Aug 29, 2012
This week Kodak made news with the announcement by CEO Antonio Perez that his company will focus on commercial, packaging, and functional printing. The choices are not surprising, given prospects now for conventional document printing (down) and for “unconventional” printing such as packaging and labels (up). Kodak is fortifying for life after its planned exit from Chapter 11 next year and has made good choices, all markets where there is still growth for digital printing.
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Jan 19, 2012
Insight about basic forces in the packaging markets of Europe comes from this story: On January 17th, Britain’s DS Smith (UK) announced it is buying the recycled packaging operations of SCA of Sweden for about $2 billion. The goal of DS Smith, already a jumbo supplier of packaging in Britain and elsewhere, is to win more business from the world’s top consumer goods companies, especially in Northern Europe where its main consumer goods customers already operate. In his statement about the deal, DS Smith CEO Miles Roberts said that customers like Procter & Gamble, Nestle, Kraft, Reckitt Benckiser, and Unilever have encouraged his company to offer more recycled packaging across Europe. The deal will make DS Smith one of the largest corrugated suppliers in Europe, with close to 3 million metric tonnes of capacity. Read more »
Xeikon had two recent news items relevant to its role in label and packaging markets: (1) it acquired the “Flexolaser” flexo plate-making technology and business of RSD Technik GmbH, which has been a supplier to packaging converters in Europe and (2) it bought the rights to the “Thermoflex” flexo platesetter brand name from Eastman Kodak. Xeikon is best known as a digital press supplier. Being able to also offer key supplies for flexo presses used in label and packaging, though, increases Xeikon’s influence with converters, even ones without digital presses. (Within the Xeikon family, there is already an accomplished supplier of pre-press technology, a sister company called basysPrint that offers CTP systems to create aluminum plates for offset). While the Flexolaser deal involves established products, customers, and brand, the purchase of the “Thermoflex” brand from Kodak is only that; Thermoflex in fact is a discontinued line of narrow platesetters from Kodak, one that Kodak still supports, but for which it offers only reconditioned products. Read more »
Jan 24, 2011
In the Color Digital Label & Packaging (CDLP) service we concentrate mainly on primary packaging such as prime labels, folding cartons, and flexible packaging. Converters in each of those applications use software from EskoArtwork, for graphic design of labels and for both graphic and structural design of folding cartons and flexible packaging. A recent news item reminded us that EskoArtwork is also a top vendor to converters for an adjacent application, corrugated containers. In corrugated packaging, EskoArtwork seems to repeat its role in enhancing design and speed as seen in converting for primary packaging.
York Container, the subject of the coverage, is a single source supplier of corrugated shipping containers, as well as retail packaging and point of purchase displays. York, which has nearly 200 employees, deals with the entire packaging production workflow, from providing raw materials and structural solutions to creative graphic design and in-line production of printing, die-cutting, coating, folding, and gluing. Read more »
Mar 6, 2009
This week Oce announced that it is selling its media converting assets to Converting Solutions Inc. (CSI). Today I had an opportunity to speak with J.T. Maier, Executive Sales Director of the Wide Format Printing Systems group at oceÂ to discuss this week’s announcement.Â While Maier was not able to disclose any terms of the deal, which is effective immediately, he did talk about the deal and some of Oce’s perspectives on it.
The first thing Maier pointed out was that not only does Oce believe that they will not lose anything in terms of their ability to deliver customer service, product quality, and ease-of-ordering ability, they believe that CSI’s converting ability will enable them to grow their product line with different sizes and a whole line of made-to-order products in the future. Down the road, they expect to be able to deliver products even more effectively through CSI’s distributionÂ capacity.
In the past, Oce has been the only major wide format printer hardware manufacturer that also owned print media coating (formerly called Arkwright) and converting capabilities. There has been some positives from this, such asÂ close working relationships down to the media development level, but by divesting these assets, Oce now has the ability to choose from a wider variety of media sources to get access to the best products available.
While Oce’s divestiture reduces the size of its workforce (nearly all of the employeesÂ that worked at Oce’s facilities now work for CSI), the company emphatically stated that it is committed to the media business, pointing out that it has recently hired additional people in the salesforce and continues to look for more good salespeople.
With the economic situation such as it is, companies are looking for ways to improve their bottom line. Shedding divisions that are non-strategic is one way to reduceÂ a company’s overhead costs. In this case, as Maier points out, doing so also gives the company enhanced flexibility to meet customer requirements for short runs and odd sizes, and will improve the company’s ability to bringÂ the best media products to market.