Wifag eyeing digital move after L&P/Spuhl buys

By Tom Hall, Thursday 13 November 2008

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Wifag Polytype Group, owner of newspaper printing kit manufacturer Wifag, is considering its options in the digital printing market after purchasing L&P Digital Technologies and Spuhl Digital Printing from Leggett & Platt earlier this month.

The company refused to rule out a future collaboration between its digital and newspaper arms and added that, despite the investment, it is finding current trading conditions "difficult".

Its new department will be named WP Digital AG and will be located in Wittenbach, near St. Gallen, in Switzerland. The deal includes the inkjet manufacturer's 30 staff in Switzerland and the US.

Peter Ruth, director of Polytype at Wifag, told PrintWeek: "The digital market is a huge growth area and we would like to gain a competitive edge. We are currently looking at a range of applications for digital technology.

"Certainly, digital will have an impact in the future of newspaper printing. Combining newspapers with digital is probably something we would discuss."

He added: "Most companies would be lying if they tell you the current market is not tough. We are finding it difficult but are making wise investments."

Wifag also said the new digital division is already planning to introduce a new 5m roll-to-roll digital UV press to the market next year.

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