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Verico plots path to growth with waterless technology

Verico Technology CEO Yuval Dubois

Following Mark Andy’s acquisition of Presstek, the company’s waterless division has been restructured as Verico Technology

In mid-2017, Yuval Dubois took over as Presstek CEO with a plan to focus on two main divisions: Zahara waterless and manufacturing. Restructuring was needed to allow the company to focus on growing its profitable business areas. The plan was to sell part of the business, with Mark Andy emerging as the right partner for the takeover of the direct imaging (DI) product lines. The companies had maintained a strong partnership over the years, with Mark Andy Print Products (MAPP) fulfilling all orders in North America for Presstek DI and CtP products. Full integration of Presstek’s DI product line was confirmed earlier this year.

Verico

The remaining core of Presstek has been renamed Verico Technology, an abbreviation of ‘versatile innovative coating’. Verico is now focusing on both developing its Zahara waterless plate portfolio with products covering five different markets, as well as its coating and manufacturing. The company is active around the world, from North and Central America, to Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. A European sales and service team has been created, including: Karol Wolnikowski, sales director for the EAME region; Oliver Schlindwein as EMEA sales manager; and Claude Zähringer, also an EMEA sales manager, primarily in France and southern Europe. They are joined by Günter Schmid, Michael Reuter and Candido Presa Arjones.

New product developments are to be revealed shortly. Dubois adds: ‘Shortly after I became CEO I authorized a major investment spend in order to build or extend a production line, allowing us to expand our capabilities. There have been many structural changes in the factory since then and I am proud of our new company. Partly automated, partly renovated. We’re now talking about a surface area of 6,500 sqm. And we have a further 7,900 sqm where we handle aluminum.’

‘As a leading provider for waterless printing solutions and various coating technologies Verico has taken waterless printing to a new level of performance,’ says Dubois. ‘Verico’s products are environmentally friendly and chemistry free. Our sheet cut aluminum waterless plates are engineered to increase productivity, efficiency and profits for commercial and newspaper printers.

‘We will expand the waterless print area with new plate versions for individual market segments. This was already started last year with the newspaper plate for Cortina printers. Then our narrow web plate came on the market. We will also expand the portfolio around our plates through eco-friendly products that fit our philosophy. We also look outside the printing industry where we can offer our applications and have already begun a series of trials with customers in both medicine and electronics. We are specialists in coatings with silicone and I see an increasing need for that.’

Explaining the technical challenges in developing waterless technology, Dubois says: ‘Waterless technology requires an optimal interaction between press conditions, the waterless plate and waterless ink properties, and behavior. The biggest challenge for us as the plate manufacturer is to make sure all components perform to the highest standards in perfect harmony. When it comes to waterless printing and developing innovative solutions, we have one of the best R&D and production teams out there.

‘If we look at the products that we are developing, such as the Zahara plate, then we of course find a well-established market served by solid products. That means that it is important to stand out. For me, the spirit of the time with its greater awareness of the environment was an obvious place to start. We can supply environmentally friendly products that are also financially attractive. Here we are talking about fundamental values that are important to all of us. About water, air. It is the right time to think this way.

‘With the increasing demand for eco-friendly solutions and regulatory compliance, such as low-migration printing processes in the food business, for example, printers are seeking solutions that would give them competitive advantage. Waterless printing as well as chemistry-free technology are attractive alternatives to support this trend in the current market.’

Dubois concludes: ‘As runs are getting shorter and the print world moves increasingly to label and packaging print applications, waterless printing technology is still an interesting alternative for conventional offset printers. Benefits including low start-up waste, high printing quality, capability to print on demanding substrates, lower operating costs, and water conservation are particularly welcomed in the growing worldwide label market. Other potential growth markets are geographies with changing ecological awareness, such as China, where we already see a growing demand.’

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David Pittman is deputy editor at Labels & Labeling.

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