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Exclusive: Voices of drupa 2024

In this series, Alex Jahanbani, Editor-in-Chief at ME Printer, brings you exclusive, show-floor interviews with industry stalwarts representing some of the major exhibitors at drupa 2024, the world’s largest trade show for printing technologies.

In Conversation with Peter Minis, Marketing Manager, Komori International Europe

Companies that used drupa as a launch pad for their new products no longer do so. In this scenario, why was Komori inspired to participate in drupa 2024?

First of all, let me say that Komori has always been a significant participant at the drupa show. It feels like the ‘Olympic Games’ of the printing and graphics industry. It has always been a challenge for us to showcase ourselves properly. Komori has a huge loyal customer base. They know Komori and know how to find us. However, we also have a lot of market share to gain from outside our familiar customer base, and from that perspective, drupa is the perfect opportunity.

You think drupa 2024 is about ‘Connected Automation’. What does that mean, and how do you present it?

Connected Automation is our way of creating a Smart Factory by promoting the use of IoT (the Internet of Things), developing labor and work-saving designs, and strengthening standardization and inspection mechanisms. We see a labor shortage in the market, a decline in knowledge and skill sets, and an increased demand for enhanced productivity and sustainable solutions. With Connected Automation, we can connect processes and visualize the entire production flow.

Peter Minis, Marketing Manager, Komori International Europe
Peter Minis, Marketing Manager, Komori International Europe

How does cloud-based production work for a printer, say, in the Middle East?

From the very beginning, Komori presses have collected a lot of data. We try to interpret this data with interconnectivity, which is visible to customers who can then make easier and smarter decisions. We provide a dashboard that helps customers understand where they can improve or gain efficiencies.

What are the features of the new offset machine you are displaying at drupa 2024?

Komori is always making improvements. We are introducing the EX Editions in both the commercial and packaging print segments, where EX stands for ecological transformation and increased focus on sustainability. These machines come with several features that further reduce energy consumption and shorten make-ready times. Sustainability is a key focus for us.

What about the automation of your presses?

Both presses feature significant automation. First, there is the auto-pilot function. The operator only needs to insert the plates; the automated press will handle the entire sequence from pre-inking to printing to de-inking and plate changes. At this exhibition, we will showcase the collaborative robot (MBO CoBo-stack palletizing robot) that collects finished products from the machine and stacks them on pallets. Once done, the AMR (Autonomous Mobile Robot) moves the finished skid to the MBO K80 folder with the CoBo-stack palletizing robot for folding. We demonstrate a fully automated process at our booth.

Komori@drupa 2024-2

You recently celebrated your hundredth anniversary. How does this great legacy help you to improve and move forward?

Komori has always been a strong and healthy company, which gives our customers confidence in our longevity. We put the customer first, listening closely to their needs. Our extensive experience allows us to innovate and introduce new features to the market.

Are you focused more on packaging?

Packaging is a major theme at this exhibition and in our general marketing campaigns. We made the bold decision to bring the Lithrone GX40 advance double coat and install it at drupa.

Consumer behavior is changing, with more online purchasing. How has Komori adapted to this trend?

Packaging is learning from commercial print. We’ve transitioned from long runs to shorter runs with frequent changes. In packaging, we’ve reduced make-ready times for complex PMS and color changes. Using the GX40 advance, we demonstrated the Super Short Makeready and Smart Color features. Our software replicates PMS colors using a seven-color process, which is environmentally friendly and reduces the need for wash-ups and changeovers, making shorter run lengths more profitable.

Komori@drupa 2024

What about your digital collaborations?

Komori has a long-standing relationship with Konica Minolta, exemplified by the Impremia IS29 and the improved IS29s model. We also collaborate with Landa and are launching the J-throne, a 100% Komori product in the digital segment. We aim for the commercial availability of this new sheet-fed UV inkjet digital press by 2025.

How is Komori’s market in the Middle East?

The Middle East is a very important market. Our colleague Moez Jebali, Regional Sales Director is doing an excellent job promoting and supporting Komori in the region.

Komori was relatively quiet in the Middle East earlier. But now it is as active as other brands. What led to the change in strategy?

Several factors influenced this change. The market is evolving, and we now work more closely with distributors in the area. Over the past two years, we’ve seen significant improvement, thanks to Moez’s excellent contributions to our team.

From Komori’s viewpoint, how do you see the future of the printing industry?

The future will see more automated and connected processes. It’s important for customers to choose the processes that best suit their needs. Komori focuses on supporting customers with efficient, user-friendly processes. Simplifying operations and making them easy to manage is our goal.Komori@drupa 2024

There’s much hype about artificial intelligence. How do you integrate AI into your processes?

We use AI primarily for press setup. Machines experience wear and tear, and temperatures fluctuate, affecting ink flow. AI helps the machine learn and understand its performance, making necessary adjustments to maintain consistency throughout the job.

How has drupa 2024 been for Komori?

We are very pleased. We’ve had many visitors, reaffirming that this is not just a local show but an international one. We are delighted with the global interest shown in Komori.

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