canon Imagepress helps two of Delhi’s printers to catch up with the need for 'Books on Demand'

Canon imagePRESS 1135 is the next generation Digital Mono Press, fusing the efficiency and versatility of digital technology with amazing image quality that looks and feels like offset production. Little wonder then that this digital press has been installed at two of the leading printers in Delhi – Thomson Press and Aarvee Printers in May 2012 to produce books dedicatedly.

It is not that these installations are happening for the first time in Delhi; there have been few such presses running efficiently and presses installed at Avantika Printers are already playing a key role in similar applications.

Publishers go digital…

“The digital book publishing segment has a big potential. Book publishers these days are very keen on digital printing because it gives them an option on saving – they can save on huge inventory as with digital, books are available to them in flat 2-3 days. It makes the payment cycle more efficient. Besides, publishers can bring life to their dead backlist as well,” told Sunil Verma of Aarvee Printers.

While Ashish Daftari, head – digital printing, Thomson Press, shared, “We are actively involved with the publishers and have seen the print runs shrinking. They wish to reorder than to have a larger print run and then stock for a long time. Infact, our publishers have been asking for a digital printing option.” Interestingly, Thomson Press already had a colour digital printing set-up for the last 6 years. “We thought of installing a cut-sheet black-and-white machine to cater to the publishing segment and opted for a Canon imagePRESS,” he added.

The digitally-printed books statistics…

“Normally, the print runs for these digitally printed books is 200-250 copies but it varies, it can be anything - as low as 10 as well,” told Sunil.
While, Ashish told that it can be typically anywhere between five copies to 100-150 copies. The installed capacity of the machine is 30 lakh A4 images per month and Thomson Press is utilising about 75 percent of this capacity. “We normally use 70-80 GSM white maplitho paper while we do use 53 GSM bulk sometimes,” he told.

Both Aarvee Printers and Thomson Press have in-house binding facilities, and offer all kinds of binding to publishers. “We do a lot of perfect binding and hard-case binding,” told Sunil. Aarvee Printers is presently using 60-65 percent capacity utilisation for the Canon ImagePRESS. “We are in the midst of developing it further and soon we would be able to utilise it to its full capacity,” said Sunil.

It is interesting to note that almost 90 percent of the digitally printed books at Thomson Press are hardbound. “We get more work for specialised printing because that has been our forte for so many years,” added Ashish.

The deciding factor…

“Well, we compared all the competitive digital presses in this segment and we were delighted to see that Canon imagePRESS can run on 55 GSM paper and the halftones are reproduced equal to the offset printing, infact better than offset printing. Besides, the consistency density is absolutely superfine,” says Sunil Verma.

While for Ashish, the quality and print area of the machine were the key factors for this installation. “Most of the machines in this category can handle a paper size of 12” while imagePRESS can handle a size of 12.72” which gives us more flexibility in terms of the book sizes. Besides, the quality of the print is fabulous and the economical pricing of the machine is an added advantage,” he shared.

The customers…

Aarvee Printers’ list of clients for digital printing consists of major publishers like Elf Publishing, Westland and Penguin for fiction, non-fiction and education books.

While, Thomson Press too is catering to all the major publishers in India for trade books, academic books and general books.

The challenges…

Yes, the book publishing industry poses challenges of its own. “There has to be a mental shift for the publishers. We are trying to create awareness among them to go for an initial offset print run of 1000+ copies and then refill it with POD as and when the demand comes. This would save their inventory costs and give them more liquidity. But, this shift may take some more time,” told Ashish.

The beginning has been made…

Both Sunil and Ashish are expecting this book publishing business to grow in the coming times as is evident by number of the new titles being released on everyday basis in many cities in India. “We are very clear in our approach – this would be a stepping stone for us and we hope that in a couple of months, we would upscale this book printing business via digital path,” concluded Ashish.

Group Publications