FFEI based in Hempstead, UK supplies OEM products and technologies to partners around the world. They widened their base in the Middle East by entering into a partnership deal with Age Graphic Equipment FZE Co., based in UAE. Peter Christiansen, Sales Support Specialist, FFEI-Creative Imaging Technology, who was on a visit to Dubai talked with ME Printer and discussed in detail about the deal and their journey so far.
“Real Pro Workflow System is developed by FFEI and is a unique PDF based print production workflow that combines the latest in workflow technology with production features. It allows multiple users to control all aspects of job management from an automated central production solution,” said Peter.
Elaborating on the deal, he said, “We will be providing Age Graphic- Real Pro workflow and RealVue 3D Packager, which is a packaging software. Earlier all our products were designed for commercial prints, and later we entered the packaging sector with our product – RealVue 3D Packager. We noticed that on the packaging side there was a huge demand for creative visualization. Therefore during drupa we showed a comprehensive list of packaging tools for Illustrator, which will be available in the market from this September.”
Talking about their cooperation with partner companies, Peter said, “One of our main customers is FujiFilm. FFEI had designed the XMF workflow for FujiFilm, and also manufactures Luxel CtP products that can be used for both commercial and newspaper print requirements. Other partners include Dynagraph, Founder in China and TechNova in India. Founder and TechNova are two of our biggest customers for the CtP segment.”
Rating their experience at drupa 2012, Peter said, “Drupa was quite exciting for us. We went there looking for new partnerships and met up with the representatives of Age Graphic. We are already into partnership with Presstek, and we supply RealPro workflow solutions to them.” (Age Graphic Equipments are the distributors of Presstek CtP’s in the Middle East). With the new partnership in force, Age Graphic has already entered into two deals in UAE and will be supplying Printwell Printing Press in Dubai and Dar El Fajr Printing Press in Abu Dhabi with RealPro workflow software. Age Graphic opines that with the solution from FFEI, they will pose a better competition to ESKO. Jayakrishna Valluru, Sales Manager at Age Graphic Equipment opined, “With the partnership of FFEI, we will now offer packaging tools and workflow solutions and will focus more on this area.”
Talking about the current status of the market, Peter said, “The markets in the US and Europe are declining. Currently our focus is on India and China and now we are looking up to start business in South America. We are also entering into partnership with IBF, Brazil. Though market conditions are quite unstable, we were able to sell a lot of CtP’s during IPEX 2010. For the European market, we make fully automated equipments, while for the Chinese and Indian markets we sell manual CtP’s because of the cost aspect.”
Observing the market trends, he said, “For India and China, we manufacture about 240-250 machines per year, while in Europe we sell only a handful of machines every year. We are also doing fairly enough in the South American market. The workflows that you see today in the market are all based around CtP production. Now, more and more printers have diversified their business and are getting into large format, as well as digital printing. For workflow solutions, most of the printers use a mix of Adobe PDF print engine technology along with Post-RIP technology. FFEI provides workflow solutions that are completely based around the Adobe PDF Printer. We had developed it back in the year 2007. It’s a very flexible and efficient solution, and is cost effective too.”
This drupa the buzz was mainly around digital equipments and nanography. Giving his view, Peter said, “There are so many solutions present at the market and its going to take a while before digital is going to settle down in the market. During drupa, FFEI offered Caslon – a digital inkjet printing system in association with Nilpeter. We had developed Caslon on behalf of Nilpeter and we sell and support the product worldwide. Our workflows are very simple to use and it is designed as a user friendly technology,” concluded Peter.