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Durst set to disrupt Africa's digital market

Durst’s R&D headquarters in Lienz, Austria

A dynamic four-man force has emerged on South Africa's digital printing scene. Between them boasting decades of industry experience, the four players are Wayne Barker, Pierre Driver, Rodney Pillay and Nigel Tretheway. Their fledgling business, Industrial Inkjet Specialists (IIS), has been chosen by Durst as its distribution partner for an exciting array of digital equipment throughout South Africa and neighboring territories.

Headquartered at Brixen, Italy, with R&D headquarters at Lienz, Austria, Durst is a globally-renowned company that has evolved from its origins in the photographic arena to become today's specialist inkjet purveyor. It was established as Durst Phototechnik in 1936 by brothers Julius and Gilbert Durst, and their drive for innovation in the field of visual communication still shapes the spirit of today's business.

As the world moved into the 21st century, Durst launched its first inkjet devices – initially for wide-format display, textile and ceramic printing – and over the intervening years earned an enviable reputation for high-performance equipment. More recently, Durst has increasingly targeted narrow web label and packaging printing.

Based on South Africa's current line-up of suppliers of digital presses in general, and narrow web in particular, Durst and the team at IIS believe the local market is ready for change.

‘We're offering an advanced range – from wide format to narrow web presses – and we're set to disrupt the local market,’ Wayne Barker emphasizes. ‘We're committed to offering the African market machines that provide printers with a competitive edge.’

Headquartered in Cape Town's Montague Gardens, and offering sales representation in four regions, IIS has been in operation since last April. However, while unpretentious – as befits a start-up business – the premises can be expanded as the company grows. More importantly, the local business has assembled a comprehensive stockholding of spare parts and consumables, ensuring fast and efficient service for customers.

Untapped market potential
Clearly, Durst has seen untapped potential in the African market and has decided to invest in its development. ‘This is a serious commitment that includes investment in continuous upskilling of local staff in terms of technology and sales,’ comments Pierre Driver, an expert in digital printing of packaging and labels, having spent the last 20 years marketing HP Indigo products.

Durst is a global player in the narrow web digital label market and has installed over 150 of its Tau series UV inkjet presses. Most are used for label printing, particularly suiting personal care, pharmaceutical and industrial labels. Increasingly, they're also finding application in folding carton production; and significantly 15 percent of existing installations are using low-migration inks as customers move inkjet into food and pharma applications. Says Pierre Driver: ‘As Durst’s local distribution partner, we're well positioned to grow in the label market.’

As reported some 18 months ago, ‘inkjet’ was a buzzword at drupa 2016, but coming close behind was ‘corrugated packaging’ – not concepts traditionally mentioned in the same sentence. Apart from the expected focus on digital printing of labels and flexible packaging, a number of inkjet presses were specifically targeted at the corrugated sector.

For instance, visitors to the Durst stand were mesmerized by the Rho 130 SPC press, an exciting development in digital inkjet printing on corrugated board, running at speeds of up to 9,350sqm/hr, offering the industrial productivity needed to move the corrugated packaging sector towards digital technology.

Now known as the Delta SPC 130, and dedicated to the burgeoning market for digital printing on corrugated board, the press also supports sampling, customization and versioning, directly and without set-up costs. It's based on the latest-generation single-pass printing systems already used for label printing – for instance Durst's Tau 330, a single-pass UV inkjet label press.

A more recent development was the launch of the Tau 330 RSC at last September's Labelexpo Europe. This 330mm wide UV inkjet label and package printing press offers speeds up to 78m/min at 1,200 x 1,200 DPI. Its production capacity is 1,485sqm/hr, and, thanks to eight color stations (CMYK+W+OVG) and highly-pigmented inks, delivers flexo-like print quality with close to 98 percent Pantone color gamut.

‘The Tau 330 RSC with its unmatched printing speed and printing quality is creating a high level of interest among label converters looking for an industrial scale digital press solution,’ comments Wayne Barker. ‘But we're delighted to offer Durst's entire market-leading presses, whether potential customers are producing labels, packaging, point-of-sale displays or textiles. Durst is now playing in conventional flexo territory when it comes to speed and color fidelity – and all from a very compact machine. We offer all the speed and quality advantages with no hidden monthly charges relating to spare parts and click charges.'

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gill Loubser is Labels & Labeling's Africa correspondent, providing coverage of this important market for the label and package printing industry.

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