EFI combined a sneak peek at some of its Drupa plans with news of its latest acquisition – it has bought Bradford-based dye and colour products specialist Rialco.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed and it is not expected to be material to EFI’s Q1 or full-year 2016 financial results. Rialco will remain at its 2,600sqm Bradford location.
It supplies industrial markets including dye-sublimation printing and had sales of £7.9m in 2014. The firm becomes part of EFI’s industrial inkjet business.
Speaking at this week’s pre-Drupa media conference as the Rialto news was announced, EFI chief executive Guy Gecht said: “Water-based ink is going to be a big part of what we do in future.”
EFI said it planned to enhance its inkjet portfolio with Rialco's “advanced ink component capabilities” as well as growing the business into new areas.
A new report by Smithers Pira predicts that the dye-sublimation ink market Rialco serves will more than double within five years, and has forecasted an 18.4% year-on-year growth in dye-sublimated material print volumes in that time.
Gecht also hinted at some of the new products EFI will launch at Drupa. He said EFI was combining the know-how from its rugged Cretaprint system for ceramic tiles, the Jetrion label printing system and Vutek wide-format kit to create a “revolutionary” system for packaging. It is likely to target the corrugated market but Gecht would not be drawn on details.
“We are migrating our technology into other industries,” he said.
EFI is also planning to combine the attributes of its water-based and LED/UV inks for “our next evolution in ink”.
“That’s going to be as exciting as the new machine I just described and this ink will work on that machine,” Gecht added.
He said EFI had learned a lot developing a “very, very fast” Fiery front-end for Benny Landa’s Landa Nanographic B1 sheetfed press that will effectively be relaunched at the upcoming Drupa show.
“We’re in the same hall as Landa so will share the traffic. He’s ready for the show, that’s for sure,” Gecht said. “As an industry we need him to be successful, it will drive more digital printing.”
The Rialco purchase continues EFI's acquisitive trend. Last year the California, US-headquartered company acquired wide-format printer manufacturers Reggiani Macchine and Matan and MIS developer Shuttleworth Business Systems.
EFI reported a 12% annual sales rise to $882.5m in its annual accounts for the year ending 31 December 2015.