Ricoh has opened its European Ink Jet Technical Centre at its Telford, Shropshire site in the UK.
It is part of a greater local focus on industrial inkjet in Europe, which includes the appointment of Graham Kennedy as business development manager, Industrial Print for Ricoh Europe. Kennedy was previously involved in the roll-out of the firm’s wide-format products including the LX4100.
The centre will support the whole gamut of inkjet applications including wide-format graphics, digital print embellishment, textiles, printed electronics and 3D printing.
“I have been meeting customers from across Europe already to assess their confidence in our competence,” said Kennedy. “The general reaction has been really positive, and I’m encouraged by the level of support.”
The centre includes a full laboratory set-up that enables Ricoh to support its OEM partners in analysing jetting characteristics, waveform design and fluid compatibility. Newly appointed staff include a technical manager, who has come from the firm’s R&D team in Japan, along with a chemist, mechanical engineer and technical sales manager.
Previously these functions were carried out at Ricoh’s printhead systems business’ factory in California, US.
“To grow in the European market we needed a European support centre,” said Kennedy. “It will enable us to be on-site at our customers more frequently and to provide better remote support by being in the same time zone.”
Kennedy declined to mention specific customers due to NDAs between Ricoh and its clients but its printheads are used in a wide range of equipment in the target markets, including Stratsys’ Objet 3D printers.
It unveiled the opening as it attended the inaugural InPrint show for industrial printing in Hannover, Germany.