Konica Minolta takes bigger slice of MGi

Konica Minolta has increased its holding in the French manufacturer MGI, so that it now owns 42.3 percent of MGI. More interestingly, Konica Minolta has also outlined its vision for its future in industrial inkjet printing.

MGI’s JetVarnish 3D Color+ marries s a four colour dry toner print engine with built in finishing, including varnishing, foiling and die cutting.

MGI produces an interesting range of equipment for printing, embellishment and finishing, all using some form of inkjet with printheads from Konica Minolta. The company was started in 1982 and employs 204 staff. In 2019 it recorded revenue of €68.17 million. Konica Minolta’s involvement in MGI started in 2014, when it bought a minority 10 percent stake. In 2016, Konica Minolta increased this to 40.5 percent. 

Konica Minolta has identified a number of factors that make MGI an attractive bet for the future. Firstly, it believes that industrial printing will adopt an on-demand model, and that it will expand from simple printing on goods to functional printing. The company says that the Covid-19 pandemic has slowed this down but that these two factors will still lead to a shift from conventional to digital printing and so Konica Minolta is putting more of its resources into the industrial print area. Since first announcing its intentions in the industrial print market at Drupa 2016, Konica Minolta’s industrial printing business has approximately doubled in size, though that’s not difficult when first entering a market and having to start from scratch.

But Konica Minolta also sees a rise in digital marketing, stating: “as demand increases for digital printing technologies toward personalized printing, the digitization of post-processing will become increasingly important.” This is exactly the area where MGI is strongest and the company goes on to say that “it is crucial for Konica Minolta to deepen the alliance with MGI, the first company in the world to commercialize digital embellishment printing machines, steadily forming the market for digital decoration printing since then.”

At the same time, Konica Minolta believes that the packaging printing market offers it further opportunities for expansion. The company statement pointed out that MGI used Drupa 2016 to demonstrate its Alphajet system, which allows integrated printing, decoration, and post-processing for packaging including corrugated products. We’ve not heard much on the Alphajet since then but Konica Minolta says that it intends to use its global sales network to relaunch the Alphajet. It adds: “Furthermore, in the future, Konica Minolta aims to provide the ultimate digital system that can automatically complete all of the pre-process, printing, and post-process to the final product.”

Konica Minolta has also become interested in functional printing, such as printed electronics and chipless RFID. MGI already owns a subsidiary, Ceradrop, which specialises in advanced material science and operates at the cutting edge between printed electronics and 3D printing. Konica Minolta notes that increasing its stake in MGI will allow it to “accelerate the development of material technologies and production technologies for the early commercialization of functional printing, in addition to the synergies of the results that both companies have accumulated to date.” Functional printing is not the sexiest part of printing but as a manufacturing process it has the ability to touch all aspects of our lives and is going to become increasingly important in the next few years.

You can find more information on Konica Minolta here, MGI here, and Ceradrop here


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