Grafica News - January 2009

FUJIFILM Sericol India:
Contributing to quality improvement of Screen Printing industry

In an online interview, Ganesh Krishnan, General Manager (Sales & Marketing), Fujifilm Sericol India, share his views with Grafica News on various issues pertaining on Screen Printing besides some thought on the company's association with DMI. Excerpts:

Tell us about your association with Grafica vis-à-vis DMI. What is your contribution to DMI?
If my memory serves right, our company has been having a close professional relationship with Grafica Flextronica for more than a decade now. Both organisations believe in contributing to quality improvement of the Indian Screen Printing industry so that it can be looked up with respect and awe internationally. One of the keys to quality improvement is to have quality manpower. FFSRI recognized this crucial element at the formative stage of its existence in India and thus established the screen-printing training center at Sanaswadi in 1998, - a first of its kind in India. Many of our customers have undergone training at our training center in the last 10 years.

We are a well wisher of Grafica and we admire Mr. Bhargav Mistry for his vision in setting up DMI for imparting quality training courses in screen printing to a large section of the printing fraternity, particularly young “printing” graduates freshly passed out from various institutes. These fresh minds are exposed to the best practices in screen-printing at DMI. These young minds will thus make immense positive impact & contribution to the quality and growth of screen-printing in India in the coming years. FFSRI is committed to whole-heartedly support DMI in its endeavour.

What is the importance of quality raw material?
Like in any process, in screen printing too quality of the output (prints) depends on quality of the inputs that includes mesh, screen making chemicals, quality of stencils, pre-press, ink and the printing process per se. The screen printer has to take a call on where he wants to position his products (screen prints) in terms of quality, which to a great extend is also a function of the quality demands of his customers.

Please enlighten the screen printers on UV ink applications?
We, as a group, have more than three decades experience in UV curing ink technology. In India, we had introduced our graphic range of screen UV curing inks about five years ago. Probably, we were too early for the Indian market. We manufacture locally a range of screen UV curing inks for both graphic and container decoration applications. This has significantly brought down the prices of these inks vis-à-vis our UK manufactured products.

However, even now only a few customers are using UV inks for screen graphics application; the majority of them are predominantly using solvent inks. Unless there is pressure from the print buyers to adopt environment friendly practices, the market will continue to be dominated by solvent inks.

The benefits of UV inks over solvent inks are environment friendly, user friendly, higher productivity and higher ink coverage. Affordable ink prices from the leading brand “Sericol” should motivate the large commercial graphic screen printers to shift to UV technology.

Please share with us about the training provided by Sericol?
We impart training to screen printers as per their needs at our Training Centre. We offer courses in Screen Making, Four Colour printing, Garment decoration and customised courses. These courses are a combination of theory and practicals. We also offer on-site training to our customers.

What is your company's focus as far as screen printing industry is concerned?
We are highly focussed on offering printing solutions for Screen printing applications. We have a full fledged R&D set-up to address the ever changing needs of the market by developing appropriate products locally and within the quickest possible time. In the Screen domain we have inks for a wide gamut of graphics, industrial, packaging and textiles applications.

Please put across your views on Indian screen printing scenario?
In the last decade, Screen printing in India has come a long way. From a predominantly manual printing process there has been a big shift to semi-automatic and automatic printing process. There are more numbers of screen printing machines sold today than it was five to ten years ago.This has definitely improved the quality and productivity of printshops. However, there is still scope for further improvement, including quality of manpower.

You being an environmentally concerned organization, is there anything that you want to advice Indian screen printers on safety and environment?
I strongly recommend that every enterprise involved with printing process should adopt ISO:14001 (Environment Management System) and OHSAS (Occupational Health & Safety Management System) practices. In brief, EMS will help to minimise pollution of the environment and thus safeguard the health of the people who reside in the vicinity of the print shop. OHSAS will ensure a safe and healthy work environment for all the employees. This is the minimum that every enterprise owes to the Society and to Mother Nature.

Your message to printers:
Stress on quality, skilled and trained manpower and productivity. Care for the environment and health and safety of workers and staff. Fujifilm Sericol India Pvt Ltd Tel: (02137) 392500, Email: Ganesh.Krishnan@Fujifilm

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