Tech Partnerships

Fujifilm Corporation and Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG have reached a new global strategic partnership in the area of inkjet printing, which is described as a broad alliance aimed at strengthening existing business and establishing a platform to drive new business.

“In Fujifilm, we have found an internationally recognized partner with innovative strengths in future-oriented areas – consumables and inkjet technology," stated Gerold Linzbach, CEO of Heidelberg. "This marks a significant step forward in our corporate strategy. Fujifilm's prepress capabilities and their technologies in the area can enhance and grow existing business.

“With Fujifilm's inkjet technology we can build on the experience in digital printing gained through other partnerships and quickly move into the peak performance segment,” continued Linzbach. “It is our goal to also become a global player in the growing digital printing applications market… Within three years we envision a sales potential for Heidelberg in the digital business of more than €200 million."

The alliance is to focus on developing future inkjet systems and providing access to each other’s prepress technologies. Along these lines, Fujifilm’s expertise primarily sits with print-head and ink development, highlighted by its established J Press line, while Heidelberg brings decades of experience in engineering platforms for sheet transfer and systems integration.

“Fujifilm and Heidelberg have led the printing industry in each domain. Heidelberg's reputation among world's printers is unique,” stated Shigetaka Komori, Chairman and CEO of Fujifilm Corp. “Its strong customer network opens important new possibilities for state-of-the-art inkjet technologies… With Heidelberg's manufacturing know-how we will be able to enhance innovation and develop technologies that will open new roads in digital printing.”

This move marks the second significant partnership between Fujifilm and Heidelberg in relation to Canadian printers, after the two companies announced in May 2013 that Fujifilm Canada reached a thermal plate distribution agreement with Heidelberg Canada Graphic Equipment Limited.


Landa Corporation has decided that Komori is to provide all sheetfed platforms for what the company terms as Nanographic Printing Presses, first demonstrated at the quadrennial drupa tradeshow in May 2012.

The two companies, according to a statement from Komori, have now formalized their preexisting strategic alliance by entering into new agreements. Landa is to place orders to employ Komori sheetfed platforms on Landa's S10 printing press, which is scheduled for a commercial launch in the fourth quarter of 2014.

“Since we first started our collaboration with Komori, we have been deeply impressed by the company, its people and its culture,” stated Benny Landa, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Landa Corporation. “Komori is an outstanding partner for Landa, bringing an extremely high caliber of engineering expertise, second-to-none quality and performance, together with a fervent commitment and willingness to invest in the future.”

Komori has also formalized its license agreement with Landa, as part of the new agreements. Landa is to provide Komori with its trademarked printing technology and Landa NanoInk Colorants for incorporation into new Komori-branded presses.

“It is a great honour to be able to cooperate with Landa in bringing Nanography to market,” stated Yoshiharu Komori, President, Chairman and CEO of Komori. “Our teams have been closely monitoring Landa’s development and have been amazed with the progress made so far, which exceeds our expectations.”

Minneapolis-based Delphax Technologies has announced it has formed a strategic partnership with offset-press manufacturer Weihai Printing Machinery Co. of Shandong. China. The move will allow Delphax to enter the lucrative Chinese market with its high speed toner-based web presses.

The two companies demonstrated its partnership late last week with a demonstration of the WeiFeng2200, an adapted version of the Delphax CR2200 at Weihai’s company headquarters. The WeiFeng2200 is self-proclaimed to be the fastest monochrome toner-based printer in the world, with a throughput of 150 metres or 2,200 pages per minute. The WeiFeng2200 uses Delphax’ patented electron-beam imaging (EBI) technology, which ensures consistent print quality at high toner-based production speeds on a wide range of untreated substrates. The machine can produce a wide range of books and booklets, legal/financial documents, packing inserts, direct mail materials and other commercial printing applications.

"Digital technology is shaping the future of printing, both as a supplement to and as an extension of existing production capabilities," said Gu Yonghui, General Manager of Weihai Printing Machinery Company. "The rapid advances in digital speed and quality coincide with a growing demand within the Chinese printing industry for solutions that can be integrated with traditional high-quality offset and provide value-added capabilities such as short-run flexibility, print on demand and variable data printing.”

"We're delighted to be able to announce our first major business partnership in China through our association with Weihai Printing Machinery Company," said Dieter Schilling, Delphax Technologies President and Chief Executive Officer.  "Weihai Printing Machinery Company is one of the top printing equipment suppliers in China and very well recognized and respected in the printing industry.  It has a leading engineering and manufacturing team, an effective customer service team and an extensive customer base.”

Weihai Printing Machinery Co., founded in 1954, was the first major enterprise and the first major high technology company established under the Torch Plan of China within the Printing Machinery Sector. Under the Torch Plan, the company was granted the right of open importation and exportation. Since 1993, Weihai Printing Machinery Company has enjoyed the position of being the number one press manufacturer in China.

Delphax is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, France and in Mississauga, Ontario. The company has been producing high speed cut-sheet and continuous roll-fed printers for over 30 years and has sold its products in more than 50 countries around the world.

As previously announced in January, Mitsubishi and Ryobi will be joining forces for its commercial printing equipment business. The two companies announced that a formal agreement has been struck this week. The new company will be known as Ryobi MHI Graphic Technology Ltd.

“MHI-PPM and Ryobi seek to prevail against intensifying global competition and build a stronger presence in the global market,” the companies stated in a press release.

Ryobi MHI will be established as of January 1, 2014, and will be based in Hiroshima, Japan. It will be led by five directors: three from Ryobi, and two from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Printing & Packaging Machinery (MHI-PPM). The new entity will be 60 percent owned by Ryobi and 40 percent owned by MHI-PPM.

In a letter to its distributors, Ryobi Division General Manager Hideki Domoto, said sales and support structure plans have not been finalized but no changes are anticipated until January. In the meantime, they will “study to find the best way to to for the existing and future customers.”

The company expects to have 2014 sales of 30 billion Yen (roughly $317 million) with a net income of 1.5 billion yen (roughly $15.9 million). 

In an effort to stop an aggressive campaign by a patent holder to extort payments for users of scanners which covert print documents into electronic formats, Xerox and Ricoh have jointly filed a petition to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to review the patent in question: U.S. Patent 7,986,426.

MPHJ Technology Investments, and its affiliates, are sending notices of patent infringement to small and medium-sized users of multi-function printers (MFPs) which demand a license fee. According to a report by Ars Technica, the payment is typically around $1,000 per worker.

Ricoh and Xerox issued the following statement:
“Ricoh and Xerox believe that the ’426 patent is invalid, the infringement claims are without merit and the licensing demands of MPHJ are unsupportable. Today’s filing demonstrates both Ricoh and Xerox’s strong commitment to their customers and authorized dealer networks. If successful, our action will both nullify the ’426 patent and help disable MPHJ’s licensing campaign against our customers. We are confident this is the right action to take to support our customers.”

The ‘426 patent “Distributed computer architecture and process for document management,” is held for systems that allow computer users to add electronic paper processing to their existing business process. In essence, it covers a broad arena that covers scanners and electronic documents.

An abstract of the patent can be viewed here.

X-Rite Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary Pantone LLC, reached an agreement with ColorMetrix Technologies LLC to ultimately provide what the company’s call seamless integration between VerifiedColor and PantoneLIVE Color Libraries.

ColorMetrix, a Milwaukee-based developer of colour validation software that was founded in 1994, is currently developing a VerifiedColor version that connects with PantoneLIVE, with an expected launch date in summer 2013.

“Packagers, converters, wide-format printers and other customers that use VerifiedColor software to validate colours will save time and improve the accuracy of workflows throughout their supply chains with the new PantoneLIVE user interface,” stated James Raffel, CEO of ColorMetrix. "VerifiedColor takes custom spot color libraries and manages them with a state-of-the-art workflow and database system."

PantoneLIVE is a cloud-based, colour management service that is supported by an ecosystem of software to maintain digital colour libraries and, if instituted properly, to guarantee accurate colour reproduction. 

"We are very pleased to be working with ColorMetrix on providing this solution to its customers, many of whom use Pantone's universal color language," said Iain Pike, Market Director for PantoneLIVE.  "Our new relationship with ColorMetrix is another example of how software providers and developers can tap into the power of PantoneLIVE seamlessly as a way to add value to their products in a relatively inexpensive manner."

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Ryobi Limited have jointly announced they are in talks for a business alliance in the commercial printing machinery business. The two companies are both based in Hiroshima, Japan.

The statement, in part, reads:

As part of the further efforts in strengthening corporate structure, both companies agreed to study on establishing business alliance in the field of sheet-fed offset printing press business with a possible set up of a joint venture company in future specifically aiming at improving competitiveness of sheet-fed offset printing machinery, enhancing the scale of operations, and solidifying its management base. 

Both companies from now on jointly study the scheme that allows significant synergy effects such as enhancement of product line-up, enlargement of product development capability, reduction of product cost, and improvement in sales and service networks. The plan is expected to enable the stronger presence in the global market.  

Mitsubishi’s Paper & Packaging Machinery division had, as of the end of September 2012, 834 employees while all of Ryobi, including its Power Tools, Die-cast products, and Builders Hardware businesses, had 2,111. Ryobi was founded in 1943 while Mitsubishi’s Paper & Packaging Machinery Division was founded in 2004. The Mitsubishi Group as a whole was founded in 1870 and today has over 350,000 employees.

While no further details regarding the discussions have been released, the two companies expect to conclude a final agreement by June 30.

Belgium-based Esko has announced it has entered into an OEM relationship with Epson to provide the Digital Front End for the Surepress L-4033A and L-4033AW digital label presses.

“As the label and packaging market increasingly transitions from analog to digital solutions, manufacturers of digital printing equipment are looking for digital front-end alternatives that can effectively address workflow and job processing issues specific to their industry,” says Jef Bogaerts, Commercial Partnerships at Esko. “We are pleased to be partnering with Epson, one of the printing industry’s best-known brands.”

The L-4033A and L-4033AW are six and seven-colour inkjet label presses respectively. The machines print on a variety of substrates up to 13-inches wide. The Esko front end will be offered standard in Europe and Australia and as an option for presses sold elsewhere in the world.

iSys Label of Calgary, Alberta, reached a technology and distribution agreement with UK-based Impressions Technology Europe. The two manufacturers have paired up iSys Label’s newest label printer, the EDGE 850, with the Eclipse LF3 cutter to create a unique solution for the short-run label market.

This will allow users, according to iSys, to print 2,000 labels in less than 20 minutes and have the finished roll ready for immediate application or second stage finishing using the LF3.

“The demand for finishing equipment has intensified, especially in the digital environment. Pairing iSys's label printing technology with the LF3 finishing system results in a finished label that looks great but is also protected from the elements and has extra durability for repeat handling," stated Mark Hopkins, President of iSys Label.

As a result of the agreement, iSys Label becomes the sole North American distributor for the Eclipse LF3, which provides single-point registration cutting with lamination, waste matrix removal, slitting and rewind system.

The EDGE 850 is a desktop printer that was developed for the short run label market and can print on a range of die-cut, kiss-cut or roll substrates. It comes with EDGE2Print software and an auto adjusting form synchronization rewinder system.

manroland web systems Inc. has entered into a partnership agreement with Tensor International covering Canada and the United States printing market. Under the agreement, manroland web will act as a sales arm for Tensor, which manufactures single-width presses and auxiliary equipment.

The sales partnership rounds out manroland web’s portfolio of newspaper and commercial web presses, as the Tensor line of presses is aimed at semi-commercial, insert and newspaper markets.

Tensor International was formed in early 2012 by combining Tensor Group with automation supplier DCOS. The company has a large U.S. install base, consisting primarily of T1400 and T400BE printing towers, as well as H50 folders.

“As the consolidation of newspapers and commercial printing continues, Tensor’s product line for the single-width web market fills a void for cost-effective solutions that meet the market’s needs,” stated Ron Sams, Vice President of Sales, manroland web systems.

Tensor’s COO and Vice President of Sales, Mike Pavone, stated, “The market in the U.S. and Canada is very important to us, and are confident that our partnership with manroland web systems will ensure we reach printers, and maintain our leading position and market share... Both companies produce quality printing equipment and understand the importance of standing behind their products. We share the same business approach.”

Montreal's Objectif Lune has signed an agreement with UK-based Intec Printing solutions to distribute Objectif Lune's PrintShop Mail Suite VDP software. Intec manufactures colour printers for multimedia and heavy stock printing and has its own network of 70 partners.

“As software providers, partnering with key industry players and expanding our market reach is essential for sustained growth," said Colin Casey, Director of Business Development for Objectif Lune EMEA. “With a worldwide presence and a strong distribution network, we are confident our association with Intec will help us in further promoting the value and necessity for organizations to integrate personalization in their core strategy and business processes.”

“This is a very exciting agreement,” said Ian Melville, founder and Managing Director of Intec Printing Solutions Limited. “On their own, our printers are hugely capable but when used in conjunction with PrintShop Mail Suite, their full potential can be truly realized.”

Objectif Lune acquired Melbourne, Australia-based PrintSoft and its line of products in July 2011. In the past year, it has expanded its presence in Europe by opening new offices in Italy and Russia and now operates in 21 countries.

DUSSELDORF, GERMANY - Benny Landa, Founder of Landa, also officially unveiled prototypes of its proposed Nanographic Printing presses to the world's print media at drupa today. The company has also announced an agreement with Heidelberg to collaborate on future printing equipment, joining manroland and Komori as major offset vendors pledging support.

While the technology is still at least a year and a half from commercialization, the company will be showing off running samples of its machines at drupa.

Officially announced today is a lineup of six machines, three for each of sheetfed and web platforms. The sheetfed platform includes a B1 format (40-inch) machine, which, according to Landa, will print 13,000 sheets per hour. The company claims its technology does not require precoating of paper and can print on regular coated or uncoated stock.

Landa's technology involves a high-precision inkjet firing onto a blanket, which optimizes its transfer onto the substrate. The claimed benefit of this process is that the edges of dots are more accurately defined, due to less bleeding onto the paper.

The machines also feature a large display which is aimed at press operators to easily operate more than one device via its touchscreen interface. Press personel can also control operations remotely using an iPad. The surface of the display also serves as a place to check colour: operators can hang a printed sheet directly on the front of the machine, then employ a wireless spectrophotometer to analyze and make adjustments as necessary.

Core benefits listed also included power efficiency due to its quick-drying, water-based, inks which require no drying. Landa says the machines will have "unmatched" total cost of ownership, but said it was premature to reveal pricing. Landa said that he expects machines to sell at prices comparable to "high-end offset presses."

Benny Landa also commented on his company's partnership strategy, making a comparison to the growth of Xerography after the technology was adopted by 3rd party manufacturers. No information has been released about specific applications on the part of the three partners. Landa said he intends to focus on providing consumables for the new Landa-powered machines built by Komori, manroland, and Heidelberg.

Landa Corporation, on the eve of unveiling its Nanographic Printing technology at drupa, has announced the establishment of two agreements with manroland and Komori to integrate its printhead technology.

Benny Landa, Landa Founder, Chairman and CEO, says, "We have enjoyed an intimate relationship with Komori, which is our supplier of paper handling platforms for our new Nanographic sheetfed presses. Komori was the first to be exposed to our technology and was the first to share our vision. I am therefore particularly delighted that Komori is the first-to-be-announced global strategic partner with whom we will be sharing this huge market opportunity. With its highly respected position in the printing industry and its broad market access, Komori is well placed to accelerate the worldwide adoption of Landa Nanographic printing."

Announcing the manroland agreement, Landa says: "As the newly restructured manroland sheetfed starts a new chapter, I am enthused that the company will adopt Landa Nanography on which to base its digital printing offerings. Nanography and offset are a perfect fit. In the foreseeable future we will not see a digital printing technology capable of replacing offset for job run lengths of tens or hundreds of thousands. But the market demands ever-shorter run lengths as well as the versatility of digital. That's where Landa Nanographic Printing comes in - at unmatched cost per page."

Landa's highly secretive nanography technology will be shown this week at drupa. The company claims its pigment particles are only tens of nanometers in size and therefore are extremely powerful absorbers of light and enable unprecedented image qualities. Landa Nanographic Printing is characterized by ultra-sharp dots of extremely high uniformity, high gloss fidelity and the broadest CMYK color gamut.

April 24 — After first announcing a new technology-development partnership in February 2012, Konica Minolta and Komori revealed production specifications about their new B2-size sheetfed inkjet press, code-named KM-1, to be shown next week at drupa.

The machine combines the inkjet technology of Konica Minolta and Komori's paper transport system that is based on its offset presses.

The combination of these two companies' know-how results in a 29-inch, cut-sheet machine that will reach a speed of 3,300 sheets per hour in simplex mode and 1,650 sheets per hour for duplex, at 1,200 x 1,200 dpi – a quality level the company describes as "compatible to offset print."

The machine will use UV inks, allowing it to print on regular offset stock, both coated and non-coated, and even art paper without special treatment before or after printing. The inks are instantly cured with integrated UV LED units.

Both Komori and Konica Minolta will have the press in operation on its booth at drupa next week.

Ryobi and Miyakoshi Printing Machinery have jointly developed a 6-up, 29-inch liquid toner printing press. The company claims it is the first toner sheetfed press in its class capable of B2-size printing at up to 8,000 sheets per hour. It will be shown at drupa next month.

"This next-generation printing press is a significant milestone in Ryobi’s 68-year commitment to innovation and the success of printers worldwide," said John Torrey, President of Ferrostaal Equipment Solutions North America, the master distributor of Ryobi equipment in the region.

The new machines has the 1,200 dpi resolution of Miyakoshi's ultra-fine particle liquid toner system, last seen at drupa 2008 on a web press, and is combined with Ryobi's sheetfed technologies.

Miyakoshi Printing Machinery was established in May 1946 and produces a variety of printing equipment, ranging from label printers to commercial offset presses. It started its print-on-demand division in 2002. 


Printing method -  Electrophotographic
Resolution -  1,200 x 1,200 dpi
Toner formulation - Ultrafine particle liquid toner
Toner supply device - Independent toner supply device (with automatic toner density adjustment function)
Fixing method - Infrared dryer + fuser roll system 
Max. printing speed -  8,000 sheets per hour
Max. paper size - 788 x 600 mm (31.02 x 23.62”)
Min. paper size -  410 x 290 mm (16.14 x 11.42”) 
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