Baldwin to acquire Digital Ink System From QuadGraphics

114
Baldwin to acquire Digital Ink System From QuadGraphics
Karl Fritchen

Baldwin Technology Company has reached an agreement with QuadGraphics to acquire the intellectual property rights for the Digital Ink System. This will enable continued development of the technology. Baldwin is a world leader in providing process automation solutions, consumables and services for the print, packaging, textile and corrugated industries and has acquired several companies in these related areas in the past two years.

The Digital Ink System is a computer-controlled ink injection technology that replaces traditional open fountain ink trains—or can upgrade existing ‘pump and rail’ systems—providing more precise density control at all press speeds with significant cost savings. The system eliminates ink contamination and delivers consistently high-quality results, metering the correct volume of ink delivered to each control zone across the printed image.

In late 2017, Baldwin acquired QuadGraphics’ research and development division, QuadTech, combining it with PC Industries and Web Printing Controls to form a new ‘Baldwin Vision Systems’ business segment. Baldwin Vision Systems already owns the rights to the Digital Ink System technology used in newspaper and commercial printing markets. This most recent agreement brings to Baldwin additional ownership of new developments underway for future applications of the technology.

“We are very enthusiastic about the new possibilities this agreement affords us, and more importantly—our customers,” said Brent Becker, president, and chief executive officer of Baldwin. “We see enormous potential for the Digital Ink System technology beyond the efficiencies already being realized by commercial and newspaper printers. With our new Vision Systems business segment in place, we plan to hit the ground running to deliver inventive new solutions and adaptations of proven technologies to new industries.”

Karl Fritchen, president of QuadTech, said being part of a larger organization means bringing more diverse technical capabilities under one company umbrella. He further stated, ‘We plan to expand automation capabilities …. Our focus remains the same: innovating and delivering world-class color measurement and management, registration and vision system technologies. By combining engineering talent and expertise, and with the infusion of more financial resources, we plan to expand automation capabilities to include and connect other workflows within print operations.

According to Fritchen, the new agreement will give printers the ability to choose the option that best fits their specific needs and budget. “For example, in newspaper and commercial printing applications, Baldwin Visions Systems not only offers standalone color-to-color registration and color control systems, but also combined functionality from the same camera, if needed. Additionally, customers can choose between RGB-based or spectral-based color control, depending upon process and customer requirements.

“In packaging applications, our combined product portfolio includes options for offset, flexo, gravure, and the unique requirements of digital print. We offer pre-press proofing solutions, as well as on-press and post-press solutions across narrow-, mid-, and wide-web applications—as well as sheet-fed applications. Furthermore, we offer connected tools across pre-press, production and post-press workflows that help our customers monitor and manage much more than just the print process—but also their inks, job data, production quality and reports.”

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here