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Konica Minolta Completes Transition to a Digital Products Supplier

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Press release from the issuing company

Grand Rapids MI.- Sept 3, 2008-Konica Minolta Graphic Imaging has long been a leading supplier to the graphics arts industry.  However the traditional silver-halide Graphic Arts film market is shrinking astonishingly fast due to the surge of worldwide digitization. Graphic Arts film consumption in the U.S. had declined by 85 % from its peak and will continue to decline by double digits in the future.

Considering the decline of film consumption, the high cost of silver and the future growth of CTP, Konica Minolta Graphic Imaging has made the decision to phase out the manufacturing of silver based Graphic Arts film and concentrate on digital products.

The last production of Graphic Arts finished film products will be in March 2009. We will continue the distribution of Graphic Arts finished film products while inventory is available. This announcement is being made now to provide almost one year's notice to our customers so they can plan for an orderly transition.

Konica Minolta Graphic Imaging has invested substantially in the transition of its core business from analog film to digital plate technology to meet the demands of our customers. In 2005, American Litho was acquired by Konica Minolta Graphic Imaging and transformed into a world class production facility for the manufacture of high quality digital plates including violet and thermal computer to plate products.

In addition to our digital plate portfolio, conventional plates will also continue to be manufactured in our Grand Rapids, Michigan production facility. The orderly exit from the film market is a natural and necessary step in this transition process. We are deeply committed to work with our customers toward a smooth transition. This advance notice is one step in facilitating this process.

"There are a limited number of companies which can produce high quality Violet and Thermal CTP solutions and digital printing solutions" stated Kaz Fukushima, CEO of Konica Minolta Graphic Imaging, U.S.A. "We have this capability in the U.S., which reflects the current and future needs of our customers. We believe in this direction as the path to our mutual and future success."

This plan will allow Konica Minolta to apply all its R&D resources to CTP and Digital Printing products as the industry completes its transition from analog to a total digital workflow.

"Konica Minolta Graphic Imaging has been supplying printers with pre-press products for over 100 years. During this time the industry has gone though many technology transitions, from camera and contact films, phototypesetting paper, imagesetting film and now CTP and digital printing" said Bob Feldberg, VP of Marketing. "We have been able to prosper by making these transitions to support our customers. This is a phase in the natural life cycle of products. Unfortunately the product life cycle of film is at the end of its life. On the other hand, our customers have realized significant economic benefits from converting to Konica Minolta CTP solutions. We are concentrating our resources to support our customers in the digital transition process.




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