Incorporated in the year 2001, Kartar Corporation (K Corp) grew under the leadership of renowned entrepreneur and founder of Sudarshan Group of Industries, Pritpal Singh, who was later joined by his son, Charanjit Singh in 1993. Then after, they gradually shifted their business towards digital printing and signage. In 2005, a revolution was noted in the manufacturing of CNC Routers and wide format digital printers. Following this, the company introduced various models for engraving and printing industry.
Continuing the fray, in 2014, the company diversified again and moved on to channel letters solutions encompassing both – manufacturing as well as job work. The company does offer machines for cutting and bending the channel letters besides facilitating with the job works, if so required by the clients.
We, at Sign & POP World, met Amanmeet Singh of Art & Creations to know how the industry is responding to channel letters, especially that of metal. Here are the edited excerpts.
How has been the response for metal channel letters? How has the market been transforming with the introduction of machines?
Acrylic is slowly going out from the market. People are getting more inclined towards channel letters made of aluminium or steel. This is further picking up because of the technology introduced in this segment. Incorporation of machine has not only added speed to it but also enhanced productivity multi-fold. Machine has put it on a rather faster track as the set of letters, which was produced in a week-time, is now being produced in a day. Added advantage is the precision & accuracy, which was not possible in hand-made letters.
Why is Acrylic losing its sheen?
There are so many disadvantages with Acrylic. The letters are made by hand; therefore, always there comes lack in precision and accuracy. Also, letters made by acrylic attracts insects, which ultimately get accumulated inside the frames. This spoils not only the look and feel of the letters, but also dent the brand name associated therewith. Besides, it’s not durable either.
Which all solutions do you offer?
We are in to both machinery as well as channel letters. The machine is expensive and not everyone willing to enter in to this trade or is already there in the market, can buy this machine. So for people, who can’t afford to buy our machine, we offer them the letters.
At what price range these machines are available?
We have machine that starts at Rs. 7 lakh and goes up to 25 lakh depending on the functionality and operational efficiency of the machine.
Where do you source these machines from? How many machines have been sold so far?
We are importing this machine from China from around three years. We are the channel partner for TPS Channel Letters bending machines for pan India. Till date, we have sold 25 machines across the country, most of which are sold for SS followed by aluminium. However, we have machines which are suitable for all the metals. This is because of the trade preference and flexibility attached therewith. Some people trade only in SS channel letters, while some in aluminium and some ask for both along with extrusion. So, we have solutions for all sorts of customers.
How do you develop or design these letters? To which extent your design expertise is utilised?
Sometimes, clear specifications are provided by the clients, while in some cases we offer them the options. Especially, for international brands, they have their own specifications to follow. If somehow, they don’t get the exact curvatures ready here, then they allow modifications according to what is available with the service providers here in India.
For instance, we have set up all the machines and provide solutions in all the finishes for international brands like the hotel industry. While some want in combination with poly carbonate, some with acrylic, which not all the service providers are capable of delivering these many solutions. We provide them almost all the letters they need as per their specifications.
Do you also market LED modules for channel letters or other signage?
Yeah, we are also the distributor for LED modules from Wililux, a renowned LED major. So for LED modules, we have a variety of solutions. We do have certain special kind of modules for soft signage. These are LED bars that come in various colour temperatures to provide varied but specific solutions, with same brightness. This is to offer flexibility to our valued customers to choose from.
Any innovation that has recently been added to your portfolio of LEDs!
We have different variants. Innovations come creeping in. The recent addition in the module is 3.6W LED module, which is primarily used in light box wherein 3-4 modules are fixed without any wire but connectors. And that is actually phenomenal making the job more easy and flawless.
How is the market responding to these innovations?
The market is getting ready for it as still a big chunk is left untapped, while acrylic is preferred by those looking for cheaper solutions. The difference of total cost in the end product is around 40%. The metal letters are far more durable when compared with acrylic wherein LED goes running while the letters (acrylic) lose their shine or rather life. In case of metal, the life of letter is there while LEDs go burnt. Regular cleaning is a must to avoid rusting. If gets rusted, it can be easily cleaned and the sheen of the metal letters remains there to stay for longer than usual.
What’s in the pipeline at K Corp?
The new channel letters are slanting and can be floored instead of getting walled or hanged. These letters can be produced with the existing machines after the needed change or updates are done. This is a new technology and soon it will be available here. We would be the first to offer such products in India.