Grafica News - Oct 2014

Why a big time wide format digital printer did further invest in advanced screen printing technology?



LOMS makes further investment in Grafica's screen printing machines

“It was our landmark decision to diversify into screen printing 15 years ago”
- Shashank Kumar

Time and again, Grafica News India has been featuring success stories of digital print solution providers who have invested in screen printing technology as a business strategy to provide complete print solution.

Meet Shashank Kumar, Director of Delhi based Landmark Outdoor Media Services Pvt. Ltd (LOMS). He explains why his company rather preferred to make further big ticket investment in screen printing machines.

As the name suggests, LOMS is a full-fledged ad agency offering comprehensive indoor/outdoor advertising solutions to big NGOs, corporate/MNCs and government for their various campaigns – design / print / fabrication / site erection.

As a part of their expansion, the company has placed orders for two Grafica's CamShell (30” x 40” each), to be housed in their 1000 sq.yard new printing unit which houses solvent, digital, screen printing, fabrication, an elegant office. This investment is direct outcome of their success in screen printing business. Earlier they had invested in Grafica's 40” x 60” Camshell, over a decade.

Established in 1997, LOMS is a complete advertising agency which offers media, hoarding space, printing services, banner advertising, hoarding advertising, flex printing, vinyl printing. Their product portfolio include: advertising display boards, Hoarding Flex, Backlit Board & Front lit Board, Neon sign, Glow sign, Blow Molded Signage's, Dealer Boards, In Shop Display Models, Cutouts, Pop Up, Cloth & Foam Banners, Sun Board, PVC Sheets, flanges, vinyl printing, backlit flanges, standees, danglers, buntings, among other products.

“Now the trend is changing, clients want more durability and outdoor life of advertising materials, printed on vinyl and many rigid and semi-rigid substrates. We have reason to believe that screen printing with UV is the best option to meet quality and production demand of print buyers,” asserts Shashank Kumar, the 4th generation printing professional whose company employs over 150 people that also includes graphic design and site erection teams.

Pooh-poohing the market apprehension that digital would soon replace screen printing, Shashank Kumar asserts: “Screen printing cannot be replaced in many areas. Look at our graphics printing business. Although we are originally into wide-format digital printing, we had to invest in screen printing as per market trends and customers demand.”

LOMS, originally known as Burman Press, was set up in Patna by T.K. Burman, father of Shashank Kumar. They set up unit in Delhi about 8 years ago. The Patna unit, still managed by Burman, supplies solvent, flex, cloth banners in wide format (printed on digital and screen).

“Our decision to diversify from digital to screen has paid us rich dividend. Our business has grown many folds ever since we invested in screen printing. That's why we are expanding our screen printing business with new investment,” he adds.

Interview:

On brand Grafica:

Grafica is known in the market as a knowledge-based company. We are lucky to have skilled operators hence we did not require much of their technical support. However, there are many companies who do not have skilled staff. Grafica is rendering them technical support; their DMI is a great boon to such printers. We get technical update through their Grafica News. They have drastically improved their technology over the years hence we trust their machines. We run their machines for in two shifts as it is strong and sturdy.

Why did you invest in screen you being a digital player?

With the mushrooming of digital presses, margins have become thinner and thinner, besides reduction in Quantum of jobs. One of the factors responsible for this kind of market scenario is the entry of low cost Chinese digital presses which enable printers to offer same kind of jobs at low prices than the one printed on branded digital presses which are much costlier.

Screen is a technical and creativity oriented print process. With screen customers' demand for quality, service and delivery time can be met. Screen printed jobs stand out with vibrant colours.

Since our entry into screen, we have reduced solvent and digital business drastically; only specific jobs which cannot be printed on screen are printed on digital. Our focus is now more on wide format graphics screen printing in 30” x 40”, 40” x 60” print sizes especially on rigid substrates be it sunpack, sunboard, acrylic, MDF, PVC, etc.

Although customers want very competitive price, volume is increasing for screen printed jobs. Such volume jobs can easily be handled thanks to UV technology which gives economical solution.

Our printing unit is always busy even we run in two shifts which is not the case for digital. In digital ROI takes long time as it involves big investment. On the other hand, screen involves comparatively low investment yet it is high return, hence ROI is faster. We can run the machine even in two full shifts. Production is faster and economical for volume and quality jobs because of UV.

Tell us the benefits of UV:

We use 100% UV in screen printing because of the following benefits. We use only branded UV inks, and we never think of using substandard inks to make quick bucks.

  • Production faster / faster delivery
  • Less power consumption required for racking all over floor
  • Less space required.
  • Labour cost reduced.
  • Wastage / rejection minimised
  • Consistent quality.
  • Cost effective production

In fact, in our region/in our category, we are one of the largest consumers of UV inks, that is, we use more than 600-700 kg per month although most of the screen printers in our category use solvent inks.

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