The new subsidiary of the Cambridgeshire-headquartered firm, Industrial Inkjet USA, opened its 200sqm office in Golden, Colorado on 1 May. It is headed up by Graham Vlcek, a former regional sales manager for US-based Precision Motion Control, who joined IIJ in January.
The move follows a £2m investment last year in the development of a new customer centre adjacent to IIJ’s original premises in Swavesey, Cambridgeshire.
“The basic premise of the operation is to make it easier for US-based customers to do deals with inkjet products,” said Vlcek.
“I proposed it to IIJ after understanding some of the difficulties they’ve had within the US markets in the last couple of years in going to market. The idea was to allow US customers to interact with a US-based company, purchase in dollars and work with us during the US workday.”
IIJ managing director John Corrall said it had made perfect sense to establish a US corporation and that the 45-staff company has a “huge amount of investment and activity planned in North America”.
The new subsidiary will also act as a training and demonstration centre for potential clients. Vlcek intends to invest in a roll-to-roll system and an XY development system for its training room, along with training rigs for printhead operation maintenance.
Two staff are currently employed in the office, Vlcek and a business development manager, but he is looking to bring in three more by the end of next year.
“It is a way to gain new experience and capabilities for myself as well as offering easier methods for doing business for our US-based customers,” he added.
IIJ manufactures custom digital print engines, development tools, kits and equipment based on Konica Minolta printheads. Earlier this year, it teamed up with Konica Minolta to develop a system that can digitally print wallpaper on a range of media at speeds of up to 70m/min.