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EskoArtwork announces opening of Global Resource Centre In Bangalore

In keeping with this focus and to further support and develop collaborative software and systems integration projects around the world and to provide enhanced service to their rapidly expanding customer base in the booming Indian packaging, printing and publishing market, they have announced the setting up of a fully-owned subsidiary and Global Resource Centre at Bangalore. The unit will be headed by Mr.  Dinesh Chandra, who has been overseeing Esko’s Indian operations since 2000. According to Mr. Chandra, “The opening of the Global Resource Centre in Bangalorre reinforces EskoArtwork’s global market coverage, complementing the resources we have already deployed in Europe, North America and the Far East.”

The main focus of the newly established Global Resource Centre will be to support sophisticated systems integration projects currently originating mainly in Europe and North America. Mr. Chandra further adds, “Unlike many other companies, EskoArtwork is not moving low-skill jobs to India. On the contrary, we are building a completely new business model around an enhanced service offering. We have chosen to base our new Global Resource Centre in one of the world’s fastest developing pre-production and IT market clusters. EskoArtwork has more and more collaborative software systems integration and workflow management projects in the pipeline and we need access to top talent.” Bangalore, India’s fifth largest city, accounts for a third of the country’s IT revenue and is recognized as the Indian subcontinent’s “Silicon Valley”. It is home to India’s largest IT giants and is the regional hub for many international hi-tech companies.

EskoArtwork set up base in India in Bangalore 12 years ago but has seen exponential growth in business, particularly since Esko Graphics and Artwork Systems joined forces in August 2007. Esko was already the preferred pre-production solution for the print and packaging industry in India. EskoArtwork sees huge opportunities for the Indian packaging sector which, according to IIP, is currently worth US$ 22.2 billion and is growing at 15 per cent per annum, more than twice the global average.

Mr. Carsten Knudsen, CEO of EskoArtwork, adds, “The opening of this new Global Resource Centre underlines EskoArtwork’s strategic evolution as an international services-led company. It enables us to bring added value to collaborative software and integration projects for customers around the world. We are deploying additional support and service activities to Bangalore for two reasons: first, because locating in Bangalore enables us to draw on a pool of world-class IT skills and technical support talent and second, because India itself offers huge market potential. We have a highly experienced management team under Dinesh Chandra and we will recruit new talent as required. Together, this team will further build EskoArtwork’s reputation for service excellence, collaborative innovation and highly responsive customer care.”

EskoArtwork customers around the world will now benefit from the Global Resource Center’s CAD standard development and systems integration support, specifically on MIS integration projects. “These services are already helping our customers to raise productivity, reduce time-to-market, lower costs and expand their business,” says Mr. Chandra. “Now we can easily scale up to meet their evolving requirements.”


HP at drupa -- MMT buys four Nur 5300 signage printers

HP’s Indian customers after this show will not only install more Indigo 5500 presses of which it had installed five even before drupa but also some with the in-line coater option. There is serious customer interest in the web fed WS 6000 industrial press from label printers.

For HP Scitex drupa08 was an opportunity to show their recently purchased and speedily integrated product line from Nur and Colorspan. Apparently this widening of the signage printer range met with considerable resonance from both repeat and first-time Indian customers. Interest also seemed to veer toward hybrid solutions to handle rolls, sheets, and UV inks. Many Indian printers find that the Nur 2700 and 5300 and the Colorspan 45-500 serve their objectives of both versatility and productivity.

It is expected that the high-end signage market in India will continue to grow upward of 35 per cent and this will be another high growth banner year for HP Scitex and its dealer in India, Insight Communications. MMT, which has offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Kolkata, signed for four Nur 5300 printers at the show in one of the deals that has been made public. There is however some concern from customers on the rising prices of inputs and consumables exacerbated by the devaluation of the rupee over the last six months


At the 450 and 850 setters, exposure speed can be configured individually on the basis of high-performance diode modules, enabling plate throughput rates to be more than doubled. Modular design enables basic models to be upgraded to 4- or 8-page format, for example with Single Cassette Automation (SCA, upto 100 plates) or fully automatic Multi-Cassette Automation (MCA, upto 500 plates). The UV-Setters expose UV sensitive plates for all types of printing presses, and are fitted with an integrated punch. Alternatively, it is possible to work with 3-point plate alignment.

The exposure units of the 450 and 850 are based on basysPrint’s DSI³ technology with high-performance diode modules. Unlike other CtP systems, it uses modules which combine the light output of several diodes installed separately from the exposure head. A compensator bundles the energy and delivers it via fiber optics to the DMD. It is normally not necessary to replace DSI³ modules over the whole service life of the platesetter. A constant light output level is maintained within the modules by way of their APC (Automatic Power Control) circuitry. The DSI³ systems are characterised by a high degree of stability, even without further calibration. Upon request, UV setters can be supplied in traditional lamp versions, above all as an option for companies with a very low plate consumption or for newcomers to the world of CtP.

“The basysPrint systems combine the benefits of CtP with the unique process and economic advantages of the conventional UV plate technology.” said Punch Graphix CEO Wim Deblauwe, “Thanks to their modular concept, the new UV-Setters 450 and 850 can be tailored precisely to individual requirements. Hence, they are also the ideal digital exposure system for high-end users. The systems implement the manifold strengths of both newspaper automation solutions and basysPrint’s proven DSI³ exposure technology, ensuring unrivalled stability and cost efficiency in production.”

Being designed with a flatbed, all versions of the UV-Setters 450 and 850 are able to expose plates of different formats simultaneously. Thanks to the 1-bit TIFF interface, users can freely choose whether to integrate a UV-Setter into an existing workflow system, or to install a dedicated overall solution tailored specifically to individual production requirements. The systems presented at drupa are available with immediate effect through the worldwide network of Punch Graphix dealers.

The company’s large format UV-Setter Series 11, 15 and 16, capable of handling plates up to 1,560 x 3,170 mm, have been enhanced with MCA automation modules as well, allowing for unattended and uninterrupted plate handling. The modules comprise four separate cassettes to facilitate fast loading and unloading of different plate formats. The system can store up to 320 single plates (format up to 1,560 x 3,170 mm, thickness 0.4 mm) or up to 800 dual-loaded plates (two plates in 8-page format, thickness 0.3 mm) as the basis for continuous unattended operation. MCA selects the appropriate plate format for the job in hand, removes the slip paper and transports the plates to the exposure unit. The operator can specify the use of 3-point alignment and/or an integrated punch, which provides for fast, reliable and register-accurate customer-specific punching before exposure. The automation modules MCA or SCA can be retrofitted on site to permit upgrading of existing systems.

Cape Town Book Fair 2008 -- International Publishers Congress to be held in Africa in 2012

The IPA Congress flag was handed over to PASA, the Publishers Association of South Africa, by IPA President Ana María Cabanellas at last month\'s IPA Publishers Congress in Seoul, Korea. She says: “The 29th IPA Publishers Congress will be a unique opportunity to understand the South African publishing industry and the African book market as a whole.”

Brian Wafawarowa, Chair of the African Publishers Network (APNET), concurs: “Every region that has won the bid to host the IPA congress has utilised the rare opportunity to emphasise the centrality of the book to national economic and social development. With the Cape Town Book Fair becoming the premier book fair in Africa, the hosting of the 2012 IPA congress by South Africa will have a positive impact on the book sector on the continent.”

IPA organises a Publishers Congress and a Copyright Symposium every two years alternately, in co-operation with one of its member associations. Previous IPA congresses were held in Seoul, Korea in 2008, in Berlin, Germany in 2004, in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2000 and in Barcelona, Spain in 1996.

“In 2012, the IPA Publishers Congress will be held back-to-back with the Cape Town Book Fair, which has already established itself as a rallying point for African publishers,” says Dudley Schroeder, Executive Director of PASA. “Many delegates to the IPA Publishers Congress will attend both events and will also have an interest in exploring our beautiful city, province and country. The IPA Publishers Congress programme will focus on networks between publishers and creating two-way exchanges between the African continent and the rest of the world.”

Meanwhile the Cape Town Book Fair attracted some 50,000 visitors - almost double the visitor numbers reached at its inaugural probe two years ago. What may have helped was a long weekend with the Youth Day holiday on the Monday, celebrating South Africa\'s young people in commemoration of  the 1976 Soweto uprising, even though any celebration must have been muted by the aftermath of xenophobic violence rocking the country only weeks earlier.

While figures are a good measure of the success of an event they do not tell the whole story. \"This year we are picking up a trend of transformation in the demographics of those attending the fair,\" CTBF Director Vanessa Badroodien said. \"This year\'s fair gives the feeling that it really is an inclusive one, that people have come to it because of a love of reading and that because the talks are free it is very accessible, which is something that we have put high on the agenda.”

Badroodien\'s words echo those of former Minister of Education Professor Kader Asmal who opened the fair saying, \"My dream is that one day every township in South Africa will have a real bookshop, and that books will be sold at a price that are affordable to all.\"

An interesting event was a talk by Book Southern Africa\'s Ben Williams, who made a presentation on Books and Blogs: Creating Effective Online PR. He provided advice on how to try to maximise online book sales, and just as importantly reminded us that Internet users have progressed from being passive recipients of information to active originators of content.

There was also a discussion about the newly published novel Whiplash by Tracey Farren. An often violent account of prostitution in Cape Town, the novel was rejected by several commercial publishers as being too brutal, before finding a home with recently established independent publisher Modjaji Books. Sales look promising and distribution in the UK and Australia is already being examined. It once again illustrated the willingness and commitment of independent publishers to take risks with new and often controversial work.

Many exhibitors, however, were critical of the CTBF\'s seeming lack of business thrust. One publisher said that part of the problem was that the fair should perhaps be more of a trade show for publishers, printers and distributors, and less a bookselling market for the general public.

Patel Digitals buys three more digital presses at drupa

The company serves customers in a range of vertical markets such as pharmaceutical, telecommunications and advertising. Patel Digitals uses NexPress presses for a variety of applications that include collateral, posters, 1:1 marketing and books on demand.

We spoke with Khagesh Patel the Managing Director of Patel Digitals, who said, “We are in digital printing since the last two years. Coming from Canada I have seen what is happening in the digital printing domain in North America and Europe. There I saw that lot of work is being done using web to print. This was the driving force behind our earlier installation of the NexPress 2100 Plus and the recent purchase of NexPress S3000. The advantage with NexPress S3000 is that it can print on any medium and deliver in a short period of time. Its quality of print is better than that of offset, I can say.”

“By making the transition from offset to digital printing with the NexPress press, we significantly expanded our capabilities for jobs that require short runs, variable data or on demand printing,” adds Mr. Patel. “The speed, productivity and reliability of the NexPress S3000 presses allow us to keep pace with the growing demand for digital print and position us for even greater growth.”

As far as the expansion plans and the installation schedule of the new presses Mr. Patel says, “We are planning to expand our services and bring into our fold corporates from major cities across India. In this direction we will be installing these three presses in three major cities of India so that we can provide network based services. Through this we can ensure same quality of print across various cities. The first of the presses will be installed in October 2008 and the third by March 2009.”

The NexPress S3000 produces 3,000 A3 sheets an hour, or 100 A4 pages per minute, for the full range of supported substrate types (coated, uncoated, synthetics, standard offset paper, textured stocks and selected packaging board, labels and films) and weights (60-350 gsm). The machine feeder can hold up to 11,000 sheets with a rated monthly print volume of up to 2.2 million pages.

Xerox India PSG strengthens channel network in South India

Venkataramana Graphics with a sales office in Hydreabad, will be a Graphic Arts Value Added Resellers. Xerox will provide Venkataramana’s customers with specialized ‘Partner and Sales Team’ training using its various business development software tools. Venkataramana’s sales and marketing director Jagan Mohan states, “We are delighted to be associated with Xerox Production Systems Group as their channel partner. This effectively indicates that we both will generate demand together”. Xerox PSG has altogether thirty Xerox Production Resellers and Graphic Art Value Added Resellers in the country.