Agfa Offset Solutions preps for independence, focus on customer value
Thursday, December 1, 2022
Agfa Offset Solutions is readying a new name for its future as a standalone business.
In August Agfa announced that it was selling the division – its biggest business unit – to Aurelius Group in a €92m (£78.9m) deal.
Offset Solutions held a Value Conference event earlier this week in Brussels targeting packaging customers that use the offset printing process.
Frederik Dehing, vice president of sales and service, said the firm was confident about the future as a standalone. He said that it would ultimately involve “positive change” for both customers and the business.
He also confirmed that a new name was in the works.
“The brand name will no longer be Agfa, the name will change. We are currently preparing the new name,” he stated.
Printweek understands that a fresh designation has been selected, but is being kept under wraps while Offset Solutions completes all the customary checks necessary when establishing a new global brand, along with securing the requisite domain names and social channels.
Following the recent news that Fujifilm plans to cease plate manufacturing at its Tilburg factory, Dehing also took the opportunity to reiterate Offset Solutions’ commitment to European plate production.
The business has three plate manufacturing plants: Wiesbaden in Germany, Suzano in Brazil, and Wuxi in China, and sells around 95m square metres of plates worldwide. The company claims a market-leading position in Europe and Latin America.
“Offset will remain the dominant process for the next five-to-ten years. Offset packaging is growing strongly and is the focus of significant R&D spend,” Dehing stated.
Offset Solutions is Agfa’s biggest division. It had sales of €748m last year and has returned to profitability this year due to a combination of price increases and cost cutting measures.
The sale to Aurelius is expected to complete in Q1 2023. Agfa Offset Solutions has an agreement to keep using the Agfa name for a year, should it need to. Product names will not change.
The Value Conference featured bold 'evolve' messaging and began with an inspiring keynote from former ad agency exec Kevin Jackson, founder of The Experience is The Marketing, who emphasised the importance of “brand behaviour – the way you keep your promises”.
“You can make any claim you like, it’s what you do that matters,” he said.
The event also included customer case studies involving robotic plate handling; an exploration about the pros and cons of chem-free and processless plates; and how the use of Offset Solutions’ specialist software suite and Spir@l screening technology can deliver a raft of production benefits including ink savings.
The tools form part of the firm's ‘Eco3’ technology approach focused on ecology, economy and extra convenience.
Alexander Puggioni, European head of presales software, said that since 2018 around 260 companies across Europe using the software had saved some 8.6m kg of ink.
Sue Tait, global head of governance and sustainability at marketing production agency Tag, spoke about Tag’s use of PressTune and PressSign for press passing (white labelled as its Colour Connect tool), without the need to be on-site at global locations – something that was impossible anyway during pandemic restrictions.
“Location should not limit control. Our partnership with Agfa provides reassurance and measurement to the highest standards,” she explained.
“Clients can press pass in seconds wherever they are. The cloud-based technology gives Tag and our clients peace of mind.”
Around 100 of Tag’s suppliers are connected to the system, which is used by a number of blue-chip brands with more set to follow next year.
For more on the topics discussed at the Value Conference, see the next issue of Printweek magazine.