In a 20 April 2022 press release, Fujifilm says that it is becoming a developer of wide format inkjet systems in its own right and not a partner or distributer for othe OEMs. Following the announcement made apparently on the same morning, that Agfa has acquired Inca Digital from Screen, David Burton, marketing director, Fujifilm Wide Format Inkjet Systems commented, “Fujifilm and Inca Digital have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship for more than two decades. We’re immensely proud of all we’ve achieved working with them in pioneering the development of UV wide format inkjet systems, powered by Fujifilm inkjet technology and Fujifilm UV inkjet ink.
Screen acquired the Cambridge-based Inca in 2005 and says that it will continue to supply parts and consumables. Fujifilm’s partnership with Inca including distribution of its printers as well as supplying inks to the company.
Burton went on to say, “More recently, Fujifilm’s strategy has shifted away from being a technology partner and distributor working closely with OEM partners. Instead, we have pivoted to become a developer of wide format systems in our own right, taking full control of the design and manufacturing process and leveraging Fujifilm’s worldwide subsidiary network to target volume sales at a wider audience.
“Some time ago, we recognised that the wide format market had reached a point of maturity, where print speeds and quality improvements were increasingly marginal, so we identified an opportunity to invest our inkjet expertise into developing a range that reset expectations around value, usability and ROI.
“Our ‘new blueprint for wide format’ concept, first announced in 2021 and the focus of our stand at Fespa 2022, is the result of this strategy shift, and the new Acuity Prime and Acuity Ultra R2 printers are the tangible early evidence that this new approach is the right one for Fujifilm. More new product announcements and additions to this range are planned at Fespa, with others being worked on in the background.
“We remain incredibly proud of what we achieved working with Inca Digital over many years and remain committed to supporting our existing Onset customers.”
2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India
Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and
multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.
The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry.
While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately
their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book
printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.
The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.
Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.
Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.
Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.