Clear-Eyed 'Vision 20/20' for Komori at PRINT 17
Just as PRINT 17 is transforming itself as a trade show, many of its exhibitors are transforming themselves as providers of graphic technologies. A case in point is Komori America Corp. (Booth 2607), which comes to the show with a new profile as a vendor and a full kit of conventional and digital printing solutions for its customers to profit from.
It’s all summed up in Komori’s show theme, “Vision 20/20,” conveying both the clarity of Komori’s intentions and the target year - 2020 - that the company has set for achieving them. The goal by then, says Jacki Hudmon, Senior VP of New Business Development, is to derive its sales in equal shares from digital inkjet, conventional offset, and KomoriKare (the company’s program for parts, service, consumables, and consulting services).
Hudmon acknowledges that it’s not easy for a vendor that has been identified almost exclusively with offset for 90 years to reposition itself in this way. But, she says that Komori is already close to being where it wants to be with its digital inkjet portfolio, which consists both of devices it builds and machines that it distributes for other manufacturers.
In Booth 2607, showgoers can see Komori’s Impremia IS29, a sheetfed UV inkjet press that can print 6-up in an oversize B2 (23x29") format. Komori sells Screen’s Truepress Jet520HD high-definition inkjet web press, also on display. Its B1-size (40") Impremia NS40 digital inkjet printing system uses nanotechnology under license from Landa Corp.
With solutions like these to offer, Hudmon says, Komori sees inkjet as the future of printing— a future that seems all the more assured as printers increasingly realize the limitations of the liquid-toner systems that are inkjet’s principal rivals. This is why Komori is changing its business model to focus on sales and post-sale support for its inkjet portfolio, Hudmon says.
Komori’s offset lithographic business is far from fading out of the picture. The company has installed a solid number of 40" Lithrone presses this year and introduced the Lithrone GX44RP, a UV-equipped perfector designed for what the company calls “offset on demand” production. According to Hudmon, about 75% of the new presses Komori sells - like the GX44RP - are going to their buyers with some form of UV curing.
As resilient as the offset business is, however, Komori understands that it will remain a flat market for every vendor that continues to sell equipment in it. Under Vision 20/20, long-term growth will come from inkjet, the resources of KomoriKare, and other ventures that can help Komori help its customers do what PRINT 17 is urging all printers to do: grow their businesses. An example of the latter is the Highcon system for digitally enhanced finishing, which Komori represents in the U.S. and recently sold to its first customer (Impress Communications, Chatsworth, Calif.).
Komori America has long relied on the PRINT and GRAPH EXPO shows to share its evolving vision of itself and of the printing community it is a part of. Hudmon notes that although exhibiting can be expensive, “it’s our duty to be a good steward to the industry, to support it, and to make sure it stays educated.”