Posts tagged: Konica Minolta

Manufacturing Ink for Digital Print: EFI’s Acquisition of Rialco

Ron Gilboa
 Mar 7, 2016

On March 2nd, EFI has acquired Rialco Limited, a UK-based supplier of dye powders and color products for digital print and industrial manufacturing industries. The acquisition is an important one for EFI because it could augment EFI’s equipment offerings with complementary EFI OEM inks for their digital textile printing products.

Based in Bradford (an hour’s drive northeast of Manchester), Rialco manufactures inks and dyes for textiles and wood finishing applications. Rialco was incorporated in 2003 and its latest turnover is just about 7.9 GBP (or just over $11 million) and gross profits of about 2.1 GBP (or just under $3 million) for 2014 (according to DueDil.com). According to EFI the company will operate as part of EFI’s industrial inkjet business, and will continue to support its existing clients as well as expand and grow its capabilities with new products and new customers as part of its long term growth strategy. As noted by Stephen Emery, Vice President of EFI’s Ink and Jetrion businesses, “The deal announced today gives EFI the platform to accelerate the technical advantages we provide to customers in the textile, signage, ceramics and other industries that are rapidly transitioning from analog to digital printing.” Read more »

Activity Brewing in the Zone of Disruption

Jim Hamilton
 Feb 25, 2016

Inkjet is having, and will continue to have, significant impact on the production digital print market. One of the most active areas for inkjet is in the “Zone of Disruption.” It’s a busy segment, and it will only get busier as drupa 2016 approaches, so now is a good time to revisit the product activity there.

In defining the Zone of Disruption, InfoTrends has in mind inkjet products with a capital acquisition cost of less than $1 million, very competitive running costs, and high levels of productivity. This puts them at speeds faster than current cut-sheet color toner devices, and at a capital acquisition cost lower than most 20” roll-fed color devices. To be truly disruptive there are some other important aspects. These devices must compete in quality and ease of use against the mainstream cut-sheet toner devices. This requires sound design, effective feeding & finishing, as well as workflow software that automates production. Success within niche markets is certainly good, but being disruptive in the marketplace means that these products must address the needs of mainstream cut-sheet and roll-fed color users. As this market progresses, InfoTrends is closely watching for broad levels of success by products in the Zone of Disruption. As of today, only a relatively small number of products fit there and relatively few placements have been made.

Zone of Disruption

The Zone of Disruption fits below the gap between Read more »

2016 Development of Digital Ceramic Printing in China: A CEO’s Perspective

Ron Gilboa
 Feb 22, 2016

InfoTrends has been tracking the ceramic tile industry’s adoption of digital printing technology for several years. China is the primary producer of ceramic tiles on a worldwide basis. According to an industry review by the China Building Ceramics & Sanitaryware Association, there are now over 3,600 ceramic tile production lines in operation in China in just under 1,500 facilities. With about 12 billion square meters produced worldwide 2014/2015 this market is estimated to grow at about 3% in subsequent years. Asia-Pacific region accounts for the majority (70%) of the total most is produced in China.

This market was destined to take advantage of the benefits inherent to digital printing technologies such as reduced make ready, design latitude, timely manufacturing and cost reduction. Spearheading these efforts are companies such as Xaar and Fuji Dimatix and few others. These companies, along with ceramic ink manufacturers, developed by a range of ceramic inks that meet the unique characteristics needed for inkjet printing. The initial success in Europe naturally spread to the Chinese market as well which is the focus of this blog.

We had the privilege of sitting down for an interview with Stella Hu, CEO of Shanghai Teckwin Technology Development Co. Ltd., a leading Chinese supplier digital printing technologies. This interview provided an unique perspective on the current market status and future expectations for the digital ceramics printing in China.

Stella Hu, CEO, Shanghai Teckwin Technology Development Co., Ltd

Stella Hu, CEO, Shanghai Teckwin Technology Development Co., Ltd

In 1994, Stella set up a successful print shop in Shanghai that offered top-quality local services. Compromising on quality was never an option, so the company ran top-of-the-line VUTEk and Scitex machines. At that time, there were very few local manufacturers of wide format printers. Stella spent the next 6 years studying the machines and developing applications.

Once Stella had fully experienced the fun of digital printing with extensive applications, she set her sights on developing a new brand of digital inkjet solutions based on her insights on industry and client needs. She launched Shanghai Teckwin Technology Development Co., Ltd. in 2001. The Shanghai-based company developed and introduced its first wide format solvent printer in 2002, and has since continued with product innovations. The company now offers digital inkjet ceramic printers, grand format solvent UV flatbeds, and roll-to-roll inkjet printing systems for graphics and industrial applications.

During our interview, Mrs. Hu offered her perspective on digital printing within the Chinese ceramic tile market.

Read more »

InPrint 2015 – demonstrating that print is much more than ink on paper

Ralf Schlozer
 Dec 21, 2015

November 2015 saw the second instalment of InPrint, the industrial print show and conference. A total of 3,400 visitors from 68 countries came to the Munich Trade Fair Centre. Compared to the previous event in Hannover, the numbers of exhibitors, attendees and foot print increased by a third.

InPrint focussed on three fields of application: functional, decorative and packaging printing. Unlike traditional printing shows, InPrint has a different attendee profile: Typical visitors to InPrint are companies such as system integrators, materials developers, and manufacturers interested in providing solutions for the industrial/decorative print market. But even if you do not intend on integrating a custom press, the show is a good opportunity to get informed on where printing technology is being used beyond document printing. Print service providers, who visit InPrint, have been able to expand their horizon while visiting vendor booths as well as attending the conference with its extensive program.

Read more »

Eight Print Sample Videos from Graph Expo 2015

Jim Hamilton
 Sep 28, 2015

I’ve recorded eight short videos (each is between two and five minutes long) that highlight some interesting print samples from Graph Expo 2015:

I hope you enjoy these. I’ll be adding some more Read more »

Graph Expo Expectations

Jim Hamilton
 Sep 8, 2015

Graph Expo 2015 (September 13-16, Chicago) begins on Sunday and whether you are able to be there or not, here are a few things you should know in advance.

Who Has the Biggest Booths on the Show Floor?

One good way of assessing the level of marketing spend that an exhibitor has made on a trade show is to measure the size of their booth. InfoTrends has been doing this for shows like Graph Expo, Print, IPEX, and drupa for many years. This year, the biggest exhibitors (by square foot of exhibit space as measured from the publicly available show floor map) are shown below.

Canon, as was the case at Graph Expo 2014, has the largest booth, followed by Konica Minolta. HP is in the number three spot, up from number six last year. Xerox dropped down a spot and is followed by Ricoh, EFI, Pitney Bowes, and Standard Finishing. KIP America breaks into the top ten at number nine. Last year’s number nine, Muller Martini, is not exhibiting. The top twelve is rounded out by Kodak, KBA, and Scodix. Traditional offset vendors (including some with new digital offerings) will be exhibiting, but not in the biggest booths (KBA is the only one in the top twelve). Offset system providers with booths include Goss, Komori, manroland, Presstek, Ryobi MHI, and TKS, but not Heidelberg, which hasn’t been a Graph Expo exhibitor since 2011.

Read more »

Konica Minolta Announces Next Generation High Resolution, High Speed MEMS Printheads

Ron Gilboa
 Jul 27, 2015

Konica Minolta, a long time innovator in inkjet technology with over 30 years of experience, has released information on a new generation of print heads aimed at the evolving graphic arts, industrial, and functional printing markets. These printheads have resolution as high as 1,200 nozzles per inch (npi), drop size as low as 3 picoliters, jetting frequency of up to 100 kHz, and a physical size that is significantly smaller than the previous generation of Konica Minolta heads. As with many print head manufacturers Konica Minolta is manufacturing these printhead using Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) fabrication. Konica Minolta’s high precision printhead is capable of jetting of a range of inks and functional materials such as resins. These new capabilities will enable innovative new products in a range of industries. Konica Minolta expects to begin mass production of these heads in the spring of 2016. Read more »

EFI Extends its Reach into Textile and Grand Format Segments via the Acquisitions of Reggiani and Matan

Catherine Cresswell
 Jul 7, 2015

On July 1st EFI made two announcements: One was the acquisition of the Israeli Matan Digital Printer, a supplier of grand format printing solutions and the second was the acquisition of Reggiani Macchine a supplier of high end textile printing equipment.

Both acquisitions are part of EFI’s stated strategy to invest and grow its product portfolio in adjacent markets and technologies. Workflow and inkjet have been at the forefront of acquisitions by EFI in the past and is likely to continue in the future as this strategy evolves. This strategy enables EFI to leapfrog some graphic arts suppliers and enter into industrial segments that are emerging as adopters of digital technology as a means to dramatically change their respective industry segments’ supply chains and transition mass production markets into mass customization digitally enabled segments. Read more »

Konica Minolta Diversifying their Portfolio

Allison Correia
 Mar 13, 2015

At Konica Minolta’s Art of Disruption Dealer meeting last month in Los Angeles, California, they discussed what they believe are the industry’s biggest trends, how Konica Minolta plans to transform their business through these evolutions, and what their dealers should do to evolve with them to continue to be successful. A core message at the conference was that of diversification through new technologies to “disrupt” the industry. Read more »

Frank Romano and the Phototypesetting Era

Jim Hamilton
 Jan 2, 2015

Frank Romano is at it again. His latest, History of the Phototypesetting Era, follows the publication last summer of his History of the Linotype Company. Both books have been aptly described as time capsules. Particularly notable throughout all his writings are Romano’s attention to detail, his desire to document events, and, in the case of this latest book, an “I was there” perspective.

Romano’s History of the Phototypesetting Era is remarkable as much for its Read more »

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