Grafica News - January 2009

Industrial labeling is a concept
there is 15% to 20% growth in this segment

On industrial label printing:
Today industrial labeling is a 'concept', the awareness of which was not there. But now in India awareness is slowly picking up about the importance of use of labels on industrial products like switchgear, electrical and electronic products, even machineries and equipment. As per my knowledge, there is 15-20 per cent growth in this segment of printing. These safety labels are used for 'secure' reasons besides it add 'cosmetic look' to the product. These are used in bar coding and holograms. It is also useful to prevent tampering of products, to prevent misuse, duplication and imitations (remember, everything that looks like original is not original). It must be understood that these labels will not help companies to totally wipe out duplication or tampering, but to certain extent they can reduce this menace. For e.g., by using these labels, a large company if it was incurring loss of multi million rupees due to duplication menace, can certainly gain some millions, which add up-to, its annual profit.

On late Shri Dhirubhai Mistry, founder of Grafica:
In 1980s when I was working with an MNC (and staying at Andheri in Mumbai), I came into contact with him since I was involved in printing jobs in that company. Slowly our contact became stronger. In my opinion, Shri Mistry was very cooperative and creative as well. I still remember, even at that time (1982-85), when there was not much future for screen-printing, he used to make small screen-printing machines. He was determined to give screen-printing a big touch. He had a great vision for the screen-printing in India and rest is history. And, Grafica is the result of his great foresight.

Why did you opt for Grafica machines?
We visited their plant at Vasai to get first hand impression about Grafica and to evaluate their machines right at the plant. As the saying goes: 'First impression is the last impression', we were impressed with Grafica and its machines on two important counts: its maintenance and accuracy.

I arrived at the conclusion that Grafica machines are outstanding not just because they look elegant with simple with design. But, the machines are easy to operate and understand its mechanisms, less down time, higher productivity and simple features (not too many machine features and mechanisms which confuse the operators!).

In comparison with imported machines, with Grafica, we feel secured to get the required service and spare parts on time so that we also feel secured in terms of production.

To sum up, if any printers want to buy a screen printing machine they should evaluate the following aspects: Good machine in all respects, easy to use, simple machine design, accuracy, easy availability of spare parts, excellent after sales service, among many other things.

On after sales service of Grafica:
We have no problem in terms of after sales service, which is most important aspect when we buy technology-oriented products. If at all there is any problem, Grafica engineers are quick to solve it as it happened once. When there was a problem, Grafica engineers solved it earlier than we expected. They are just there when we need them. Till now, all the machines and equipment are working quite satisfactorily.

Manual vs. automation in screen-printing:
Our practical experience is that in automation, we are achieving consistency in quality; right from the first print to the last print and we can see good ink deposition. In manual operation there is a limitation to achieve this. Our productivity has gone up by ten times. In these days of shortage of manpower, automation is right choice as it reduces manpower requirement by 50 per cent. I believe that in India there is still lack of awareness about the great advantages of automation in screen-printing.

On manpower and training:
Yes, there is a shortage of skilled manpower at a time when more and more printers are going in for automation of their processes. The only thing that we can do is to train one and create more trained manpower in-house. Yes institutes like DMI do provide over all training, but when it comes to practically handling jobs on the shop floor, it requires a different, very specific and focused training again, as every new job is a learning experience.

On Raw materials:
Baring few Indian manufacturers in India, screen printers are largely depend on imported inks and other consumables. As a result of this situation, screen printers like us who are into industrial labels printing, end up in keeping large inventory for long duration to ensure that production does not stop for want of raw materials. And we need to have a proper materials planning too. In the absence of 'volume' demand for such products, not many companies are venturing into manufacture of these items. Probably, if overall consumption of inks, etc goes up then many will come forward to produce these things in India itself.

On current economic crisis and cost cutting drive:
What we can do is to have a cost cutting measure in terms of fixed costs, which are regular in our business. We need to keep check on power consumption, raw materials usage, strict quality control to avoid rejection, inventory control, drastic wastage reduction, perfect packing of printed jobs for transportation, cost effective delivery with well planned transportation (avoid last minute rush), among many other things. If you have automation and follow all these methods in printing business, I think we can still keep moving.

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