Konica Minolta ensuring seamless supply chain for its label press

Partners with diecutter manufacturers globally to integrate postpress requirements

Vijay Kamath, product manager – IP PP & IP marketing and Yoshinori Koide, EGM – business strategy and project management business planning division at the Konica Minolta India head office in Cyber City, Gurugram

Konica Minolta’s bizhub Press C71cf is an optimum printing solution for SMEs in the label printing and packaging segments. An entry-level press, the C71cf offers fast turnaround time for high-volume short-run jobs. The initial response of the Indian market to the bizhub Press C71cf has been encouraging, which has led Konica Minolta to work on making the supply chain for this press in India as seamless as possible. Packaging South Asia met Yoshinori Koide, executive general manager – business strategy and project management
business planning division and Vijay Kamath, product manager – IP PP & IP marketing for a discussion on the supply chain integration of bizhub Press C71cf and how it will add value to the label printing segment.

According to Kamath, the press will compliment the traditional flexo machine but won’t compete with it directly as the latter will continue to be used for long run jobs. The C71cf is ideal for short run label printing jobs and is primarily aimed at converters, label printers, offset printers and commercial printers. There is a growing demand for delivery of material in roll form, which most of the label offset printers are not able to deliver as they are still doing it via sheetfed printing. There are also food, pharma and ayurvedic brand owners who have similar requirements. These are the different segments that Konica Minolta is targeting.

Kamath also speaks about label printers getting prepress work done (platemaking) for short-run label jobs, which is increasingly becoming a critical issue. In label printing, the plates are made of photopolymer and there are very few such plate makers in India. So, for short run label printing jobs on flexo printing machines, getting plates done from suppliers is a major challenge. This is a requirement that Konica Minolta’s digital label printing press seeks to fulfil.

There is a clear need for the bizhub C71cf. For instance, a label printing press handling jobs for a brand with a sheetfed multicolor offset press will also get orders for short run jobs from the same brand. It becomes very difficult for the label printer to turn down short run jobs. Apart from customer relations, stopping jobwork on a 9-color sheetfed offset label press to do an urgent short run job is both uneconomical and complicated. It is here that the C71cf offers an optimum solution.

Diecutting integration with bizhub C71cf

Kamath says that right now, certain trials are underway in India to outsource diecutters and integrate them in the bizhub C71cf supply chain. Konica Minolta is keen to provide tailor-made solutions, both online or offline, for label printing and diecutting. The trials have already been successful and Konica Minolta has partnered with both Indian and foreign suppliers of customized diecutting solutions for the bizhub C71cf. A large number of diecutting suppliers in the company’s panel will be ideal to manage the different applications for different users.

“We are trying to partner with local diecutting equipment suppliers who will be able to provide optimum solutions for our bizhub C71cf. As this is an entry-level machine, the pricing has to meet customer expectations but since the imported diecutter machines are expensive, chances are that the customers might find it difficult to get the ideal RoI with these diecutters. There are some very good die-cutters that are designed and manufactured in India, and some of these are getting integrated with our digital label printing press,” shares Kamath.

The impact, resilience, and growth of responsible packaging in a wide region are daily chronicled by Packaging South Asia.

A multi-channel B2B publication and digital platform such as Packaging South Asia is always aware of the prospect of new beginnings and renewal. Its 16-year-old print monthly, based in New Delhi, India has demonstrated its commitment to progress and growth. The Indian and Asian packaging industries have shown resilience in the face of ongoing challenges over the past three years.

As we present our publishing plan for 2023, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2023 will reach 6.3%. Packaging industry growth has exceeded GDP growth even when allowing for inflation in the past three years.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 33% over the past three years. With orders in place, we expect another 33% capacity addition from 2023 to 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels have grown similarly. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

Even given the disruptions of supply chains, raw material prices, and the challenge of responsible and sustainable packaging, packaging in all its creative forms and purposes has significant headroom to grow in India and Asia. Our context and coverage engulf the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and further – to waste collection and recycling. We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers.

In an admittedly fragmented and textured terrain, this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing support communication – in our impactful and highly targeted business platform. Tell us what you need. Speak and write to our editorial and advertising teams! For advertisement ads1@ippgroup.in , for editorial info@ippgroup.in and for subscriptions subscription@ippgroup.in

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here