New staff at Highcon, Esko and Evolve and celebrations at IIJ.

In this week’s round up of shorter news items, Alon Bar-Shany, formerly general manager of HP Indigo, has joined Highcon as Chairman of the Board, where he will work alongside Shlomo Nimrodi, Highcon CEO.

Alon Bar-Shany, formerly general manager of HP Indigo, speaking at Label Expo 2019.

Bar-Shany commented: “I am looking forward to joining the Highcon Board and taking part in the ongoing digital transformation of the printing and packaging industry.  Highcon has been a pioneer in the digitalization of the post-print part of the process which, after the growing adoption of digital printing, is where many bottlenecks now occur. I have known Shlomo for 25 years and in fact, he recruited me to Indigo. I have been following the company and its customers for quite a while and will be supporting Shlomo and the Management team to ensure the success of Highcon customers, which will be a key driver for the Company’s growth.”

The other board directors reads like a who’s who of Israel’s print industry, including Benny Landa, founder of Indigo and chairman of the Landa Group, Fiona Darmon, general partner at Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP),  Adina Shorr, previously CEO of Object, Scodix and CellGuide, and Giora Bitan, formerly CFO at ECI, Scitex and a senior partner in several venture capital funds.

Highcon has also appointed Simon Lewis as its new VP Marketing. Lewis started out with Scitex – I remember interviewing several times about the Karat 74 DI press – and he has worked for HP Indigo for the last 14 years in several roles including strategic marketing as well as a seat on the executive management board. Most recently he was regional business manager in Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Evolve Additive Solutions, which is developing a unique toner-based 3D printer, has picked up a couple of new board members, starting with Andreas Saar of Siemens Digital Industries Software. He commented: “Evolve’s Selective Thermoplastic Electrophotographic Process (STEP) automation potential and integration into industrial production environments are real game changers for the industry on its way to large volume additive production. This technology is a unique response to the industry demand for reliable, repeatable production of thermoplastic end-user parts.”

Volker Hammes, Managing Director BASF New Business GmbH, Ludwigshafen/Rhein Vice President & Head of Business Build-up has also joined the board of directors.

Steve Chillscyzn, Co-Founder and CEO of Evolve, commented: “We are pleased to welcome Volker, his deep experience in global additive manufacturing will be invaluable to Evolve as we grow our business and pursue our mission of enabling our customers to manufacture in revolutionary new ways.” 

These two appointments expand Evolve’s board to seven members, all offering knowledge in manufacturing, technology, and innovation. Chillscyzn noted: “We’ve added extensive experience to our board within the past several months and we’re looking forward to positioning the company for long-term growth.”

Meanwhile, Ishu Khurana has been promoted to territory sales manager for Esko’s Nordics business, having joined the company back in 2010, as an application sales manager for the EMEA region. He started his career as a prepress intern in 2003 in India for UFlex, before moving to the Czech Republic in 2008. 

James Mason, regional business director for Esko EMEA North, commented: “Ishu has worked at Esko for over 10 years and has already supported sales in the Nordic countries for over four years. He has acquired strong knowledge of Esko solutions and has gained a sound understanding of our customers’ needs enabling him to bring tremendous value to the business. We’re delighted he has accepted this new role and look forward to what 2021 will bring with him at the helm in the region.”

Finally, Industrial InkJet, better known as IIJ, has celebrated its 15th anniversary. The company was set up by managing director John Corrall at the suggestion of Konica Minolta in Japan which was looking for someone to support its printhead customers in Europe and USA.

Corrall explains: “Mr Ohno, president of Konica Minolta’s inkjet printhead division, invited me to meet him for dinner while he was passing through Heathrow. About the second beer he suggested working for Konica Minolta, but when I mentioned setting up a new company his reply was “fine you can be our partner”. I don’t think I really had much say in the decision.” I can only add, knowing both of these guys, that this sounds like an entirely likely scenario…

IIJ started out in a small converted farm building and now has over 50 staff, operating from a 17000 square foot unit near Cambridge, with satellite offices in USA and South Africa. In 2008 IIJ started manufacturing its own print engines, as Corrall explains: “At that time we were dedicated to helping machine builders integrate Konica Minolta inkjet printheads successfully. But we found ourselves solving the same technical issues over and over. It made sense to take that knowledge and create inkjet modules that our customers could then easily integrate.” The rest, as they say, is history.

…with a little help from my friends

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