The Offset Printers Association recently organized a Webinar on ‘Opportunities in Digital Label and Packaging’. The meeting was started off by Prof. Kamal Chopra, General Secretary, OPA and Chairman, PAMEX and was moderated by Dr. TKS Lakshmi Priya, Professor- Printing Tech, Avinashilingam University. The Guest Speakers included Mr. Manish Gupta, General Manager, Konica Minolta Business Solutions India; Mr. Ajay Rao Rane, Asst. Vice President- Digital Printing Solutions, Domino Printech India LLP; Mr. Harveer Sahni, Chairman, Weldon Celloplast Ltd.; Mr. Rajeev Chhatwal, Owner, Kwality Offset Printers; Mr. Ramneek Hora, Manager, Hora Art Centre Pvt. Ltd.
The Webinar was initiated by Prof. Chopra who shared his thoughts on the benefits of digital labels. “The future belongs to them,” he said.
Dr. Lakshmi Priya, after a brief introduction of the guest speakers, asked each of them to share their perspective on the opportunities in digital labels and packaging.
“Digital technology offers an advantage when it comes to short-run and variable printing,” said Mr. Gupta. He felt that companies using conventional technology can use digital as complementary technology to service their short-run needs.
Mr. Sahni shared a presentation on the types of Labels and printing technologies. Talking about the evolution of printing technologies, he spoke about how the industry moved from flat bed letterpress to rotary letterpress, then to rotary flexo and then to flexo combination of various kinds and finally the digital. “The digital label printing technologies primarily include dry toner, liquid toner, UV inkjet, water-based inkjet and few others,” he stated. He also highlighted the importance of labels in terms of packaging, product identification, marketing tool, statutory information and usage instructions.
Mr. Chhatwal started off with a brief comparison between flexography and digital. According to him, it is important to understand one’s requirement before adopting a technology. “You must do a sampling and cost analysis of various technologies,” he emphasized. For existing label printers, his suggestion was to check what add-on benefits can digital bring in terms of wastage, automation and quality of print. “Sometimes a hybrid printer can also be the best solution for a company,” he said.
Mr. Rane said that digital printing is not just about having a simple tool which help reduce loss on existing short runs or a magical technique that will work on all printing materials with constant quality. “Digital printing infact is a complementary technology that will grow your business and make it more profitable,” he said. He added that the digital printing should be referred as a driver for change in internal supply chain- waste, order processing, number of jobs, logistics, automation and prepress.
The last speaker at the Webinar was Mr. Hora, who was the youngest speaker of the day. Referring to him as next generation of printing, Dr. Lakshmi Priya thrusted upon the importance of having opinions of second generation printers when it comes to adopting new technologies.
In his brief presentation, talking about the opportunities of digital printing, Mr. Hora said, “Digital Printing allows for personalization in variable data printing. It is consistent as every drop of ink is controlled by the software till it reaches the media.” He also added that digital printing requires less changeover time and requires less manpower.
The Webinar turned out to be very informative and ended with a Q&A session where the attendees asked about cost effectiveness and applications of digital printing.