Steve Smiley arrived early on the morning of 5 December and was deposited at the Hyatt Regency in Manesar and then after visiting home I went to work in Noida. Then I drove back to Manesar and picked up Steve for a quick walk through at Kumar Printers.
On Sunday morning the 6th of December the full force of the IppStar and Idealliance India teams arrived at Kumar Printers. We had a good showing of printers and a few brand owners and ran a very bright white somewhat bluish coated stock along with ITC’s Cyberexcel board on the Heidelberg 6-color plus coater. Of course we only ran CMYK on the first set of uncalibrated or linear runs and then Smiley used the Curve 3 software essentially to balance the CMY ramp (strip). The results while not exactly matching each other with paper colors being so far apart did come much closer and did demonstrate that the G7 method can quickly bring a pleasing result with a similar dynamic range on different stock quickly and can be fine tuned to come within the new ISO 15339 standard. Not bad, since it was the first time Kumar was using this set of Sakata inks!
On 7 December, the G7 Master Basic Training at Habitat by Smiley. Good turnout but not as good as the demo considering it was in the heart of Delhi. The course went well although there was a wide gap in the experience of the participants. But overall quite good and the participants did fairly well on the test.
On 8 December we visit a couple of large companies that are interested in Idealliance India and G7 and in the evening Steve Smiley and print engineer Aniket Rane fly off to Mumbai for the Pamex Face to Face, the Pamex Conference ant the G7 Live! Master Basic Training and the demo runs at Parksons Graphics. Smiley holds a G7 F2F clinic at Pamex on the afternoon of 9 December.
On 10 December, the Pamex conference. Welcome by Tushar Dhote, one of the heroes of the past extended week. (His past week was about a month long and took him to several cities across the country. He was in Kolkata a couple of nights before the show opened.) Keynote speech by Manoj Mehta of Utility Packaging – Manipal, and then a presentation by Appadurai of HP. Appadurai with the help of a couple of slick videos answered five questions that sceptics or critics of digital print generally ask. He was convincing as he promised you a free multicolor press if you buy an Indigo. (His argument said approximately, that if you are currently running multiple multicolor presses and you buy an Indigo digital press, you will soon save enough to buy another press – leaving it up to you whether it would be a digital or an offset press!) Then we visited the Pamex exhibition and it was buzzing – a testament to Tushar Dhote’s hard work over the past few months. This is the guy who made it happen.
Tushar Dhote, co-chairman of Pamex. Photo IPP
Then, at the Pamex Conference came Smiley’s presentation on G7 and the ISO 15339 standard. Convincing enough so that the industry veteran and leader sitting next to me said he will send in his membership form and cheque to Idealliance India the next day (we are still waiting for this cheque).
On 11 December the G7 Live! Master Basic Training at the small conference room on the ground floor of the Pamex exhibition. Ultimately 49 participants including several from leading global brand owners, premedia companies and commercial print and packaging companies. Good turnout not only from Mumbai but also from Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Smiley good again. Good results on the quiz and honest feedback. Animesh Kejriwal takes us to Parksons for a quick walk through at Parksons Graphics – the Andheri plant I visited many times in the early 1990s as a consultant to a large international organization.
The tide is going out in the early morning of 12 December at Juhu Beach and Smiley and I rejoice at the clear day (after the smog of Delhi). We get to Parksons Graphic for The G7 Live! Demo where there is again a great turnout and again a fantastic amount of organization and hospitality by our hosts. Smiley says, “Thanks for letting us inside your printing house,” as he begins his spiel on what we are going to do. Linear uncalibrated outputs of our test form (this time it has Indian flesh tones) on the Epson proofer; the Heidelberg 5-color plus coater and the Indigo 5600 digital press next to the space that has been cleared up to make a mini auditorium. Then Smiley and Aniket measure the CMY strips and set up the curves for the second press runs all the while explaining or trying to explain some of the anomalies – not all curves fit easily in our crash course and demo – not all dot gains behave – and not everyone is convinced when Smiley says that dot gains are not the only criteria, “We are here to make the best visual and most repeatable and most practical print for our customers.”
The second test runs are done and results are pretty good considering we have run a new inkset on both Bilt Sunshine offset paper and coated stock on the Heidelberg 74 and on the Indigo 5600. Good questions and discussion on the final evaluation and wrap-up. Good match between the paper stocks and between the offset and the Indigo. Many of the participants are impressed by the quick match and quality of the results. A group photo is printed on the Indigo for distribution to all. Good grades on the feedback forms. Smiley takes the flight to Delhi for his onward journey to Dubai and Houston. A tremendous performance for eight straight days in India and about 11 straight days counting travel. He is probably just waking up on Monday morning as I write this and there’s a new grandchild in the Smiley family, as well! Thanks Steve.