Konica Minolta Is Revolutionising Printing

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As part of efforts to providing lasting solution to the problem of cost and quality of printing in Nigeria, Skysat Nigeria, in conjunction with Konica Minolta, a Japan-based machine manufacturer and leader in laser toner colour technology, held a two-day exhibition highlighting its digital printing solutions in Nigeria. Mr. Izzat Debs, Managing Director, Skysat  told PM NEWS BUSINESSWEEK why the exhibition was held. 

Tell us a little about Skysat Technologies

Ans: Skysat Technologies Nig. Limited started out as exclusive distributors for two brands of digital photographic printing machinery, the DOU and KIS, for Nigeria. We offer the opportunity for investors and entrepreneurs to set up their own fully equipped digital photo printing studio and laboratory, and our customer base has grown exponentially by two to three new laboratories every month to about 200 locations nationwide in the last five years.

What is digital printing?

Printing has gone through several stages of development, right from the time that lithography was invented. Today, printing technology mainly involves the process of preparing impression plates and running them on offset printers in several runs, depending on the number of colours. There are also direct imaging systems that automatically prepare the plates, as well as run the prints directly.

Digital printing has completely eliminated the use of impression plates. It is the latest printing technology that uses laser signals to directly create impressions and transfer a full-colour  (4-impression) image to the media in a single run. It is neater, more environmentally friendly, less cumbersome, less tedious and faster, delivering full colour offset quality images in a simple process. The printing is also much more durable and lasts longer than traditional offset because it is toner-based, as opposed to ink. For example, if water pours on a digital print job, it does not smear like ink; you simply dry it and you have your document again.

What exactly can digital printers do?

Simply everything that is done by the offset printers of today and more. Magazines, fliers, complimentary cards, invitation cards, books etc. And more, because it can also handle industrial scale copying and scanning, in addition to printing. There is as well a number of on-line finishing options like saddle-stitching, trimming, folding, hole-punching and perfect-binding. This makes your printing facility a one-stop place for the total print process, from pre-press to press and post-press.

Are there any limitations compared to offset printing?

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Everything about digital printing is an advantage over offset, be it speed, print processing, system efficiency, waste reduction, print durability, eco-friendliness, etc. The only major limitation of digital printing for now is the media size; it prints on a maximum of A3+. The good news, however, is that most of the common print jobs do not require more than A3, e.g fliers, invitation cards, letterheads, call cards, brochures, books, magazines, etc.

How reliable are the digital printing equipment?

We offer to Nigeria one of the most reliable digital printing technologies in Konica Minolta. This is a synergy of both German and Japanese technologies. The equipment run practically error-free. Even ordinary paper jams are almost non-existent. We offer world-class service back-up by our team  of German-based engineers. We also offer comprehensive customer training and provide all necessary spares and consumables for smooth running.

How lucrative is the business of opening a digital print shop?

Today, throughout North America, Europe and Asia, there are thousands of digital print shops scattered in hundreds of cities, providing print services to businesses and individuals. In Nigeria, this trend is just about taking off. Nowadays, prints are being made mostly on out-dated offset presses which are of low quality and are time consuming in local print houses, or in out-dated business centres. With our Bizhub range of Konica Minolta production printers, entrepreneurs will be able to print on demand most of the typical requirements of customers and companies within their area (around university campuses, central business districts, commercial centres, shopping malls etc) and deliver jobs in a very short period of time.

In addition because of our low cost of toners and consumables, you will be able to offer very low cost per print in comparison to most competing machines. Many other value-added services can be added, such as archiving and graphic designing, which will improve the shop’s profitablity. This low cost per print and the excellent output quality from the Bizhub range of products make opening a digital print shop with Konica Minolta machines a very lucrative business opportunity.

How much does one require to open a digital Print shop?

The range of Konica Minolta production printers vary from N7.5 million to N30 million, depending on the configuration and options added on the machines. In addition to that, prospective investors should consider the cost of renting a shop in a commercial area, a generator, a UPS, furniture and fittings, small finishing equipment, computers and software, and a small stock of consumables.