Grafica News - October 2016

On every beautiful wall clock, there lies a screen printed dial with UV special effects

In this Digital Age with numerous ubiquitous hi-tech gadgets such as PCs, TV, smart phones, Tabs, iPods, et al, which also display real 'Time', the Indian wall clock manufacturers have a testing time in terms of sustaining demand for wall clocks. The only option left for them is to make innovative wall clocks that lure consumers.

Morbi, in Gujarat state, is considered the largest base of wall clock production in India with over 100 companies (which was more, earlier). The wall clock manufacturers here have already started offering innovative and designer products to keep demand intact.

The point to be noted here is that these wall clock manufacturers outsource their clock dials which involves designing and printing (screen and offset). Behind the scene of clock industry, clock dial makers have a greater responsibility of creating attractive dials to perfectly fit the 'stunning' body of a clock.

So, the crux of this story is screen printing! Let's talk about the role of screen printing process in clock industry.

Role of screen printing in clock industry:
Describing the major role of screen printing in clock industry, Chetan Bhatti of Golden Dial, Morbi, says: “Without a dial there cannot be a clock and without screen printing there cannot be a dial on the clocks. However, these days offset printed paper dials with spot UV are also used by clock manufacturers. But it's only 20%, and the rest 80% dials are screen printed on non paper substrates such as metal (aluminum and tinsheet), PVC, etc. Offset printed dials are used for simple, fancy clocks. Such fancy clocks are for gifting purpose and not meant for watching time.”

According to Chetan Bhatti: “Screen printing and clock dials go hand in hand. As of now Screen printing is the best method to print clock dials. With the advent of quartz technology, clock making has become very easy, yet printing of dials is very critical.”

Corroborating Chetan's views, Hitesh Sejpal of Rajkot based Wood Craft Clocks Pvt Ltd says that Screen printing technology has a vast application such as clock dials. “Screen printing is the backbone of clock industry. In clock industry, till now screen printed dials are most preferred. With screen printing process we can print on rigid substrates such as PVC and metal with vibrant and long lasting impression.”

Value addition is a sure shot to boost sales of clocks:
With the advanced screen printing technology from Grafica Flextronica, some of these dial producers now make innovative clock dials which involves screen printing various UV special effects such as glow in dark and texture. This way they are able to give totally a new dimension to the very clock business.

Manual screen printing is waste of 'Time'
With the passing of time, automation has paid them rich dividend it seems. “Considering the amount of 'time' wasted in manual screen printing, automation is the profitable option for printing dials. With automation we have improved quality and doubled up production. We are able to print dials with multiple up which was not possible when we had manual screen printing,” says Chetan Bhatti.

“Upon a casual visit to my friend's printing press in Rajkot (where they had a couple of Grafica Nano- Prints), I was impressed with the kind of fine print that we can obtain on a screen printing machine. Then and there only I decided to go for automation. Because we used to struggle to print quality clock dials. Now we could see a vast quality difference between the manual and machine printed clock dials,” he adds. According to Hitesh Sejpal it is easy to print big size dials on screen printing machine. “Such big dials are required for tower and public display clocks.”

If a dial is the 'face' of a beautiful clock, 'perfection' in print is the essence:
According to Hitesh, if a dial is the face of a beautiful clock, 'perfection' is the essence of the dial printing. “The imprint has to be 100% accurate in sync with the hour/minute/seco nd movement. If the clock shows wrong time, then what is the use of a beautiful or a costly clock? Also, colors should not be a dominant factor in the overall look of the wall clock. We print black and white dials, that is, white print (1-12 numbers) on black background and black print on white background.” And Chetan Bhatti concludes: “Printing accuracy is the most important factor in dial making. It has to be very perfect and we cannot have wrongly printed dials on a right clock. There cannot be errors, misprint or unclear impression of print. We need to print accurate gap between lines and numbers in alignment of movement, failing which the dials will be rejected by the customers.”

Wood Craft Clocks, Rajkot

Wood Craft Clocks has now introduced a range of designer wall clocks which are made of wood, veneer, glass, metal body, and fitted with glass, metal and PVC dials. Their wall clocks are available in different sizes/shapes such as 12 inch x 12 inch, 16 cm x 16 cm, 9 cm x 11cm, 7cm x 7cm, 18 cm x 28 cm and other special sizes.

The company's 2100 sq. yard factory is located at GIDC-Metoda in Gujarat, which houses wood case making and glass processing unit, clock dial printing, wood polishing and clock assembling units. They also have the latest screen printing technology from Grafica Flextronica (Nano-Print and Nano- UV) to print clock dials. Besides inhouse use, they supply dials to clock manufacturers in Morbi.

“When we decided to go for automation, we could think of only Grafica. That's because we know the company since its founder's time in 1980s,” says Hitesh Sejpal, director of Wood Craft Clocks, who is assisted by his better half, Nisha Sejpal. The company has an all India distributor network in major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Jaipur, Gaziabad, Jammu, Bagalore, Pune, Rajkot, etc. There are a whopping 58 dealers in Mumbai itself. “About 20-25% of our production is exported to Middle East, South Africa & U.K etc, of course after fulfilling Indian market. In 1988 we used to make only 300 clocks per month and today we have the production capacity of 7000-10,000 clocks per month,” reveals Hitesh Sejpal.

Highlighting the key strength of his company, he says: “We are specialized in wooden clocks. Our wood clocks are costly than normal clocks hence it is targeted to premium market. Our clocks are available in reputed shopping malls, luxury gift stores etc. Most of the manufacturers do not make wooden body clocks since it requires craftsmanship and production wise it is a slow process.”

With over 40 years' experience in clock industry, Wood Craft Clocks offers variety of dials and creativity in prints, added with 'perfect time movement system' from Japan. “There used to be only black and white dial and we were one of the first to introduce color dials in Morbi. Once upon a time we had almost monopoly in dial making. Our dials come in 2 or 3 colors and are unique hence cost is not a problem for our customers,” says Hitesh Sejpal.

Emphasising on the design elements, he says: “We do creative samples and introduce it in the test market before taking up bulk production. We keep creating new designs to meet customers' liking although some old designs still continue to be in the market. We just suspended '1986 model' few years ago, and that indicates the demand for a particular design. Once we also happened to make 8-ft clock with quartz from Japan (Seiko).”

Golden Dial, Morbi

For the last 5 years, Golden Dial, Morbi has been using Grafica's Nano-Print, Nano-UV and Nano- Screen Maker 5-in-1 to print designer dials. They have been supplying clock dials to numerous clock manufacturers in Morbi for over 25 years. The company supplies metal dials, paper, plastic, aluminum embossed dials, plastic embossed dials, picture dials (kids, birds, flowers, etc). These dials are screen printed in Black and White. They also supply offset printed dials with spot UV.

Golden Dial also manufactures plastic wall quartz clocks under the brand name 'SILK' in different sizes and shapes for household and promotional use which are sold in the price range of Rs.100 to Rs.250 or more. They also make customized promotional clocks for corporate that require printing of their design, logo, company name etc. The company also makes clock rings which are required for fixing dials and glass cover. They have inhouse design team for clock design, dial design. Their expanded set up is spread over 7000 sq ft. Their expansion is the reflection of the growing demand for designer wall clocks. This year, the company has reported a 35-40% growth in demand for their clocks.

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