Konica Minolta Seeks to Expand Industrial-Printer Business with New Site in France

digitally-printed-labels-and-packaging

Digitally printed labels and packaging.

On November 7th, Konica Minolta of Tokyo, Japan, reported that its opening a “strategic” business base in France in order to strengthen its industrial-printing business, marking its first overseas business base in its core business area. At the new site, the firm says it will devise mid- and long-term strategies to strengthen its industrial-printer business

Konica Minolta states that it’s “determined to evolve into a problem-solving digital company capable of facilitating workflow transformation with its digital technologies to deliver greater convenience and higher productivity to customers’ work processes.” It estimates the market for industrial printing, including label-, package-, and textile-printing at 50 trillion yen, which it says means there is a “huge growth potential” in the digital-printing business. It also says the need for digital printing is increasing as more and more companies turn to marketing strategies that use exclusive label and packaging designs, and that it’ll leverage its digital-printing technologies to meet the need for high-mix small-lot production and shorter lead time, and also provide solutions for enhance printing efficiency.

industrial-printing-systems

Konica Minolta’s industrial-printing systems.

Digitally Printed Labels and Packaging

According to Konica Minolta, with a high concentration of leading-edge industrial-printing companies and manufacturers of related equipment, Europe deserves to be called “a global trendsetter in the industrial printing business.” With a business base in Europe, the center of the global industrial-printing market, it says it aims to accelerate the development of solutions for industrial printing through a process of creating new customer values and business models.

This “customer-centric cyclic process,” which Konica Minolta has employed as its original framework, has been making “meaningful contributions” to the company’s business and technical development in recent years.

In the label- and package-printing industry, it says digital high-mix small-lot production is also expected to enhance post-press varnishing, laminating, foil stamping, and die cutting.

The firm says it will seek opportunities to accelerate open innovation in this field through its existing alliance with MGI Digital Technology (MGI), a digital production-printing equipment manufacturer based in France (and which Konica Minolta acquired a stake in in 2014). It will also strengthen its partnerships with a number of post-press equipment manufacturers in Europe.

The firm also that Europe is a main center of the world’s digital textile-printing market, along with Asia, and leads the world in digital printing of wall paper and construction materials. While Konica Minolta has been offering inkjet digital textile printers and inkjet print heads to the European market, the company is “confident it can develop new solutions for workflow transformation by being closer to the market.”

Digitally Printed Fabrics

Since launching compact production print systems with low capital investment in 2003, Konica Minolta says it’s largely expanded the digital-printing market in the areas of commercial printing and in-house printing. For over a decade since then, the firm says it’s created a digital commercial-printing market and expanded the scope and range of its business activities, while developing print systems for various usage (from light to heavy), focusing on color printers.

As a result, Konica Minolta says it’s increased the size of its production-printer business more than five-fold. It says it’s implemented its “own unique measures to strengthen the commercial and industrial printing business ahead of its competitors in the industry.”

These measures include applying its inkjet technology to the production-printer market, launching its Marketing Production Management (MPM) service that helps customers improve the printing process and supports planning and production of high value-added printed materials tailored to specific purposes, such as sales promotion. As noted, it also entered into a financial and strategic alliance with MGI, acquiring additional stake in MGI and consolidating the financial results of MGI.

New Solutions for Industrial Printing

Under its Mid-term Business Strategy, Konica Minolta plans to expand its business by offering new solutions in industrial printing, as well as by offering services in commercial printing to achieve its target to increase the total revenue in its production-printer business to 360 billion yen in fiscal 2020.

It says it’s placing special importance for the label- and package-printing markets that it says are likely to continue to steadily grow in the future with the launch of its bizhub PRESS C71cf on-demand label printer and the AccurioJet KM-1 B2 digital inkjet press, along with its alliance with MGI.

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