06 January 2019 Digital Printing Technologies

Konica Minolta creates elite squad for packaging push

A new team will promote the inkjet and label printing technology emerging from the Konica Minolta stable.

Konica Minolta has established a four-strong team in the UK to ensure it does not miss out on opportunities for its KM-1 and the MGI embellishment press.

While the four, Jon Pritchard, Grahame Megilley, Steve Lakin and David Evans, will be the experts in the the technology and related services, initial contact will come through the staff of the industrial print business unit, who will receive the training and material to establish the prospect.

“We want to increase the activities to raise the profile of the KM-1 in this country,” says Pritchard. “We have had the products for two years and have achieved installations around the world, but have lacked the breakthrough in the UK.”

The first of the B2 sheetfed inkjet machines is now earmarked for Colourfast Financial in Basildon and will be in the commercial print sector. There are greater long term opportunities in carton printing where the UV ink used opens the way to printing on a broad range of substrates. The MGI technology, offering inline digital foiling, spot varnish and textured effects sits hand in glove with cart printing, enhancing either digital or litho printed sheets up to B1 formats.

Thus Megilley and Evans, who had previously concentrated on one product, will now be selling both ranges, with Megilley focusing on the north and Evans on the south. “It lets us have a more relevant conversation with the customer. We have often started to talk about the KM-1 and found the customer to be more interested in the MGI.”

Lakin will spearhead sales of the Konica Minolta label press. He can call on a background with Screen and HP in this sector and will be Konica Minolta’s focal point for labels. This is currently the Accurio 190 label press where the company has achieved more than two hundred installations worldwide, with just four in the UK.

“There’s a need to build awareness across this sector,” says Pritchard. “And we need to deal with new types of customers with inkjet, different applications and customers need to have a level of confidence in what they are investing in.”

In this regard, Konica Minolta is readily becoming one of the key suppliers in inkjet printing. Last year it introduced a first KM developed a large format flatbed inkjet press and in June acquired Panasonic’s printhead business and thin film printhead technology.

Gareth Ward

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