FUJIFILM Gears up to Lead Digital Transformation in Asia Pacific
Print Innovation Asia spoke with Scott Mackie, General Manager of the newly-integrated FUJIFILM Business Innovation (BI) GCB Asia Pacific.In this interview, we discuss the regional impact of the integration, dedicated new brands and product offerings to digitise the print industry, and what customers in Asia Pacific can look forward to.
1. How has the transition to being an integrated Fujifilm been? What does the integration mean for your customers?
The integration is the biggest event in our company’s history, and one of the biggest synergies within FUJIFILM group is the Graphic Communications Business.
Integrating the divisions is creating the powerful ability within the segment that we didn’t have in reach previously, and accelerating the expansion of our product portfolio.
We’re collaborating strongly in our go-to-market (GTM) activity and importantly our support structure for customers. Going forward, customers will enjoy long-term commitment from FUJIFILM in the print industry and as a business partner to grow together.
2. With COVID-19, we guess you’ve not been immune to the challenges in the market. What has changed and how has FUJIFILM responded?
FUJIFILM has a proven track record of successfully transforming itself from a photo graphic film company to a developer of various high growth business. So far I’m glad to say we’ve ridden the storm well as the industry has seen more digitisation in the industry, but it has been an incredibly challenging time for all.
Most Graphics Art players have faced difficulties in business slowing down especially during the lockdown periods or 2nd and 3rd waves, but we’ve seen real resilience. We learned that short run demand has increased due to decrease in traditional applications, some print providers have simply transitioned 100% to digital production as it’s the ONLY way to achieve what their customers are asking for.
That’s significant in the industry. The change is real and accelerating and one of the ways to counter the change in demand is adopting more digital workflows to enable the much higher order rates such as Web to Print systems due to the increased demand for on-demand in eCommerce.
For reference, look at how HYBRID is a new way of working, a new way of living in many ways and it’s changing the way we communicate. Traditional methods of production must adapt to not just survive, but thrive in the Graphic Communications world.
HYBRID Production is an essential part of the new market.
1. You have a new Technology brand, Revoria. What was the development inspiration for Revoria?
Revoria is a herald of our new Fujifilm Business Innovation as we begin expanding our regional and global reach. The brand name was derived from the blending of “revolution” and the suffix “-ia” which means country or land. With our latest innovations in print, the company aims to cultivate new “lands” and create unprecedented value.
2. Why is the new series perfect for the next revolution in print?
As I mentioned, the brand is part of our strategy to expand both in the Graphic Communications sector and geographically. Revoria does not focus on a single aspect of the industry, but instead Revoria will bring a total solution to the market.
It comprises all three aspects of Production Printing; the Revoria Press with Revoria Flow deliver the print and control for our presses, and Revoria One, which delivers workflow solutions. It is a complete suite of solutions to our customers.
3. How has the market response been in Asia Pacific?
In our regional launch event in July, where we unveiled the Revoria Press PC1120 and Revoria Press E1-Series on-line, we had more than 1,200 registrants and following this the demand from local operations has continued.
4. I’m sure customers are excited to have a closer look at the Revoria. Would you be able to tell us more about in-person events for the Revoria line in the region?
Across the region as restrictions ease, face-to-face events are ongoing. In the rest of the region, countries are leveraging online webinars to demonstrate and showcase the new Revoria line-up.
The regional team at FUJIFILM Business Innovation Asia Pacific are continuing to host regular webinars to share new content and insights to our customers and the industry.
With flight paths opening up for vaccinated travellers I hope we can see a return to Live in Person events in the new year, but we will continue to have Hybrid events in the future.
5. The Revoria being a new series of production printers in Fujifilm’s portfolio, where would your existing products such as Versant and PrimeLink fit into this new vision?
Current models (such as Versant and PrimeLink) will continue to be sold under its current name until the end of its life cycle and we will continue to build out the portfolio with new technologies in the coming months and years.
FUJIFILM Graphics System Collaboration
1. Since the integration, does FUJIFILM Business Innovation also provide FUJIFILM products and solutions such as Jet Press & Acuity?
The collaboration actually started a few years ago, so since the integration on 1st July, FUJIFILM Business Innovation also provides FUJIFILM Graphics System products and solutions including Jet Press and Acuity or wide format products.
At the same time FUJIFILM Graphic System operations will also start selling FUJIFILM Business Innovation products.
2. What sort of customers will benefit from the Jet Press? Why the Jet Press instead of say, the Revoria PC1120?
The Revoria Press PC1120 is targeted for commercial print, quick print and print room that requires SRA3 size or extra long sheets up to 1,200cm. Its single pass, 6 colour technology allows underlay of white inks and overlays in the same pass also.
There is nothing like it and with special colours like gold or silver to produce Pantone or Fujifilm metallic colours, and white, clear and pink to expand the colour gamut, it enables so much flexibility that is proving invaluable to many customers.
On the other hand, the Jet Press is positioned for commercial print or folding carton packaging, that requires up to B2 sheet size and benchmark print quality. The Samba printheads that we use are delivering astonishing quality and consistency that’s hard to beat.
3. On that note, what about the packaging and labels spectrum? What can we expect from FUJIFILM?
Digitally printed labels and packaging are growing at a tremendous rate across the region and globally, especially as we move towards more sustainable methods which can be enhanced by digital production.
The FUJIFILM Development Team are developing new product innovation in this segment such as the FUJIFILM FP790 targeted for flexible packaging and the Acuity B1 Press that can print on metals for short run food and beverage products.
It’s an area of the market that we are continuing to develop and you should see more from us in the future.
4. Inkjet vs Toner – what are some points a printer should consider when deciding which to invest in?
The reality is that each technology has great strengths and will have specific target benefits for different printers and it really depends on customer’s requirements, and comes down to what they are producing, how often, how many, the size etc.
We have experts that can guide any business on the right technology, that’s how we should consider what is needed; business needs first, then consider workflows that can meet demand and then consider the correct printing press technology to produce what the business needs.
FUJIFILM Business Innovation’s core technology is developed from toner-based technology. Toners have been proven technology for many years, producing high image quality with specialty colour and at a reasonable investment with relatively higher running cost then inkjet.
On the other hand, inkjet quality has been improved significantly especially with 1200 dpi from the FUJIFILM Samba Print Head and it has become the standard used by many players in the industry. It is targeted at higher-end with relatively higher investment than toner-based technology, but achieves more competitive running cost.
Ultimately, we should help any customer decide, which one suits their business needs with proper evaluation of what they want to achieve.
5. For a commercial printer looking to go from offset to digital, what is your advice for them?
We are in the Graphic Communication industry for the long term and we look for long-term partnerships with printers, where we begin with the most suitable products for an offset printer to start a digital print business and grow together with FUJIFILM. As their business grows and expands, they can explore a higher range of products since we have one of the most comprehensive product portfolios in the industry.
To be competitive in the market whilst increasing productivity, printers are considering expanding their services into the sign & display or label & packaging segment which is an increasing trend.
To handle the new Hybrid environment most printers are now also implementing online solutions and workflow automation to ensure long-term sustainable business.
Transformation from traditional offset with traditional processes, complimented with digital print and automation workflow will be critical specially to stay ahead of competition in the new normal.
Industry 4.0 Solutions and Services
1. With Industry 4.0 being a hot topic for many years now, robotic automations are at the forefront of digitisation in the industrial printing sectors. What plans do you have to forge the path to digitalisation?
Revoria One is part of Revoria brand strategy alongside with Revoria Press and Revoria Flow to maximise digital capabilities and functionality that conventional workflow can’t handle.
The Revoria One will give customers opportunities to customise what types of automated workflows or colour management that they want to use. Not only customer printing workflows to increase productivity, provide best quality output, reduce wastages, have quicker turnaround time but also increase effective communication for the entire printing value chain.
FUJIFILM Business Innovation will also continue build a strong relationship with our solution business partners, developing GTM strategies together to provide a comprehensive end-to-end solution.
2. What are some of the software partnerships that you already have, or are working on?
We have a strong relationship with our current solution business partners such as CGS Oris, XMPie, Solimar, Quadient, etc., and recently we established a relationship with Aleyant and launched Pressero; a SAAS affordable Web-to-Print solution now available through Fujifilm Business Innovation across Asia Pacific region.
EFI also one our key partners to develop solution and we started our collaboration on Revoria E1-series and other Revoria product in the near future.
We continue to look for partners to expand and strengthen our solutions portfolio to cover all aspects of our customers’ requirements
3. FUJIFILM Business Innovation recently launched the Colour Innovation Program. How does this programme help customers in the print industry?
The Colour Innovation Programme is our industry-recognised colour management training programs and services, delivering Fogra and G7 Certified levels of colour management service.
One of the main challenges regarding colour management in the industry are that it requires too much time, lack of trained staff, limited technical skills and infrastructure, and change of printer conditions such as toner or media.
What we offer is a holistic solution to these problems:
o A team of highly skilled and certified Fogra PSD and G7 Colour Consultants for Colour Management training
o Quality control processes and colour prints that are compliant with industry specifications and standards such as G7®, GRACoL®, and ISO (ISO 12647-8, ISO/TS 15311, etc.)
o Designing for Digital and Specialty Colours
o Automated colour workflows to maximise productivity while reducing operational costs
o Workflow optimisation consultancy services to automate customer printing workflow and control the best printing output quality
We understand that every business and customer specific needs are different. Our highly qualified colour experts are ready to help customer continue improving skills and maximising the possibilities of FUJIFILM products and colour services.
With this array of services, customers can focus on what’s most important and continue grow their printing business.
1. 2021 has been a big year so far, what’s next? Where are you going as a brand?
We have got a big, bright future ahead, the strength of collaboration in R&D in combined technologies and expertise is accelerating and we will continue to develop new innovations for the wider printing industry that will truly, change the game.
I can’t say exactly what that will look like, but we will continue to lead and drive DX (Digital Transformation) in the Graphic Communications industry.
2. Please tell us more about the newly-established ‘Innovation Print Group’.
Innovation Print Group is a dedicated group where resources, knowledge, skills, and even current trends are shared amongst all members in the region. Such information is shared in the form of webinars, events and even online for easy access.
All this information is important to bring the best practices and latest applications to take one’s business to the next level. Innovation Print Awards is the platform to share application and celebrate success in the region.
Industry experts and renowned speakers will be sharing their knowledge about the region’s progress and the latest print information for our Innovation Print Group members.
This feature was first published in Issue 10/2021 of Print Innovation Asia.