The What’s Happening May 2019 installation covers the complete reorganization of a venerable photo printing industry company, as well as a modern new headquarters for Durst. We also look at a new grand-format printer from Fujifilm and a new alliance between Mimaki USA and Avery Dennison Graphics. What’s Happening May 2019 rounds out with a software update for DNP photo printing kiosk systems.
What’s Happening May 2019
Agfa Undergoes Corporate Transformation
At its annual shareholders meeting in Mortsel, Belgium, the Agfa-Gevaert Group updated attendees on its major corporate transformation. The company recently completed a reorganization of its business structure. The global company, based in Belgium but with U.S. headquarters in Elmwood Park, New Jersey, produces a range of imaging systems and IT (information technology) solutions. It serves two distinct industries: printing and healthcare.
As a result of the restructuring, the Agfa-Gevaert Group is essentially divided into two entities: Agfa and Agfa HealthCare. All of the IT-related activities of the former Agfa HealthCare business group are now under that new entity’s umbrella.
Agfa will include all the activities of the former Agfa Graphics and Agfa Specialty Products business groups. It will also encompass the imaging portion of the former Agfa HealthCare business group.
In addition, the newly created Agfa portion of the company is divided into three divisions: the Offset Solutions division (the prepress business of the former Agfa Graphics business group); the Digital Print & Chemicals division (the inkjet business of the former Agfa Graphics business group and the activities of the former Agfa Specialty Products business group); and the Radiology Solutions division (the imaging activities of the former Agfa HealthCare business group).
“This simplified divisional structure is technology- and solutions-based. It will allow Agfa to seek future partnerships,” the company announced.
Mimaki USA Teams with Avery Dennison on Marketing Program
Mimaki, maker of wide-format inkjet printers and cutters, formed a marketing program with Mentor, Ohio-based graphics films manufacturer Avery Dennison. Mimaki’s UCJV series printers will now be afforded the Avery Dennison Integrated Component System (ICS) Performance Guarantee. The UCJV printers utilize LUS-170 or LUS-200 inks.
According to Avery Dennison, its “ICS Performance Guarantee combines its films with qualified printing components to form a system that offers compatibility and provides outstanding performance.” Moreover, through joint developmental work between the two companies, the UCJV printers, using either LUS ink sets, met the “stringent durability and physical performance specifications to earn ICS Performance Guarantee status.” Under this guarantee, Mimaki’s LUS-170 ink supports a range of indoor and outdoor applications; and LUS-200 ink is certified for curved surface applications like vehicle wraps and fleet graphics.
“We are pleased to add Mimaki’s UCJV series printers with both LUS-170 and LUS-200 ink sets to our ICS Performance Guarantee portfolio,” said Paul Roba, OEM relationship manager of Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions. “The addition of this platform provides our customers another premium printing solution for their commercial graphic needs. It also expands the digital solutions available from Avery Dennison’s and Mimaki’s strong working relationship.”
Fujifilm Debuts Superwide Acuity Ultra Printer
Fujifilm North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division, debuted its latest innovations in superwide UV press technology. The Acuity Ultra, its new superwide UV printer, is available in 126-inch and 197-inch versions.
The Acuity Ultra gives print service providers a new solution to profit from interior and exterior applications. “Featuring impressive cost-in-use, the Acuity Ultra offers increased size and quality to make the production of high-end interior graphics much more profitable,” the company announced.
The printer offers advanced features for flexible and productive superwide printing, including a chilled vacuum table to enable printing of thin heat-sensitive substrates. In addition, an onboard backlighting feature allows image quality to be checked during printing. And the printer’s multi-roll capability maximizes productivity by enabling multiple jobs to print simultaneously.
In addition, the Uvijet GS ink series was developed specifically for Acuity Ultra printers. It produces a low-build ink film with excellent coverage and adhesion, high-density vibrant backlits and a durable finish, according to specs. Furthermore, the UL Environment recognized Fujifilm’s commitment to environmental responsibility by granting GreenGuard Certification to Uvijet GS inks. GreenGuard helps manufacturers create and customers choose interior products that support healthy indoor environments through low chemical emissions. Certification means a product was rigorously tested and has low emissions of volatile organic compounds.
“The grand-format Acuity Ultra is ideal for the high-end indoor display market,” said Becky McConnell, product marketing manager, Fujifilm North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division. “With its massive format size, multi-roll potential and impressive speed, the Acuity Ultra allows PSPs the ability to profitably create exhibition graphics, point-of-purchase displays, high-value graphic art, indoor backlit displays and more.”
DNP Snap Lab SL620A Photo Printing Kiosk Software Update
DNP Imagingcomm America Corporation released a software update for its Snap Lab SL620A. With version 188.8.131.52, users can now execute a digital wireless transfer of images from smartphones to the Snap Lab without using the mobile app. This new capability makes it easier for customers to input and print photos.
Also included is a new index print feature. The index print is added to the print job and shows thumbnails of every image in the print job order. Other enhancements for better workflows during events include an event mode control. It permits operators to set the quantity for minimum and maximum photos per order. In addition, it provides the ability to process credit card payment directly through the interface.
“Adding this functionality and new features to the Snap Lab software is a direct result of feedback from our customers in the event photography and photo retail markets,” said Shinichi Yamashita, president, DNP IAM. “These improvements are part of continuous upgrades we have made to the software platform, enhancing its capabilities with no additional investment required.”
The Snap Lab all-in-one photo printing system features ease of use, portability and a full feature set—with no PC required. It integrates DNP’s DS620A dye-sub photo printer, DS-Tmini order terminal head, a 10.1-inch touch-sensitive color LCD and a user-friendly GUI. The interface provides instant photo printing and access to templates, so operators can add borders and text to photos, collages and calendars.
Its workflow includes wireless smartphone connectivity. The system is also scalable to add additional DNP photo printers for speed and variety of print sizes. The Snap Lab SL620A software update v184.108.40.206 is available to download from the DNP website: dnpphoto.com.
Durst Opens New Headquarters and Customer Experience Center
Durst opened a futuristic headquarters and Customer Experience Center in Brixen, northern Italy. Customers, employees and business partners were among 1,000 guests who attended the ceremony. Durst is a manufacturer of digital printing and wide-format production technologies.
In the future, Durst will invite more of its international customers to the Customer Experience Center in the 5,700-square-meter headquarters. The company’s integrated concept was incorporated into the architecture of the building, as it connects a new administrative block with production facilities. The design for a company building with a tower was first presented more than 50 years ago, but it was never realized. Architects Monovolume pursued the original concept and designed a flat, floating “wing” with a six-story tower. The powder-coated metal facade has 850 multicolored, luminous window elevations arranged in pixel-like fashion.
Durst dates back more than 80 years. Its history is closely associated with the Oberrauch family, now in the third generation of ownership. It employs more than 700 people and has 20+ subsidiaries across the world. Durst Image Technology US is located in Rochester, New York; Durst-Pro USA is in Hillsboro, Oregon.
In addition, its management board recently underwent a change; Christof Oberrauch handed over the reins to his son, Harald Oberrauch. At the same time, Christoph Gamper was appointed CEO. Gamper led Durst’s transition and introduced a new management structure. He also heralded a new business philosophy: “Passion for technologies and markets, innovation as the driver, and active collaboration and participation in every area.”