MGI “Evo” Embellishment Printer Adds Dimension to Konica Minolta Expansion


It’s no secret that Konica Minolta has been on a mission to grow its presence across the spectrum of printing markets, even as these markets amalgamate and transition. Indeed, the printing industry as a whole is in a unique condition, simultaneously stagnant in terms of overall revenue, but also vibrant as incipient technologies open new doors.

“If we are in a zero growth global business market, then it stands to reason that we need to achieve our growth by moving into new niches,” said Gavin Jordan-Smith VP and GM, Industrial Print and Graphic Communications, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A. “In many cases, that means acquiring new technology as well as developing it in house.”

With specialty markets showing robust growth trends within the larger commercial print arena, Konica Minolta’s burgeoning collaborative partnership with MGI Digital Technology is a major component of that strategy. Konica Minolta began co-marketing MGI digital presses in 2014 and gradually acquired a 40.5% stake in the Fresnes, France- based manufacturer. The two companies began exhibiting products together in 2017.

At Print 18 in Chicago, one of the tangible fruits of the strategy was the MGI JETvarnish 3D Evolution (Evo), a piezo-electric “digital enhancement press” designed to create dimensional effects on pre-printed sheets up to 29-in x 47-in. The “Evo” was specifically developed to allow commercial and digital printers to generate new revenue with their current print assets by offering specialty varnishes, UV spot coats and hot foiling effects. Dimensional embellishment is all the rage in packaging, business cards, book covers and specialty marketing collateral. The automated digital process offered by the “Evo”, of course, requires no plates, screens or dies, making special dimensional effects economically viable for short-runs.

Driving the serious interest in the JETvarnish 3D is the Artificial Intelligence SmartScanner (AIS), which digitally controls the registration process. Printers can execute fast prototyping and short run customization, but what might be especially interesting is the ability to deploy on the fly variable data to personal printed pieces. MGI’s software suite also includes management tools such as a job cost calculator, workstation image editor and a reprinting utility.

km-mgi-embellishment.jpg - MGI Jetvarnish

All in all, the Evo should enable a significant spectrum of printers to offer their customers whiz bang effects without getting involved in a long learning curve.

“Embellishment technology is becoming a big deal for us as we continue to transform our operations,” said Jordan-smith. “The MGI partnership allows us to leverage inkjet engines on an MGI platform, which means we are able to grow quickly into new applications.”

MGI is describing the JETvarnish 3D Evolution as the “flagship” of a growing lineup of digital enhancement presses, including the MGI JETvarnish 3D Web and the MGI JETvarnish 3DS.

The JETvarnish 3D Evo is available in three different paper formats: 20 x 47-in (52 x 120 cm) 64 x 120 cm/25 x 47” and 75 x 120 cm/ 29 x47"). It images on substrates up to 24 mil and operates up to 3,000 B2 sheets per hour.

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