Parksons Graphics achieves G7 Master Qualification

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In a real and peaceful Mumbai monsoon setting in East Andheri, Steve Smiley, the G7 expert and active member of the ISO TC130 committee on graphic arts standards, presented, measured and mentored both in the classroom and on the press site over the four days. Presentations on Day 1 led to the calibration of the Epson proofer to ISO 1559’s CRPC6. Following a morning of classroom interaction on the second day, we went across Andheri to Parksons Graphics for their initial test runs on the Heidelberg 74 5-color plus coater offset press and the HP Indigo 5600. We brought back the sheets to measure the P2P strips in order to create the G7 calibration curves.

Candidates took turns measuring the P2P wedges and saving the data into the Curve 3 software. We went back to Parksons for tweaking the final runs on the third day. Back in the classroom, the measurements revealed that Parksons Graphics had achieved G7 Master Qualification of its plant on both offset and digital presses.

After the review and exam on the fourth day, Aniket Rane from Maximus Graphics qualified as a G7 Expert in the training with several other candidates coming close and likely to pass on their second attempt. By the time you read this, others will also have achieved their objectives. Candidates who qualified as G7 Professional in the first go included Kashif Shakeel Baig and Sunil Kumar, service engineers at Windmoller and Holscher India; Sunil Rampurkar, prepress artist and Ganesh Zagade, prepress in charge at Akar Ltd. in Mumbai.

Several candidates aspiring to become G7 Experts (which requires an exam result of more than 90%), received more than 80% marks. Moreover, candidates who could not manage to clinch the G7 Professional or G7 Expert title will be given a second chance in an online exam within the next fortnight.

The essential takeaway of the 4-day G7 training by Steve Smiley, with hands-on visits to Parksons Graphics, was a comprehensive update of color standardization techniques and calibration in print. The training program was proof that intensive skills training coupled with hands-on practical work can bring our technicians up to effective speed in the implementation of global techniques and standards. The major achievement is in putting together a serious technical and practical demonstration program to provide the right kind of skills in a structured and cost-effective manner. All it needs is a bit of will and investment to recalibrate our technicians and printing plants to globally recognized standards.

The program would not have been possible without the considerable help of Idealliance in the US, and sponsorships and support from Epson, Chromix and Techkon. X-Rite also provided an Eye-One table for quick automated measurements. Parksons Graphics, Steve Smiley and Aniket Rane, of course, emerged as the undisputed heroes of the day even as several other candidates are retaking the exam to qualify each day.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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