Ferrostaal points to positives in Ryobi Mitsubishi joint venture

Ferrostaal Equipment Solutions North America has highlighted the potential upside of a combined Ryobi and Mitsubishi offset press business after the pair signed a letter of intent this week.

John Torrey, president of Ferrostaal Equipment Solutions North America, told PrintWeek: "I think it’s going to be extremely positive. We’re optimistic that [the JV] will be marketed through Ryobi — and if it is, Ryobi is committed to the model that they have set up for sales and marketing, which would be to work with Ferrostaal."

Torrey added: "One of the commitments that Ryobi made at a dealer meeting in Germany (during Drupa) was that they would have a competitive large format machine — which they defined as a 40" machine — available in 2013. They didn’t say how they were going to get there, but this is a way to get them into the 40" conversation overnight."

As for the joint venture, Torrey suggested it is a reflection of what’s been happening in global commercial printing for years. "We watched paper companies consolidate, we’ve seen printers consolidate and now we’re watching machine manufacturers consolidate to create more efficiencies," he said.

Ferrostaal has had several successful Ryobi installs in recent years, but Torrey said perhaps more important has been the hard work in successfully setting up and now operating a sales and service network that stretches across the US and deep into Canada.

"I do think the sales cycle for Ryobi — or any printing press — is 12 to 18 months from start to finish," he said. "So when you think that we’ve only been open for just over a year, we’re very happy with where we are."

Far from adding any uncertainty, Torrey predicted the joint venture will end up helping Ferrostaal market and sell Ryobi presses in North America. "What this does is highlight’s Ryobi’s ability to keep investing in our industry," he explained.

"They’re the leading manufacturer in LED technology with more than 40 placements in Japan. They also introduced a liquid toner machine in Germany at drupa, which is still on schedule to come out later in the year. And now they just made this commitment to say we’re going to have a full line of printing presses, from a small duplicator press all the way to a 40" or maybe even larger."

With its sale/service infrastructure now in place, Ferrostaal Equipment Solutions North America also complements its work with Ryobi by taking on additional manufacturers. "We just announced the addition of Busch Schneider Senator portfolio out of Germany," Torrey said.

"We’re also in the process on introducing Soma Engineering, which produces flexographic machines - and we’re also introducing other flexographic machines from Tresu Flexo Concept, including the Tresu Innovator for the packaging arena. Finally, we’ll have an agreement shortly for a digital machine for the label business."

Torrey stressed the company is focusing on only one manufacturer for each segment within the equipment space, adding: "One of the things that has happened is that a lot of small to medium manufacturers are now looking at Ferrostaal and saying, ‘The market is smaller and margins have been reduced and we can no longer afford to have our own sales and service organization in every country.’ So they’re looking for a more efficient way to do it — and that’s what our model offers."


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