In the latest issue of Print Innovation Asia, we spoke with Steve Ford, general manager of graphic communications services for Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, to get insight on the company’s outlook on digital print and Asia Pacific.
Ford brings with him 27 years of experience in the graphic communications industry across multicultural markets in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific region.
Please update us on the company’s position in the industry.
Fuji Xerox is widely accepted as the market share leader in the industry, with the widest installation base across the graphic communications sector with over 50% of production equipment installs.
We are confident about the service and technology portfolio that we’re bringing to market this year and into 2018, it’s proven in the past to help our customers adopt the right solution for their business model and we’re looking to further cement this position.
How has it been for the company over the last year?
I think most vendors in our industry would say that 2017 has been a challenging year, and some re-positioning midflight has enabled us to power towards a strong finish.
Looking ahead into 2018, the tide appears to be turning as we set our strategy on some tremendous new innovations that we are bringing to market. We have one of the broadest product offerings in the market and we’ll be focusing on our production colour and digital packaging – whether flexible packaging or folding cartons.
It’s an exciting line-up for the year ahead and early feedback on some key new technology that we’re readying for launch has everyone excited.
Moving forward, we’ll be talking to our commercial print and packaging partners closely about their technology adoption and how to maximize their investments with us.
What is the company’s position on practicing sustainability?
Sustainability management is integral to our business growth and success to create better communications. The way we manage sustainable business is underpinned by our corporate values and culture, and how we understand a circular value chain management, growing with local communities and protecting our environment by seeing natural resources as precious materials not to be wasted.
Fuji Xerox is committed to reducing its carbon footprint across its value chain by 30% by 2020, and to providing a leadership role for customers, partners and vendors on sustainability issues.
To provide safe and environmentally-friendly products to our customers, we have been developing technologies such as bio-based plastic materials to enable the efficient reuse of parts and the recycling of materials, energy-saving technologies such mercury-free white LED, and technologies to enable Fuji Xerox products to conform to international environmental standards, by considering the entire life cycle of products from when we purchase the materials and parts until customers no longer use the products.
The paper we use adheres to international certifications such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). We have also invested in operating a world-class integrated recycling system, with a recycling rate of at least 99.5% across our business footprint.
Fuji Xerox is one of the 43 nominated UN Global Compact LEAD Company since 2010. The company has been recognised for its award-winning zero landfill achievements and was recently named Green Company of the Year by Channel News Asia Luminary Awards and one of top 50 companies in Asia at the inaugural Asian Correspondent 2017 CSR 50 Index for its leadership and commitment to sustainable business practices.
What sets the company apart from the competition?
I would say we deliver on technology - in terms of commercial returns, in technological advancements, benchmark imaging and pure automation of processes.
On October 22nd 1938, Chester Carlson created the first xerographic image and ever since we’ve been refining and defining the boundaries of imaging technology. Our business model works for our customers, the old paths of quality checking and colour manipulation have been succeeded by enhanced automation of these areas, further limiting the need to touch the page. That’s crucial for commercial success.
To support our customers, I think we have a superb team of professionals focused on delivering the right business solution for our customers. That solution is enabled with the right workflow to handle the new challenges of printing more and more jobs, and that ultimately flows to great technology that delivers.
What are the company’s recent activities in Asia Pacific, and what can we look forward to?
Fuji Xerox Australia have just received their first order for the Durst Tau 330 UV inkjet label press. This follows the first Durst Tau placement to the region in Thailand, earlier in the year.
We considered it to be one of the better presses in the marketplace, with a 720x1260 dpi native resolution, low migration inks, and as a seven-colour machine, which covers 90% of the Pantone gamut. Speed was also a factor for us; our current machine runs 15 metres per minute, but this runs at 48 metres per minute. It allows us to grow with our clients, some of which have grown from 2,000-3,000 metre jobs to 10,000 metre jobs.
We’re about to bring technology to market that has never been seen before. It is expected to drive new capability in colour and print embellishment on commercial print and packaging applications.
First to come will be the New Iridesse™ Production Press, our new six-colour, single pass press, announced on 1st November. We’ll be launching regionally this month with first deliveries already being discussed; we’ve had tremendous pre-launch interest. It’s a huge product for us and the industry, with massive colour, media, and post print processing flexibility and it is looking likely to be a powerhouse for us and our partners.
Following this we have new iGen® technology coming with white ink adding to the gamut extending colours of Orange, Green and Blue. The white and clear inks will be available with our packaging technology, enabling 610 micron boards to be printed on the same press that runs your commercial digital work.
Increasing the profile of our inkjet label and packaging range throughout the region is also a major focus for us. With digital label print workshops, thought leadership events and industry association involvement throughout the region, Fuji Xerox has been successful in promoting our partnership with the Durst brand.
The Tau series of UV inkjet presses is hugely successful throughout Europe, and recognized as a market leader in digital label printing technology, and it is now rapidly gaining momentum in the Asia Pacific region.
The range has recently been expanded to include the Tau 330 RSC model. Released at LabelExpo 2017 in Europe, the Tau 330 RSC brings leading-edge UV inkjet printing technology with a print resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi for unbeatable print quality and printing speeds of 78 linear metres per minute for unmatched productivity.
It also has 8 UV inkjet colour stations (W-OVG-CMYK) for full colour gamut reproduction. Due for release to the region in the new year, the press will be available as stand-alone configuration, as hybrid press or with in-line laser finishing.
Read the full article in the December 2017 issue of Print Innovation Asia.