Kunal Enterprise introduces Saralon Innovative Inks for Printed Electronics
25 August 2020: Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, only businesses with innovative products can survive and move forward. So, Mumbai based Kunal Enterprise has introduced innovative Inks for Printed Electronics. The Ink, under the brand name ‘Saral,’ is from Saralon GmbH, Germany. The brand name sounds very much like ‘Saral’ which means easy or simple in ‘Sanskrit.’
An interview with Kunal Gandhi, Executive to President, Kunal Enterprise, Mumbai, said that Saralon GmbH is a spin-off of the successful Chemnitz, Germany. The company was established in 2014 to commercialise Printed Electronics (PE) market as it requires Masters and PhD level expertise and integration of electronics and printing. Saralon is providing an organised solution to European, American market right with a professional approach. And now they have ventured into Indian shores to develop PE market through Kunal Enterprise.
What is the reason for joining hand with Saralon GmbH?
The motive of Saralon GmbH is to provide an easy solution for Printed Electronics (PE) sector. We joined hands with them very recently during the lockdown. We found that about 80-85 % of PE job is undertaken by Screen printing compared to other printing technologies. Our company’s DNA is Screen Printing as we provide a solution in Screen printing Industry. Various Illumination/anti-counterfeit products, using Saralon GmbH’s conductive ink, can be done only by Screen printing process, although it can be integrated with graphics printed by Offset and Digital. We always try to promote that PE is possible by Screen printing, but most of our printers are unable to execute the same due to lack of knowledge, guidance, choosing right materials, designing of tracks in a particular field of PE. Sorry to say, there are many companies who are into PE materials supply but none of them is organised to help clients at every stage especially when it comes to illuminating/counterfeit packaging, label, commercial application. So, we decided to join hands with Saralon GmbH as they are the most organised players in PE market for packaging, label, POP and POS application. They are capable of providing a total solution to Indian Printers, viz, sampling, short-run jobs and finally technology transfer along with Inks to printers. This gives Kunal Enterprise an added advantage to introduce this new segment. It will help us to develop a new Screen printing line to new customers as well as to existing customers.
Please comment on the various features of this ink and its application, advantages in the context of the Indian market?
Printed Electronics is a complex subject; it involves designing, printing conductive tracks and integrating into products such as Packaging, Label, POP and POS products. Screen Printing technology is always seen as value addition segment when it comes to packaging, POP, POS jobs and PE can be a further value addition to this segment. Our customers will have an enormous benefit to working with brand owners as they are always in pursuit of innovative solutions. As an experienced company in the Indian screen printing sector, our expertise and technical support would be available at every step of development when it comes to PE.
Tell us about the connection of Printed Electronics with packaging:
We have introduced illuminates and other communication features in packaging which is possible only via printing conductive tracks by screen printing. It does not involve wires thus it makes packaging more attractive, interactive. Graphics and other print finishes are possible via other printing. But for interactive, illuminating packaging involves screen printing as a part of the process in creating a complete product.
What is the potential in the Indian market? Is there such inks in the market already, or this is a new concept in India?
There is of course huge potential for all printers as most of the printers have screen printing facility as value addition. This can be the first step of developing Printed Electronics in India and transforming the country as a PE hub. There are already conductive inks in the market in general but this product requires solution provider as some client may require sampling and short-run jobs first for market test and then they want to invest fully in adopting this in-house. We can provide all of that and customised solution to the printer to develop this technology at their premises. There are not many players providing such organised solution.
Do you have different variant as per substrate and application?
There is only one Saral Ink. Customization would be done on the nature of the job and of course on the substrate if required. However, in most cases, we strive to keep one ink to develop all of this application with easily printed by Screen and best possible curing time and temperature.
It would have been a good idea for Toy and garment industry also. Please comment.
Yes, Toy and Garment Industry is a good idea. In these two segments of the masses, it is said in Hindi “jo dikta hai, wah bikta hai” meaning whatever looks attractive is sold more. So Saral is all about value addition and making productive attractive. Saral Inks are customisable according to application. We have to research if there is an actual requirement in this Industry.
Have you already started selling it? Do you have stock ready?
It has been just launched and selling ‘total solution’ and ‘concept’ is what we are focusing rather than trying to push ink as a product. We have already received a few enquiries upon launch.
What are the benefits of this ink in terms of value addition? Is it a luxury-oriented application and costly?
Saral inks are silver conductive but it is designed to be cost-effective, easily screen printable compare to other silver inks in the market apart from being an organized supplier in the market. It is designed for label and packaging where the cost per packs will eventually matter when there is a volume. Initially yes, the luxury application is our first target. PE like any other new technology is expensive compared to existing products in the market. Certainly, the volume will bring down the cost as brand owners and printers are also looking to add something new as a value addition to the product and delight their customers.
Finally, is Saral ink meant only for screen printing or do you have a different variant of inks for offset, label printing process?
Conductive tracks are printable via Screen only at the moment. However, if a printer wants a customized ink, we can develop upon research but at the moment customer can commercialise with Screen Printing setup. Hence Screen Print Industry has a major advantage right now when it comes to conductive track printing. Graphics on packaging and labels can be done by offset, digital etc but conductive tracks should be printed by Screen Printing.
What about technical support to printers?
Yes of course that’s the main intention of Kunal Enterprise. We would provide technical support in terms of designing tracks, printing, execution to Indian Printers as per their requirements which will be our ‘USP. We have a team of Electronics Engineer, Screen printing process application experts led by Ajay Gandhi (President), and supported by Kunal Gandhi (myself) and Nidhi Gandhi who all are Electronics Engineers with graduation in Management. Our team is capable of offering all technical and commercial support to Indian printers.
Kunal Gandhi – email@example.com