Konica Minolta Establishes Digital Textile Subsidiary in Italy

Ron Gilboa
Oct 15, 2014

On October 14, Konica Minolta (KM) announced the acquisition of Verga IT S.r.l. based in Bregnano, Como, Italy. This acquisition establishes a new subsidiary named Konica Minolta IJ Textile Europe S.r.l., the first of its kind outside Japan. This development is aimed at enhancing Konica Minolta’s sales and services organization in the inkjet textile printer market in Europe. The financial terms of this acquisition were not disclosed.

Mr. Akiyoshi Ohno, President Konica Minolta IJ Textile Europe S.r.l.

The president of the new business unit is Mr. Akiyoshi Ohno, an industry veteran with vast experience in developing new markets, applications, products, and business relations. The General Manager of Konica Minolta S.r.l. is Mr. Seiji Nakashima who joined Konica Minolta with previous experience as the General Manager of NISSHA Europe GmbH and also as Project Manager at NISSHA Printing Co. in Japan. The relationship between Konica Minolta and Verga was long standing prior to the acquisition; both companies have been working together since 1995 selling office equipment. As Konica Minolta developed their inkjet solution strategy, Verga embraced these technologies and since 2003 has been supporting Konica Minolta based inkjet solutions – including selling and supporting the Nassenger product line in Europe since 2004. As Enrico Verga, the new business entity’s Chief Operating Officer said, “We had a long and successful relationship with Konica Minolta, and this is a natural next step in our growth in an industry segment that is fast growing”.

The products available through the newly established KM Subsidiary include the Nassenger PRO60, Nassenger PRO120 and the Nassenger PRO1000. With production speeds of 60, 120, and 1,000 square meters per hour respectively, these products enable users to print on most common fabrics including cellulose, synthetics, and protein-based fabrics such as cotton, polyester, or silk. All systems are use the Konica Minolta printhead technology, ink management, transport, drying, and production workflow tools.

Konica Minolta Nassenger PRO1000

Konica Minolta Nassenger PRO1000

Konica Minolta has been developing inkjet solutions for a range of markets and applications including graphics arts printing, ceramic tiles, wide format printing, and digital textile printing. The latter has been a growth industry that is centered on the benefits for both the textile finisher (printer) as well as the whole supply chain from raw materials to consumers.

According to the InfoTrends market forecast, worldwide digital textile print volume will grow at a 39% compound annual growth rate from 2013 to 2018. The main drivers of this growth are anchored in changing consumer demand away from mass production and into mass customization. Digital textile printing is one example where creativity and design freedom is enabled by allowing emerging designers and brands to offer more variety for customers within a faster turnaround time. Digital printing thus enables rapid changeovers, reduction in tooling, and the ability to support just-in-time manufacturing in support of shorter job sizes. Naturally these improvements result in inventory reduction and a leaner supply chain, all of which benefits the textile finisher’s bottom line. Digital textile printing enables these benefits while maintaining print quality that rivals that of conventional printing processes.

One of the main contributions of digital textile printing is its environmental impact, allowing for significant reduction in water consumption, yielding reduction in energy use, CO2 emissions, and pollutants. These are important benefits for brand owners who are looking to significantly improve their environmental impact, and thus drive adoption of digital textile printing.

With these drivers building up demand for digital textile printing, Konica Minolta chose a good time to make a strategic move that will position it in Italy, the center of an extremely important textile production region where many other companies such as Aleph / Mimaki, ATP Color, F-Tex, MS / Dover, QualiJet,  Reggiani, Robustelli / EPSON are also active.

 

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