Konica Minolta ensuring seamless supply chain for its label press

Partners with diecutter manufacturers globally to integrate postpress requirements

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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.

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