Page 22 - Print 21 Magazine Sep-Oct 2018
P. 22

Japan technology
Big Sight in Tokyo
Print typhoon – IGAS Japan technology
In the 21st century Japanese technology has swept across the printing industry altering the landscape away from its traditional European and
US centric manufacturing. Japanese brands now account for most of the digital equipment used by the printing industry. From office-style desktop printers to B2-size inkjet presses and everything in between,
the Japanese powerhouse of manufacturing excellence
and technical innovation has claimed an ever-greater share. Patrick Howard went to IGAS
to discover the success formula behind the rising sun of the East.
‘Made in Japan,’ the brand, has come a long
way from the time when it was used to denigrate the quality of
everything from cars to cameras. Nowadays ‘Made in Japan,’ is recognised as describing products of the highest quality and technical expertise in everything from robotics to synthesisers, ship building to cameras. Fuelled by its mastery of manufacturing technology, Japan rose from defeat to become the second largest economy in the world during the latter part of the previous century. Since the dawn of the 21st it has consolidated its reputation as the preeminent supplier and innovator of high technology and sophisticated manufacturing.
Nowhere is this more marked than in the Japanese dominance of the printing equipment sector. With notable exceptions, such as the US-based HP, the digital print revolution has taken on an unassailable
Japanese character. The honour roll goes
on and includes such iconic companies as Epson, Konica Minolta, Screen, Komori, Mimaki, Fujifilm, Fuji Xerox, Mutoh, Oki, Ricoh, Roland, Canon, and more... This Japanese orientation of the industry becomes increasingly clear when walking around the aisles of IGAS; the graphic arts trade show at Big Sight out in Tokyo Bay. While two of the world’s largest offset press manufacturers, Komori and RMGT (the merged entity of Ryobi and Mitsubishi), claimed their status with large stands in separate halls, IGAS was, like everything else these years, mostly a digital show.
(While there was no sign of the Komori Landa-based press, which is about to
make its presence felt, there was the Impremia IS29, using Konica Minolta inkjet technology. Komori is on the cusp of a digital transformation.)
Toner and laser printing, the original bedrock of digital printing, were invented

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