Agfa announced today a major step in its strategy to become a leader in the industrial inkjet printing market. Agfa earlier established multiple joint development and manufacturing partnerships with Thieme, Mutoh Europe and Xaar. By combining these partnerships with its own in-house imaging, ink and printing expertise, Agfa is now ready to introduce a series of wide-format and digital screen printing systems. Thus, Agfa meets its objectives to provide its customers with the means to innovate and grow profitably by making the printed medium more competitive.
- Inkjet strategy provides Agfa with a new platform for sustained profitable growth
- Innovative wide-format and digital screen printers, using Agfa proprietary inks, available as of 3rd quarter 2005
Stefaan Vanhooren, President of Agfa’s Graphic Systems business group, said: “We believe in the power of print. We see an increase in media volume and a growing demand for differentiation, which will have a positive impact on the continued growth of print. With our cost-effective innovations in inkjet we support these market trends”.
The industrial inkjet market is estimated at 2 billion Euros and is expected to multiply in the next few years.
Agfa has strong credentials in chemistry, dispersion technology, imaging and printing expertise. Specifically for inkjet, Agfa build up application competencies in the proofing pre-press offering.
The partnerships with Thieme, Mutoh and Xaar, enable Agfa to bring groundbreaking, industrial inkjet systems to market.
Today, at the Fespa Fair in Germany, Agfa launched two co-developed products, M-Press and :Anapurna, which set an industry benchmark combining high-quality with unrivaled performance.
The M-Press is the first hybrid UV inkjet press that is fully automated and high-speed, combining the benefits of digital printing and screen-printing. This combination gives customers two main advantages: long digital run lengths of higher quality and higher profit for applications such as displays or decoration printing.
The new :Anapurna 100 printer, co-developed with Mutoh Europe, is a wide-format printer for high-volume industrial inkjet operations such as posters, billboards and signage printing. The combination of precision printheads, developed by Agfa and Xaar, and Agfa’s new UV-curable :Anapurna inkjet inks offers exceptional color quality and excellent scratch resistance on a wide range of flexible and rigid media, all at very high speeds.
“We became market leader in pre-press by offering complete innovative solutions to our customers, wherever in the world. It is our intention to do the same for inkjet”, said Stefaan Vanhooren.
Thieme is a technology leader in screen printing systems. The company maintains this status through dedicated development efforts that continually strengthen its positions in the respective markets. Thieme is headquartered in Teningen, Germany and serves customers with sales and service subsidiaries in France, the United Kingdom and the United States. The company currently employs about 500 people around the world and achieves total annual sales of approximately 70 million Euros. More information at www.thieme-products.com.
With manufacturing and R&D plants in Japan and Belgium, the Mutoh group is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of wide-format piezo inkjet printers for commercial inkjet printing applications. Mutoh worldwide headquarters are located in Tokyo, Japan (Mutoh Industries Ltd). Mutoh Industries Ltd. has subsidiaries in Belgium (Mutoh Europe) and the U.S. (Mutoh America Inc). Mutoh Europe nv, Oostende, Belgium, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mutoh Industries Ltd, Tokyo, Japan.
Founded in 1991, Mutoh Europe’s activities encompass development, manufacturing and distribution of CAS hardware (professional sign cutting plotters, apparel marking/cutting plotters and large-format full-color piezo-electric printers for commercial inkjet printing and sign making applications). Employing 290 people, the company markets Mutoh products all over Europe, the Middle-East and Africa through its extensive network of authorized distributors. More information on Mutoh Europe and its products can be found on http://www.mutoh.be.
Xaar plc is a market-leading ink jet technology company. It targets the world’s office, commercial and industrial printing markets. The office printing market is approached through Xaar’s licensees; the industrial printing market is targeted by XaarJet, the manufacturing arm of Xaar; and a combination of partners and key players work with Xaar to serve the commercial printing market. Vivid Print Innovations, the applications division of Xaar, supplies Xaar’s in-house specialist integration service.
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