Konica Minolta increases stake in MGI Digital Technology

| 9 October 2020

Priority initiatives in digital decoration printing and package printing

Konica Minolta Inc. (Konica Minolta) today announced an additional investment in France-based MGI Digital Technology (MGI), an industry-leading manufacturer of digital-based high-value-added printing equipment*1. Konica Minolta and MGI formed an equity and business alliance in January 2014.

On September 30, 2020, Konica Minolta acquired an additional stake in MGI, bringing the stake together with the existing stake to 42.3%.  MGI, which has 204 employees, was founded in 1982 and has its headquarters in Fresnes, France. MGI revenues were 68.17million Euros in the full year 2019.

MGI’s digital decoration printing machines use 100% inkjet heads manufactured by Konica Minolta and respond to the need for high-value-added printing that highlights the appeal of products, such as foil stamping and embossing. MGI is also expanding into electronic circuit and other industrial printing.

In 2016, Konica Minolta made a full-scale entry into industrial printing field. By maximizing printing value through digital printing technology, the company has created markets and expanded the scale and scope of its business.

Label and packaging printing have a great deal of room for digitization in the post-printing processes of varnish coating, laminating, foil stamping, and die cutting. By adding MGI's partial varnishing, foil stamping, and other digital-output devices to its product line-up, Konica Minolta has increased its presence in the industrial printing market, which it positions as a growth business.

A statement from Konica Minolta said that, over the past four years, Konica Minolta's industrial printing business has approximately doubled in size. During the Covid-19 pandemic, demand has temporarily stagnated in some areas of the industrial printing sector. Over the medium to long term, however, the company believes that demand for industrial printing will shift more to on-demand than ever before, and that the shift from analogue to digital printing will increasingly accelerate in order to respond to this change in demand.

The digitization of post-processing will become increasingly important. Particularly, it is essential to expand the line-up of digital embellishment machines that make printed materials more appealing, and it is crucial for Konica Minolta to deepen the alliance with MGI, the first company in the world to commercialize digital embellishment printing machines.

Konica Minolta is currently marketing the AccurioJet KM-1e, a 29-inch sheet-fed UV inkjet printing machine that can also print on cartons for packaging, in the packaging printing market. The packaging printing market is expected to grow by 15% annually from 2018 to 2028*2, and positioned as a key field for business expansion. At Drupa in Germany in 2016, MGI made a technological showcase of its ALPHAJET, a system that enables integrated printing, decoration, and post-processing that can also be printed on corrugated products.

Konica Minolta will strive to provide increase the value of MGI and establish a strong position in the market by effectively launching ALPHAJET, taking advantage of the customer contact it has accumulated through its global sales network and capabilities.

The statement adds that, 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.

*1: In this context, it means equipment that performs decorative processing, such as spot thick varnish and foil stamping, as post-process of ordinary printing

*2: Forecasts by Konica Minolta based on research firm data

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Graham Thatcher

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Email: graham.thatcher@prbychief.com