Rajendrakumar Anayath


Almost two decades back I was attending a seminar on what will happen to print on paper when the digital media grows? We were just beginners in the industry and opted printing technology as our passion and career. So the outcome of this discussion was very important to me being print as my passion. Many scientists predicted the death of print on paper and the rise of digital media. Ironically I attended similar seminars and conferences many times in the last two decade and the topic remain same but nothing happened but print industry grows to its leaps and bounds. During the last DRUPA-2008 I decided to study and project a trend line to the future of printing and try to understand how this industry is going to transform. Primarily I conducted an analysis of the growth of print industry in the global and regional scenario in relation to the global population and its regional distribution. I could convince myself that print is going to grow in a very big manner. Normally print industry grows almost double to the GDP in the developing countries. It was very interesting to know that India is going to witness maximum growth compared to any individual countries in the world from 2006 to 2012 touching almost 24 billion Euros. Off course there will be technological revolutions but printing is going to grow and not the way some predicted the death of print. Letter press has taken the reincarnation with a new body and name as flexography basically remaining the soul same. Similarly offset has proven its ability to transfer an image the most smooth and consistent way. Thus many digital adds today say" We print with offset quality" accepting offset quality is better and they even engaged an offset blanket to transfer the digitally formed image. So I strongly believe offset process will continue in a very strong way in the coming years too. Once I was convinced that Inkjet, flexo and digital is going to grow in a very appreciable way in the future, I decided to understand how these technologies are going to transform the future media industry. During these days I happened to come across the works of Prof. Christopher Barnett from Nottingham University, UK. He redefined the theories of industrial convergence proposed by Dr. Nicolas Negroponte, Director of the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),USA, in the early 1980's where he discussed to understand how the industry convergence theories are related to the technology innovation and further development. Later the new convergence theory proposed by Prof. Christopher Barnett ( Associate Professor in Computing & Organizations at Nottingham University Business School) suggests 3 M’s are going to converge namely Media, Medicine and Manufacturing. I was really confused how this is going to happen since each industry is different in structure and differ in all aspects. To understand this concept better I asked few questions myself:
How the media industry is going to restructure?
What are the new applications?
How we can correlate the new industry convergence diagram with the future of print media?
How to do the smooth transition and carry out the technology
What is the significance of knowledge with proper understanding?
Later I identified the following applications of printing technology to correlate the industrial convergence theory:
1) 3D-Printing (Cubic Printing)
2) Printed Electronics
3) Nano Technology (Quantum dots)
4) Biometrics in Printing
5) E-Paper, E-In k & Espresso Book Making Machine.
At the end of the study I was totally convinced that these applications are going to change the whole face of printing industry from a skill based industry to a knowledge driven industry in the coming days which is going to change the whole world in to a new era.
My only suggestion to our fellow members of media industry is to awake and be ready for a change. Printing industry will be the most prominent and promising industry after the weapon industry in the future days.
Be proud to be a Printer! Since you are going to change the whole world!

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