Clients will eventually see value in green printing: Machine manufacturers
Sam Patel, President, Arrow Digital & Manesh Shetty, Regional Sales Manager, Agfa Graphics Middle East - Agfa Graphics, share their perspectives on green printing for OOH – today and tomorrow
Are we ready to go green?
“No” is the straight answer from Sam Patel, President, Arrow Digital. “It is not about the availability of green materials and machines in India. The major issue is that brands aren’t ready to pay the premium price for green printing. Here, almost 100% of the industry is working on materials made with Chinese machines, which are not eco-friendly. Even a lot of UV inks which are said to be green aren’t entirely eco-friendly as they include some amount of chemicals. Moreover, advertising brands themselves aren’t fully aware of green products & materials.”
Manesh Shetty, Regional Sales Manager, Agfa Graphics Middle East - Agfa Graphics, opines that “the big shift to green printing would call for the combined effort of manufacturers, dealers, printers and print buyers, along with regulatory interventions of concerned authorities. For a market size of India any kind of change is not easy and would take time. Green printing is finding acceptance”.
Machine manufactures are taking various measures to promote green machines. For instance, Arrow Digital is taking the effort to introduce corporates and printing industry to the different dimensions of green printing. Big players like Agfa stopped producing solvent printers some four years back and are instead focusing on alternative greener printing technologies though it has not been easy for them to compete in a market that has low-cost solvent printers, inks. Advertising brands in general favour green printing practices, but cost remains an overriding factor to reckon with. Sam says, “We do face a lot of challenges as the two technologies (solvent & green) can’t be compared. Advertising brands do believe in green technologies, but the investment in green machines is higher than that for Chinese solvent printers, and other disposable printers. We believe the brands will see value in quality applications and the brand value associated with better colours and greener applications.”
Although the cost of green printing is on the higher side, as the demand for green printing increases the costs will reduce commensurately. Manesh says, “The cost will reduce over a period of time once the number of installations and consumption levels increase. Even the solvent market was very expensive in the past (compared to current cost). But I strongly believe the margins across the board (Manufactures, Dealers, Consumable Suppliers, Printers) should be maintained. If there is healthy margin across the board you will see more spends for better service, better quality and innovation. We should not be making the same mistake as was done with the solvent technology.”
“Prices will go lower as demand increases but the current prices are also very competitive as you get the best print quality, vibrant colours, green technology, excellent outdoor durability at an affordable price,” says Sam.
Currently, Agfa’s entire range is based on the latest U.V printing technology. They have 2 brands Anapurna and Jeti and both have various products catering to U.V Printing technology with Flatbeds and Roll to Roll models.
Arrow Digital has GreenGuard Certification that ensures that a product has met the world's most rigorous and comprehensive standards for low emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into indoor air. Almost all their printers and inks are GreenGuard Certified.