Aellora Digital Builds on Markem’s Experience in the Ink Jet Market
By David Savastano
Some of the most ingenious inks ever created can be found in the Ajanta and Ellora caves in India. These eye-catching paintings, done more than 1,500 years ago, show a creativity and quality that is astonishing.
These caves caught the eye of the leaders at Markem Corporation, the Keene, NH-based leaders in marking and coding equipment, supplies and services. Markem has also been making a name for itself in the digital ink and printhead industry as majority owner of Spectra, Inc., a leading developer and manufacturer of piezoelectric ink jet arrays.
In early 2003, Markem decided that the time had come to create a separate digital ink and systems division to focus on the growing marketplace for printing, imaging and dispensing. To emphasize the importance of quality and innovation in the digital field, Markem named the new company Aellora Digital, in honor of the two caves.
“The decision to establish Aellora Digital came as a result of Markem’s strategic initiatives to think outside of our traditional marking and coding business and more about opportunities in the ink jet world,” said Mario K. Carluccio, manager, marketing and business development at Aellora Digital. “It’s a natural evolution for our technologies.”
“A key reason for the creation of Aellora Digital was our ability to take advantage of Markem’s two decades of digital printing expertise to concentrate on solving DOD ink jet printing applications from a systems point of view,” said Dr. Michael Stoudt, Aellora’s Digital’s COO and corporate VP of science and engineering for Markem. “By leveraging our knowledge and experience in both digital chemistries and system integration, we will be a one-stop resource to help companies take full advantage of what DOD ink jet technology can do for them.”
With its ability to offer various ink jet arrays, advanced sub-assemblies, turn-key systems including software and air-dry, UV curable and hot melt jetting inks, Aellora Digital can provide a complete digital solution for printers, as well as a worldwide network of service and support with 24/7 coverage in more than 50 countries.
“We’ve been in the digital ink and systems businesses for the past two decades,” Mr. Carluccio said, “but have traditionally focused on marking and coding, and not on broader printing, imaging or dispensing applications. Today, for example, there is a high level of interest in the availability of white ink jet inks, something Markem has been offering for more than 18 months. In addition to white UV jettable piezo inks, Aellora Digital offers the compete system, from advanced ink jet sub-assemblies to RIP software. We pull everything together.”
Markem has committed many of its key people to the new company, assembling a team of experienced leaders led by Dr. Stoudt, who has 25 years of experience with digital imaging processes.
The company’s technologists are Dr. Richard Larson, who has been involved in several digital development programs since joining Markem in 1988, and Joseph Parisi, who has been responsible for the design and development of all ink jet and thermal transfer products at Markem.
The team includes Alan Boyer, manager, research and technology development, who has the same role at Markem; senior staff scientist Ann Reitnauer, who has developed drop-on-demand ink jet products, including hot melt and liquid inks, for the past eight years; and Mr. Carluccio.
“The knowledge and experience this team provides in digital chemistries and system integration will allow Aellora customers to get the most out of their printing requirements,” said Dr. Stoudt. “The potential is large for replacing existing technologies such as silk screen and pad printing, which require considerable set-up time and are ideally suited for ink jet, and flexo for application in direct mail, plastic cards and books. It is a large and growing opportunity, and Markem is very committed to making this happen.”