A young entrant into digital printing but already a seasoned one, PM Digital Products has always strived from the beginning to master the technologies doing innovative jobs and moving to the next level swiftly. And on the pre-drupa acquisition, they have interestingly adopted Scodix 1200 digital press as a first buyer in Asia. The nuances understood by P Chellappan (PC) are shared with D Ramalingam (DR) from Print & Publishing. Excerpts.
DR: We at Print & Publishing have been following up your journey in digital printing right from 2005 when you got into MGI, then in 2007 when you upgraded with Indigo 3050 and now in 2012 when you have adopted the new technology offered by Scodix. How could you do it?
PC: Yes, you are right. We have been upgrading regularly. Within digital printing segment, it has became a necessity to be in the lead as it has been growing alongwith the users too. When the number grows the competition escalates. As in every field with fierce competition price falls, and then the quality suffers.
DR: Talking about quality, we know you have consistently been winning awards.
PC: That exactly is the point. For these awards I have to thank my team. Right from the beginning our philosophy of not compromising on quality and price, we give our customers good value for the price they pay. We educate them on the best way a job can be executed, may be little different what they thought. When we tell them the possibilities on which it could be done, and these serving the very purpose of their message reaching their clients in an attractive and effective manner they agree with our ideas. And for good quality, one does not mind paying little more. Our customers understand that.
DR: As you mentioned quality comes with a price. How do you balance it? Can you elaborate further?
PC: It is a good question. Our offset printing of educational notes is our core business. From letterpress to offset with photocomposing to different generations of computer type-setting and now with DTP with often changing software I have learnt everything first from my father and then on my own. DTP is my domain with my postgraduate education in Computer Science. That helped me in creating Tamil fonts for our Tamil notes when changed to offset. With digital printing on the horizon it was a natural corollary for me to adopt it for use of my knowledge and for my business too.
DR: As the saying goes, the rest is history. But you are a man with a mission to look forward. You may please tell us about your love symphony with Scodix.
PC: (Laughing) Yes, I have been following Scodix right from its earlier version. But I have now gone into risky venture. I remember when I first went to drupa in 2004 alongwith Elangovan of Cadgraf with a specific purpose of choosing a best possible digital solution for my business, we opted for MGI. He took up the distributorship and me floating PM Digital Products. I went for a complete setup with all enhancement options and finishing operations to do A to Z in-house. What I have now invested for a single press is four times more than what I paid for complete setup at that time.
DR: I am sure you shall make complete use of this investment?
PC: Definitely. It is wonderful equipment with highest gloss available for printed materials, ten times higher polymer height for selective varnish, variable density capabilities ranging from 1 to 100 percent. It supports barcoding and VDP. A standalone solution compatible with offset, laminated sheets. And you feel the embossing without backside crevice. It is a B2 size machine. I mentioned about our offset facility earlier to bring home the point that Scodix will be complementary to offset other than being standalone, can be used for digital printing enhancements. First time I saw it in the US then again in 2011 and again in HP Conference in Singapore in January 2012, every time as a running machine. I understood the enhancements and I wanted to possess the machine. Here too, dealership was there for India. Finally, Monotech Systems, Chennai signed up dealership with them and took me to Israel to see the plant and also units where it was running. I got convinced that it will serve my purpose and opened LC wanting to be the first pre-drupa buyer in Asia. The machine has already landed; room construction for it is going on. Their engineer is expected soon for installation.
DR: We notice that you have never gone for a professional designer within your company.
PC: It is a valid point. What is happening, the designers do not know much about possibilities and limitations of production. More than that the latest developments on which they remain ignorent. There is so much in Photoshop. Nobody has mastered it even we, but have gained a lot of experience on that counts. What we do is develop an idea and then involve a freelance designer. The creative ‘invite’ for Scodix inauguration is being developed by an agency. We have already lined up jobs for Scodix. The designers are on the job both in-house and outside. Learning never ends. It is a learning curve to keep following all the time!
DR: Our best wishes for your success.
PC: Thank you very much, we need these.
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