Digital printing by offset printers: Growing smartly in expanding market

On the sidelines of the recently concluded PAMEX 2011 in New Delhi, P&P spoke to Pankaj Kalra, head, graphic communication business group, Xerox India to get a precise feedback of the trends observed by Xerox as regards to the adoption of digital technologies by offset printers community in India. The response from Pankaj reveals very interesting findings. Excerpts: The high-end equipments from any digital printer provider, command enormous amount of investments crossing over to rupees three to four crore. And as such anybody would like to think ten times before taking a final decision in this regard. That is the reason that the number of such machines is not that high in India as of today. However, it is also interesting to note that lower and mid-level printers are already on this track of adopting digital technologies and some of them have already invested and offering the capabilities of digital printing to their customers successfully. The installations of these digital presses have rather proved to be as complementary to their existing set up of offset machines.

Before Pankaj continues his version, we interrupted to know that what have been the bottlenecks to such offset printers for successfully earning good revenues out of these digital devices. The instant reply came from Pankaj was that these bottlenecks are only for the printers with lesser knowledge of colour per se. Printers with already involved in colour printing have no issues at all in producing excellent quality from the capabilities the digital printers offer and earn handsomely. Sometimes, Xerox team members also learn more about colour and its gamut or profile, etc from those offset printers. The capabilities/features of digital presses are many, the users need to understand and produce.

Pankaj very clearly conveys that the printers, who still have not gone for digital, are for sure missing the boat. Today, the key to success is to somehow organize good production quantum and produce it on fewer number of machines. And to achieve the quantum of jobs, having a team of good marketing persons is of utmost important. Making a word of caution, Pankaj says that one needs to go for such digital equipment where scaling up possibilities always remain intact.

On answering to the question of as to what sort of jobs the printers should look forward for digital printing, Pankaj very specifically explains that there are always two types of jobs available in the market – run of the jobs and specialized jobs - but the answer would be to have mixture of jobs which would prove to be the best option. And to compete in the market differently other than on price war and to retain the existing customers – the tools like having ‘clear toner’ as the fifth colour could be the proven one.

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