HP and KBA Collaborate to Develop High-Volume Inkjet Solutions
CHICAGO—September 29, 2014—At GRAPH EXPO 14, HP and Koenig & Bauer Group (KBA) announced a collaboration to develop new roll-to-roll inkjet solutions for the high-volume corrugated packaging market. The co-developed solutions will be marketed under the HP brand and will help packaging converters increase productivity, scalability and versatility.
With an addressable market of $2.5 billion, the corrugated package printing industry is steadily increasing worldwide due to brand globalization, population growth and a resurging economy. In parallel, trends such as stock keeping unit (SKU) proliferation, micro-segmentation and shorter product lifecycles are driving demand for the shorter run lengths enabled by digital print.
To help corrugated converters and print service providers (PSPs) take advantage of these trends, HP and KBA intend to deliver high-speed roll-to-roll thermal inkjet solutions that provide value chain cost savings while meeting brands’ rigorous quality and volume requirements
Continued packaging innovation using complementary solutions
This year, HP announced its intent to enter the corrugated packaging segment with its inkjet web press technology, followed by its first offering, the HP High-speed Inkjet Corrugated Packaging Solution, and the solution’s first customer installation at Obaly Morava, a.s. The agreement with KBA demonstrates HP’s continued pursuit of corrugated packaging opportunities and intention to broaden its portfolio of inkjet products and solutions.
Noel Ward, editor in chief of packagePRINTING, said, "This alliance is important for both companies and the industry. The ability to use inkjet technology for corrugated applications changes the landscape for what can be done with corrugated materials. The combination of KBA's expertise in the folding carton and corrugated printing and HP's expertise in high speed production inkjet offers up a lot of new opportunity and positions both companies to do more in the packaging segment. Stay tuned for more details."
Source: HP and KBA.
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A Trade Show for M&As? In a Way, YesBy Thomas J. Williams
Readers of this blog probably won’t need to be reminded that GRAPH EXPO 2014 kicks off in Chicago on Sunday, Sept. 28. We think of the GRAPH EXPO and PRINT shows mostly as extravaganzas for the equipment vendors, but they’re also essential events for printing and packaging firms that want to improve their prospects in the mergers and acquisitions marketplace.
Today, a company’s perceived value in that marketplace depends strongly upon the extent to which it’s seen as a provider of contemporary products and services. Because businesses that embrace new technologies look attractive to buyers, they can make deals on favorable terms. On the other hand, companies still relying on machines and processes from the 1990s tend to look sleepy, uninformed, and weak as candidates for acquisition. A firm in this position shouldn’t expect to be sold as a going concern—good reasons to keep it operating in its anachronistic fashion doesn’t exist.
GRAPH EXPO is where printers gather the information they need to make the right decisions about their technical capabilities and the images they will present to potential acquirers. At McCormick Place, owners will find exhibits, educational sessions, and nonstop networking opportunities—resources that can help them determine where their companies stand on the scale of desirability and what they must do to boost their marketability by raising their technological profiles.
Companies that achieve new capabilities by educating and re-equipping themselves at trade shows shouldn’t keep their progress a secret. Whether your aim is to be attractive as a seller or credible as a buyer, you’ll want your company to be known as one that’s able to deliver whatever its customers want to buy, especially when those products fall outside the definition of traditional print manufacturing.
Take a cue from the exhibitors at GRAPH EXPO—don’t be shy about showing off your new wares. Did you recently purchase a digital press or a wide-format printing system? Hold an open house and invite all of your customers. Word will get around about your technical leadership. Promote your expanded services through social media. If you aren’t already taking part in your regional branch of Printing Industries of America, think about getting more actively involved. Your peers—owners of companies that you may one day want to acquire or that you may want to be acquired by—will get to know you better.
Perception often is reality, and sometimes, print industry M&As can be like reality TV. New Direction Partners recently closed the sale of a company that was so widely known and well respected for its capabilities that we almost literally had people fighting to buy it. But when it comes to companies that haven’t shaken off their reputations for being old-school and antiquated, buyers can’t change the channel fast enough.
My NDP colleagues and I always look forward to GRAPH EXPO for the wealth of insight it gives us into the technical dimensions of the M&A scene. Those insights can be yours as well. If you’re coming to Chicago, have a great show. If you can’t attend this year, be sure to follow the great coverage you’ll find right here at Printing Impressions.
About New Direction Partners
New Direction Partners (NDP) is the print and graphic communications industry’s leading provider of advisory services for firms seeking growth and opportunity through mergers and acquisitions. NDP assists its clients by giving them expert guidance and peace of mind at every stage of the process of buying or selling a printing company. Services include representing selling shareholders; acquisition searches; valuation; capital formation and financing; and strategic planning. NDP’s partners have participated in more than 300 mergers and acquisitions since 1979. Collectively they possess over 200 years of industry experience with transactions in aggregate exceeding $2 billion.
For information, e-mail email@example.com.