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Axel Thien of Presstek on DI presses for the European market

Published on October 26, 2012

Axel Thien, President of Europe, Middle East, and Africa regions for Presstek talks with Cary Sherburne about the geographic fit of the DI presses for his customers, PearlDry Blue plates, and waterless printing.

Cary Sherburne: Hi, I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink, and I’m here with Axel Thien who is the President of the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region for Presstek. Welcome.

Alex Thein: Welcome.

Cary Sherburne: So Presstek’s had a fair amount of success with your DI presses in your region. And maybe you could talk to us a little bit about why that product is a good fit geographically for this region.

Alex Thein: Yeah. In the market, the market is changing. The run lengths are getting lower. More and more customers are looking for alternative solutions, how they can fit in-between the digital, which is an accepted technology in the printing industry and the conventional offset. And the DI concept is a perfect fit in the European market in these industrialized printing environment.

Cary Sherburne: Because they’re able to do that short run that’s too long for toner but too short for offset.

Alex Thein: Yeah, exactly. I mean this morning we have bridged the gap, actually really describes it really nicely. I mean…

Cary Sherburne: You know, it describes it so nicely that everyone else is using it now.

Alex Thein: Yeah I heard that, well actually it’s coming from Presstek, we own it since several years.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah, exactly.

Alex Thein: I mean it has been proven, if you go into our customer base and you see that they have a digital device and then next to it 102 or 105 press, and then there’s a 52DI and you see how they deal with this. And swapping from lower run lengths then to the DI, and then higher run lengths into the conventional offset. It works and customers are really competitive. And this is what they need now.

Cary Sherburne: Right, and it also makes better use of the toner and the offset, right? Because they’re running what they’re designed to do and you take that middle piece out of there.

Alex Thein: Exactly.

Cary Sherburne: It’s nice. Now there’s a much different mental model, or strategy, or regulations and so on around personalization in Europe in particular than the U.S. So do you think that the inkjet add-on to the 75DI is going to be popular here?

Alex Thein: The market is probably 5-10 percent of the total market. And customers have, especially in the industrialized countries in Europe, they have been asking us for please provide personalization for your presses. Because your presses are already in this low run length area, and if you add that personalization that would be a perfect fit. So it actually came out of a market demand.

Cary Sherburne: And so also Presstek has brought out a new plate, pearl drive blue. Maybe talk about that a little bit.

Alex Thein: Oh we are very excited about this. You know that we have the PerlDry technology, the waterless plate, which we use on our DI. We have been through intensive testing, and we realized we have to bring out a new plate. And this is the PearlDry Blue, which fits for the Cortina market.

Cary Sherburne: KBA Cortina

Alex Thein: Yeah, sorry. KBA Cortina and we are testing also with other manufacturers. And it shows really very promising results.

Cary Sherburne: And that’s mostly in the newspaper market, right?

Alex Thein: That’s mostly in the newspaper market, but the market is really the waterless market. So all waterless printing manufacturers, we will address with that plate.

Cary Sherburne: And is waterless printing kind of big in Europe? I mean, you are much more environmentally sensitive than we are in the U.S. unfortunately for us.

Alex Thein: Yeah, I wish it would be also popular in the U.S., but this is a quite a good market here in Europe and it will expand further.

Cary Sherburne: That’s great.

Alex Thein: Yeah, that’s good.

Cary Sherburne: Well good, it’s exciting times for you in this region. And congratulations on your new position, because it’s relatively new.

Alex Thein: Yeah, and thanks very much. And I’m very happy about this because otherwise I would not be here on these streets, so thank you for inviting me that’s really great. Thank you.


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