InkTec Europe has come a long way over the last five or six years since its first steps into Europe. Last week the 25-year-old Korean inkjet ink and printer manufacturer took one of the most striking stands at the Print Show. It had a Jetrix printer on display and an increased range of substrates.
“We have had a traditional range of materials for a long time,” says managing director Joey Kim. “Now we have exclusive rights to the Natura specialist media.” Natura, like InkTec, is a Korean company which has been a supplier to OEMs under white label deals. This has established the credibility and consistency of the products and paved the way for the manufacturer to supply under its own brand. Unsurprisingly the two companies know each other well, says Kim.
And InkTec's brand has risen in the last few years, providing the platform for further expansion of both InkTec and Jetrix, typified by the first time presence at a general print show in the UK. “It is a different audience to Sign & Digital. The visitors we have seen are traditional printers that are adding digital and we can introduce our technology to them.” Many were meeting InkTec for the first time.
The company sells through a number of resellers, meaning there can be a separation between the printer and the manufacturer. There can be a lack of knowledge about why printers are buying the technology and which applications the users are focusing on. The addition of the extended range of media will lead to a greater concentration on the types of work that can be done.
“We want to show the end users the applications that can be produced, because as the manufacturer we don’t always know what the end user will use the printer for,” says Kim. “And we want to what people will be using the technology for.”
The company is in a strong position, responsible for inks, media and printers, to deliver a reliable combination that will work. He adds: “If the company is happy with the results, they will return and buy more media from us. There will be more media to add to the range in the future.”
There will also be more inks for UV printers in the coming months from InkTec and efforts to expand the distribution network across Europe.
The Jetrix inks UV printers have been pitched at the higher end, whether roll to roll or flatbed printers where the machines compete with Arizona and Acuity models. A key differentiator, Kim explains, is the level of service and warranties that are offered. “It’s an area where we can achieve greater recognition. All machines will break down – it’s how fast you respond that is key.”
Spares and service are provided free when the machine is under warranty, with different levels providing different coverage. Under the Gold level, all parts and fitting are supplied free of charge for the duration, for example. Silver and Bronze levels also exist.
“Some of our competitors will charge for everything,” he points out.
Next year there are plans to roll out an entry level flatbed printer to appeal to those businesses that have been using rollfed machines and that are now looking to move to flatbed printing. Like all its machines, there will be an emphasis on usability, both in terms of the software and loading the machine.
Combined with the additional media and inks, InkTec is aiming at those applications that its customers need to provide their clients for growth.
InkTec has laid the basis for further growth in the UK says Joey Kim. The wide format inkjet specialist is adding a range of value added substrates to broaden the applications its customer can deliver thanks to an exclusive deal with Korean manufacturer Natura.