very strengths in different roles, Indian printing technologists seem almost missing in contributing to the graphics arts industry in the area of research and development (R&D). It is the demand of the day that they should come forward with their innovative ideas and approach to create new avenues for the industry associates through their expertise in printing technology. With such initiatives, Indian graphic arts industry may come of age in the real sense.

Not only this, they can take a lot of newer initiatives for the betterment of the industry.

In fact the time has come when printing technologists need to re-consider, keeping various constructive objectives in mind:

  • Total quality approach in prepress, press and finishing/binding is of utmost importance when everyone is quality-conscious all around. Undoubtedly, the desired quality can be achieved smoothly, if the strengths of all segments including prepress, press and finishing, comply with each other and the consistency is maintained throughout the process. It has been observed in India that there is an imbalance in flow of investment in the above segments – while major investment is made in press segment, the prepress and post press sections are not given equal importance. Despite being in different roles, it is the responsibility of printing technologists to ensure a balanced investment in all segments. If employed, they should help the owners to make a road map of developing a modern set up over a period of time.
  • In printing, specifications are crucial for desired quality. So, printing technologists should guide print buyers and help them draw right specifications apart from understanding good/bad/worst quality.
  • Printing technologists should also try to upgrade their knowledge from time to time, which would provide constructive approach to them. And, to be in touch with the fellow technologists and sharing of day to day experiences would be mutually beneficial and will help in generating a wining climate to perform better.
  • By visiting manufacturers’ plants like that of inks, machines, paper, plates, they should try to constantly enrich themselves with basic production processes relating to respective profile.
  • They should also try to remain associated with teaching institutions and keep guiding the faculty or students with their practical industry knowledge.
  • Technologists associated with Government departments have to play a much greater role which otherwise is vice versa. Generally, the officers/ministry level top position holders do not keep direct touch with newer technologies and thus are unable to take right decisions. Take the example of a government press establishments, where letterpress process still continues, which can’t be justified in any sense. It is notable that the printing facility at our President House has not been modernized to the desirable extent, though being handled by print technologists. Similar status must be there at the Railway presses. There persists a great scope of attempt by printing technologists to improve their existing status.
  • Very importantly, the responsibility of printing technologists is to look into the right pricing structure all over, i.e. print job estimations, consumable or hardware sales level, etc. If a print technologist takes it seriously, he can bring a right strategy which will help not only print buyers but printers themselves.
  • Last but not the least, a very important responsibility of a printing technologist is to help in eradicating piracy, imitation or duplication, which is affecting our society adversely. Look at the fake medicines available in the market with genuine-like packaging. Similarly, one can find fake auto parts, food products, etc, which are being thrown into the market. Are we, the printing technologists, in a way, not responsible for such mall practices? It is time for all to think and take corrective actions together.

Group Publications