Agfa-Gevaert has announced it is to acquire Inca Digital Printers from Screen Graphics Solutions, subject to meeting and obtaining customary conditions and approvals.
Cambridge-based Inca Digital Printers is seen by Agfa as an ideal partner, bringing a complementary portfolio of printing solutions and a strong technological platform to launch single-pass printers for the packaging market.
The acquisition encompasses the Inca portfolio of high-speed multi-pass printers as well as a newly designed line of single-pass printers for packaging, and a joint development of a customised inline print engine in collaboration with corrugator manufacturer BHS Corrugated.
“The Inca acquisition is a major step in Agfa’s transformation. Digital printing is a profitable growth engine for the group, with a tremendous potential that will be further accelerated by the addition of Inca,” said Pascal Juéry, president and CEO of Agfa-Gevaert.
Inca Digital was formed as a spin out from Cambridge Consultants Ltd (CCL) in May 2000 and since 2005 has been part of the Screen Group. Inca developed the Truepress Jet W3200UV printer for Screen GP, and the SpyderX which is sold by Inca Digital through its global reseller network. In 2007 it launched the Onset series, leading to the launch of the Onset X Series in 2015, sold exclusively by Fujifilm.
Stephen Tunnicliffe-Wilson, CEO/CTO of Inca Digital Printers, said of the company’s acquisition by Agfa: “It allows us to combine our technological know-how and will enable us to become a leading digital packaging press manufacturer worldwide. Our new parent has shown long term commitment to the digital printing market and we are extremely proud and look forward to becoming part of the Agfa family.”
Vincent Wille, president of Agfa’s digital print and chemicals division, said of the acquisition: “The combination of Inca Digital’s manufacturing knowhow and Agfa’s technical expertise, worldwide presence and excellent service networks will allow us to bring unparalleled printing solutions to our customers and to adapt seamlessly to their needs in this rapidly evolving space. This investment leverages and strengthens our position in the high-end and high-speed wide-format market as a whole and specifically in the promising packaging segment.”
In 2021, the Agfa-Gevaert group (which comprises four divisions - radiology solutions, healthcare IT, digital print and chemicals, and offset solutions) had a turnover of 1,760m Euro.
Following Agfa’s announcement of the Inca Digital acquisition, David Burton, marketing director, Fujifilm wide format inkjet systems, said: “Fujifilm and Inca Digital have enjoyed a mutually beneficial relationship for more than two decades. We’re immensely proud of all we’ve achieved working with them in pioneering the development of UV wide-format inkjet systems, powered by Fujifilm inkjet technology and Fujifilm UV inkjet ink.
“More recently, Fujifilm’s strategy has shifted away from being a technology partner and distributor working closely with OEM partners. Instead, we have pivoted to become a developer of wide-format systems in our own right, taking full control of the design and manufacturing process and leveraging Fujifilm’s worldwide subsidiary network to target volume sales at a wider audience.
“Some time ago, we recognised that the wide-format market had reached a point of maturity, where print speeds and quality improvements were increasingly marginal, so we identified an opportunity to invest our inkjet expertise into developing a range that reset expectations around value, usability and ROI.
“Our ‘new blueprint for wide-format’ concept, announced in 2021 and the focus of our stand at Fespa Global 2022, is the result of this strategy shift, and the new Acuity Prime and Acuity Ultra R2 printers are the tangible early evidence that this new approach is the right one for Fujifilm. More new product announcements and additions to this range are planned at Fespa, with others being worked on in the background.
“We remain incredibly proud of what we achieved working with Inca Digital over many years and remain committed to supporting our existing Onset customers.”