Established in 2015, Aaplejet is part of a bigger conglomerate GeeVee Infotech which has been engaged in providing total imaging & printing solutions for corporates, small & medium enterprises, private & public sector companies, architect & interior design firms, mapping organisations, ad agencies, photographers, fine art professionals, retail display and indoor hoarding providers, print shop sign makers, print service providers, banner & poster providers, etc.
The company claims to have introduced Allwyn in India years back and is also going to be a OEM for the print head technology giant Xaar for their new print head 1201. “We are based in Mumbai. Our team has expertise and specialisation in offering large format printing solutions for UV, Eco & Solvent,” says Vijay Chavan, Managing Director, Aaplejet. We, at Sign & POP World, met him to know about the company’s products, solutions and its market positioning. Here is what he shared with us:
How is the company placed in the country’s signage market?
We are 18 years old company. Aaplejet is a new entity that has been formed three years back to cater to UV products. We have another firm in the name of GeeVee Infotech which is engaged in manufacturing and supplying solvent & eco-solvent printers. We manufacturer smaller printers, Customized printers for various print application’s and more than that we are the technology player.
We have already made A3 UV printer as well as 5 feet RTR wide format UV printer. We have a couple of production units and a demo and R&D centre in Mumbai with a formidable presence in the country’s major cities either through our dealers or own offices. Our team consists of 50 people.
What made you to diversify in to UV technology?
Earlier, we were more in to Eco Solvent and solvent. As we can see solvent has gradually been taking a back seat following the government increased thrust on eco-friendly solution, we started focusing on UV since last three years. Expanding our UV offerings, we have just added 8×4 feet flatbed UV printer And 10 feet RTR UV printer in our portfolio. Recently, we have come up with a hybrid compact flatbed 5×12 feet escorting Ricoh Gen5 printhead, which is aimed at crowded cities like Mumbai and Delhi where space is an important factor.
How are you selling your printers? How many printers have you sold till date?
We have appointed dealers in Assam, MP, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, etc. So far, we have installed Six 8×4 True Flatbed Printers with Ricoh Gen5, seven hybrid machines in Gujarat, Goa and Maharashtra in the last six months. This is apart from 37 Eco and UV RTR printers with Xaar 1201, and 12 eco-solvent printers that we have sold to our customers in India.
How is Aaplejet placed in the Indian signage market?
As of now, we are focusing on feeding the market at reasonable price but with better technology. We are not competing with top brass like Colorjet, Fujifilm, Mimaki, etc., but we are a technology player backed with a very strong R&D setup. Our technical partner has two decades of experience working with quality players. We know what goes in a printer and how to make quality printers unlike the box movers present in the market who source from cheap manufacturers from neighbouring countries and sell in India.
How long have you been in to solvent printers?
We have been distributing Solvent printers since last 16 years. We are making solvent printers from last seven years in our facility in Mumbai. We have two factories – one each in Bhiwandi and Airoli measuring 12,000 Sf. Ft. and 7,000 Sq. Ft. respectively. We are currently manufacturing 20 units of solvent printers and 5 eco-solvent RTR printers every month. We are also making A3 UV printers i.e. smaller ones. For hybrid and UV flatbed printers, we are sourcing from quality vendors in China.
What is the USP at Aaplejet?
Industrial printheads, stable electronic boards, best mechanical synchronization and tough electronic integration is our USP. Also, we are working only with industrial printheads like Ricoh & Xaar ensuring the best printing performance.
Most of the printers come with BYHX board while ours has UMC or DPCS board, which allows ease of use, Reliability and best user interface. It allows changes in between the printing process like that of colours or speed. Unlike BYHX board wherein printing starts once the image is ready and fed to the machine, in UMC/DPCS the machine keeps on taking input as we start feeding. This makes UMC/DPCS a little complicated technically, and needs more focused approach while processing.
Suppose, in a printer with BHYX board, a printing job of 4×8 feet is in process and suddenly after 3/4th job is done there occurs some technical fault, which ultimately leads to damaging entire glass or acrylic sheet or whatever media has been used. This is not the case with ours.
Also, we have chosen the best German print software, ColorGate RIP software for which we are also the OEM. My entire team is trained with this software and truly understands the technicalities. ColorGate has lot of advantages compare to other Chinese & European Print Software Providers. Even ink saving up to 18% is achievable without compromising on print quality.
How important is the service at Aaplejet?
I have a vision about our company that users should look at Aaplejet for the ultimate and the best UV printing solution for variety of complicated applications. Meantime, the Aaplejet team is busy exploring different print applications to take this technology beyond limitations in order to offer low cost UV print solutions to market.
It’s easy to sell the printers but to manage and maintain the same needs more knowledge & Passion. We are more focused on applications. These are highly precise machines and one should be fully trained to handle the technical glitches that these printers may come across. Suppose, you are printing on glass and not applying a pre-coat or post coat, the life of such output is a week or a month.
This is why we are offering two years durability on prints if operated with flat media with coat, while 5 years if operated with pre- and post-coated one. Service is an integral part of the system. We give three to five days training to PSPs at the time of installation. This is part of our training module & we have dedicated R & D center in Mumbai wherein users can come and explore different UV applications to maximize their profits.
We are also working on systems like service apps and system integrations wherein user connectivity and service solution will be made hassle-free to minimise printers’ down time.
Do you also offer inks? Where are you sourcing it from?
We are supplying inks from last 14 years, so we are India’s one of the only few ink solution providers who know everything about inks. We are sourcing inks from quality players from across the world. For instance, we are buying European and Korean inks. It’s a fact that application as well as selection of inks makes a visible difference to the final output.
As I said, we believe that pre-coat is a must for longer life of the prints, the absence of which can dent the performance of the final product as prints may start deteriorating after small time. For this reason, we are coming up with the idea to supply pre-coated media or materials with five years warranty along with the printers.
How do you see the future of UV technology?
UV has a bright future. For instance, seven years back when we started our journey with Media Expo, there used to be around 80% solvent printers, which have now been replaced by UV. Also, we have closed the deal for seven printers all hybrid UV with Ricoh Gen Industrial head. UV has certain unprecedented advantages like printing on any substrate or media type, coated or uncoated, which is not possible with solvent or eco-solvent technology.
Further, the final product has minimum two years of outdoor life as against six months of solvent or eco-solvent. With UV, 3-4 layer-printing is possible which add more depths to the printed substance. In fact, we are in process of integrating and converting all our solvent machines and soon all our printers will be UV.