Although the company’s direct presence in India is just about 5 years, in which it has achieved meteoric growth, it is continuously upgrading its presence in the country and bringing in new products. In the previous Printpack, Konica Minolta demonstrated the MGI JetVarnish machine that provides both spot coating and foiling using digital technology.
It will be showing the enhanced version of the MGI JetVarnish machine again at Printpack. In the meanwhile Konica Minolta with approximately 40% shareholding, has become the largest investor in MGI apart from the promoters. Although KM generally shows the smaller MGI machines at trade shows, the finishing and foiling machine is available to handle 14, 20, 25 and 29-inch formats.
The company’s thrust in industrial printing is currently being led by the webfed label press it demonstrated at the Labelexpo India in November and by the MGI JetVarnish machine. Moreover, the AccurioJet KM1 digital UV inkjet B2 press that has attracted a great deal of interest from Indian printers is also seen as a part of company’s thrust in industrial printing.
In a recent meeting with Yuji Nakata the managing director of Konica Minolta Business Solutions India, Yoshinori Koide the EGM-Business Strategy and Project Management, and Manish Gupta the National Manager for Production Printing and IP Marketing of the company, we were told that the development of the KM-C, an inkjet B1 carton press showcased at drupa 2016 is also under development and coming closer to production. This inkjet sheetfed press is likely to be quite different from the Accurio KM1 press that is now also available to the Indian market with two options for the consumables – one, based on click charge and services and the second, based on purchasing the ink as a discreet consumable.
As far as Konica Minolta’s current range of production digital presses in the mid to high volume segment is concerned, the KM C1085 and C1100 continue to grow in the Indian market. The higher speed C1100 that can print on 55 to 350 gsm substrates at 100 pages per minute machine has now gained traction and is expected to also increase its market share in the mid to high production segment. This press with its high quality and high stability provides a clear upgrade path to Konica Minolta customers who may have started out with an entry-level press or even users of the C1060 or C1085 presses simply because of its speed. It uses KM’s Simitri HD E toner and S.E.A.D. IV image processing technology and offers JDF, APPE and Pantone support as well as high level color management.
KM at Printpack 2017
At the Printpack 2017 exhibition in Greater Noida in February 2017, Konica Minolta will be showing three digital presses including its monochrome press and two of its color production presses. It will also be again showing the MGI digital spot UV varnish and foil decoration and finishing machine. In addition, it will show the Accurio suite of workflow software and automation solutions including its web to print solutions. The company is very keen to help its customers with software and remote digital solutions. It is planning to launch its own cloud based color management and to use the full power of internet connectivity to optimize customer solutions and its own servicing efforts.
Konica Minolta production presses in the market already contain numerous sensors that allow for remote monitoring and diagnostics simply by connecting the machine’s Ethernet output to a modem and the internet. While about 50 customers in India are connected to this cloud based service, the company is also using this type of information together with its strong team of service engineers for auto-toner deliveries. In this service the just-in-time supply of toners becomes Konica Minolta’s responsibility.
Service engineers are our valued resources!
We were told that 150 service engineers service the more than 1800 presses that Konica Minolta directly services in the country while the rest are serviced by its distributors. Yoshinori Koida said quite clearly, “Service engineers are our valued resources, we do not think of them as a cost. When a customer’s machine is not running, we also do not get any revenue. How to give uptime to our customers day and night, 24×7 and 365 days a year – we are always thinking about how to make this happen.” This statement partly explains the company’s success over the past five years and its ambition to play a strong role in multiple new segments.
Konica Minolta’s new workflow solutions
- AccurioPro Conductor is KM’s new centralised and intelligent output manager software. Job specs using JDF can be taken from a print MIS to effectively load balance production across a fleet of digital presses without operator intervention. Conductor can also support finishing automation with out-of-the-box integration with a unique JDF converter that homogenises or correctly interprets the differences between vendors that are often hurdles to integration.
- AccurioPro Cloud Eye is for remote management and administration of colour quality and standards, and is particularly useful for multi-site quality control. Cloud Eye assists printers in day-to-day colour control, sharing colour data across devices and sites, ICC profile creation, and reporting to ensure devices are within tolerance.
- KM Infinite is a cloud based W2P services solution. KM Infinite provides the flexibility of a B2B and or a B2C environment and printers can manage their system at a very nominal investment. The backend infrastructure will be managed and maintained by KM on behalf of its printer customers.
This story has been slightly corrected on 5 January 2017