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Konica Minolta opened an Industrial Printing Center in Almaty

This event marked a new milestone in the development of Konica Minolta in Kazakhstan and throughout Central Asia.

On September 20, a presentation of the Konica Minolta Industrial Printing Center took place in Almaty. The Asian Industrial Printing Engagement Center will become a center of attraction for players in the printing and packaging market, as well as advertising agencies from all over Central Asia.

Kiyotaka Suhara, President of Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH, gave a welcoming speech at the opening of the Center.

“This is a very important step for us. We focus all our efforts on making the impossible possible, making the invisible visible. Our entire history, 150 years, is built on the fact that we set ourselves impossible tasks. Why are we here? First of all, because Kazakhstan and Central Asia are actively developing. And we are here not so that we ourselves can grow, but so that your business can grow too,” Mr. Suhara addressed the customers. — Our goal is to support you and provide the highest level of service in the world. This is our most important commitment. The Industrial Printing Center, which we are opening today, will give you the opportunity to gain new knowledge for your business and see innovative solutions. Konica Minolta's greatest advantage lies in its technology. But what is even more important is the people, our team".

Mr. Suhara gave an interview to the portal , in which he spoke about the IT business of Konica Minolta and the development of this area in Kazakhstan.

Pavel Shalaginov, General Director of Konica Minolta Business Solutions Kazakhstan, spoke about the history of Konica Minolta’s presence in Central Asia and the development of the company’s business in the region. Konica Minolta entered the Central Asian market in 2003. In 2019, a representative office was opened in Almaty , and in 2022, a team appeared in Uzbekistan.

“150 years of history - what is it about? If we look at Konica Minolta now, there are a huge number of businesses, these are different products. You can see big numbers that can't help but impress. These are 20 thousand registered patents, several tens of thousands of employees around the world. We are present in almost all countries of the world, and what is very important - not only in the field of printing. You know us, perhaps, more as a printing vendor. But, for example, the analytical agency IDC named us a leader in the field of digital transformation, and in 2020 we were included in the list of the 100 best IT service providers. We have a lot of competencies, a lot of innovations. In 2022, we entered the TOP 100 in the ranking of international innovations,” said Pavel Shalaginov.

About 81% of Konica Minolta's solutions are business technologies. The company is a leader in office, productivity and textile printing, as well as an expert in document workflow optimization and content management. A fairly large part of the business is occupied by solutions for industry (10%) and healthcare (9%). Konica Minolta is Japan's leader in cassette digital radiography systems. The company is also the creator of the world's first digital mammography machine.

Currently, Konica Minolta is No. 1 in Kazakhstan in the Production Printing Color segment (color digital production printing) with a share of 51% and No. 1 in the Production Printing segment (digital production printing) with a share of 46.5%. The company also ranks first in the Production Printing segment in Central Asia (50.5% share) and in Eastern Europe (50.5%). In general, there has been a fourfold increase in business since 2019 in the Central Asian countries.

“We only started in 2019. That is, we have only been here for four years. It's a small journey, but we hope that we have very great prospects. Our approach is to talk not only about the product itself, but also about how to add new value to the client with this product, how to make it a really good business. And so, today we present to you the Industrial Printing Center, Asian Industrial Printing Engagement Center,” noted Pavel Shalaginov.

Igor Terentyev, a printing market expert, presented an overview of global trends in packaging and labels. According to him, now most product manufacturers pay great attention to sustainable development and environmental friendliness. They remain a priority, and this trend has a strong impact on the packaging market.

“At the same time, we see an evolution from just functional packaging to a promotion tool. That is, packaging is no longer just a box. This is a fully functional promotion tool. To promote business today, more variable and personalized packaging and labeling is required. And with the explosive growth of e-commerceMore and more technologies are required to produce packaging for it. This is why digital technologies are becoming basic in printing and finishing. They allow you to expand the user experience when interacting with packaging and labels. And the modern development of artificial intelligence makes it possible to speed up entry into the market. I would like to note that the penetration of digital printing technologies into conventional packaging is still small. The greatest penetration is now in flexible packaging. At the same time, we see how direct digital printing on finished packaging is developing, and there is growing interest in digital technologies and consumables for the production of food packaging. In general, the market is ready for a completely digital cycle, the number of players in the packaging sector is increasing,” the speaker noted.

Today, the market offers a wide range of digital packaging printing solutions. These are medium-roll and wide-roll CPMs for flexible packaging, sheet CPMs of several formats for folding cardboard packaging, sheet multi- and single-pass postprint and preprint CPMs for corrugated packaging. Konica Minolta is already present in the B2 and B1 sheetfed press sectors, and also offers single-pass solutions for corrugated packaging printing and sheetfed digital finishing systems.

“If we talk about label printing, then digital technology becomes the main one. The productivity and upper limit of profitability of digital technologies relative to analog ones are gradually increasing. There is a growing interest in digital technologies and consumables for the production of food packaging, as well as the share of digital solutions with an expanded color gamut, a range of digital technologies for post-printing processing and enhancement, a range of ready-made solutions for the full cycle of label production independently, without the participation of printing houses. The market share of annual label press installations among the total number of label presses grew to 40% worldwide in 2019. Analysts expect that in 2023–2025, sales of digital label printing machines will significantly exceed sales of analogue ones,” says Igor Terentyev.

Mikhail Tarnovsky, head of industrial printing at Konica Minolta Business Solutions Kazakhstan, spoke in more detail about Konica Minolta’s solutions for digital labels and packaging, as well as about the technologies presented at the Industrial Printing Center.

“Global trends are as follows: 31% of commercial printers in the world say that 25% or more of their turnover is digital printing. The share of digital circulation is growing every year. 85% of commercial printers and 62% of publishing houses already use digital printing. And its share among printing houses that print packaging is 45%. The global commercial printing market, according to 2022 data, amounted to $350 billion. Digital printing accounted for 12%. The industrial printing market (textiles, labels, packaging) is worth $467 billion, the share of digital printing here is 5.5%. At the same time, I would like to note that in Central Asia the spread of digital printing is happening much faster than the world average. We have more short runs than in Europe. Over time, analog circulations are becoming less and less. And they are retained mainly by large market players, whose investments in equipment amount to millions of euros. Today we are talking primarily about digital packaging, labels and classic digital publishing. Despite the difficult period that we all experienced in 2020–2021, printing is back in trend, it is gaining momentum, and by the end of 2022 we are already close in turnover to the level of 2019. There are more and more short orders, we need to process them with ever higher quality. It is this efficiency and quality that our digital printing solutions can provide,” shared Mikhail Tarnovsky. Printing is back in trend, it is gaining momentum, and by the end of 2022, we are already approaching the 2019 level in terms of turnover. There are more and more short orders, we need to process them with ever higher quality. It is this efficiency and quality that our digital printing solutions can provide,” shared Mikhail Tarnovsky. Printing is back in trend, it is gaining momentum, and by the end of 2022, we are already approaching the 2019 level in terms of turnover. There are more and more short orders, we need to process them with ever higher quality. It is this efficiency and quality that our digital printing solutions can provide,” shared Mikhail Tarnovsky.

He spoke in more detail about the machines that are exhibited at the Industrial Printing Center. These are the AccurioLabel 230 label roll press, the AccurioShine 3600 digital refining system with the iFOIL One module, the AccurioPress C12000 sheet-fed production press, as well as professional viewing and post-printing equipment. Guests of the event were able to see these solutions in action, evaluate their speed and the quality of the finished prints.

“Our Industrial Printing Center is not just a showroom. The showroom is a museum, you can come there and see something. We offer something more. We want it to always be full, so that clients can come here, so that you can conduct experiments here, print samples. Our goal is to create a club, a community of professionals,” summed up Pavel Shalaginov.

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