Top Companies Report

12. FUJIFILM North America, Graphics Systems Division


850 Central Ave.

Hanover Park, IL 60133

Phone:(630) 259-7200

Fax: (630) 259-7078


U.S. Sales: $90 million (Ink World estimate)


Major Products: Offset printing plates; offset, screen, flexo and inkjet inks; digital print and wide format print equipment including the FUJIFILM Inkjet J Press 720, Inca Onset and Acuity UV flatbed printers; workflow, color management and proofing solutions; pressroom supplies; technical services and consulting services.


Key Personnel: Tak Yanagawa, division president; Todd Zimmerman, VP and GM;Terry Mitchell, VP, marketing; Chris Lomas, VP, sales wide format, John Solwold, VP, sales commercial graphics.


Number of Employees: 600.


Operating Facilities: 19.


Comments: Digital printing continues to make major inroads into traditional printing segments, and companies that are offering their customers full service from equipment through ink and consumables and even workflow solutions can have an advantage over their competitors. FUJIFILM North America, Graphics Systems Division offers its customers a complete line of digital solutions, and as a result, the company continues to enjoy growth.


“Having introduced several new products to the market in 2012, Fujifilm strengthened its market-leading position in the area of commercial offset printing plates, inkjet equipment and inks for a broad range of print technologies,” said Todd Zimmerman,vice presidentand general manager forFUJIFILM North America Corporation,Graphic Systems Division.“Market share growth and penetration of new markets enabled Fujifilm to achieve solid results in 2012.”


In an effort to meet the growing demand for expanding application and business needs, FUJIFILM North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division released a series of UV inkjet printers built on its highly successful and popular Acuity Advance platform.


The Acuity Advance Select series represents the latest in next-generation UV flatbed printers, featuring exceptional quality, improved productivity and greater versatility, allowing them to be used for a much wider range of applications. The company’s portfolio of wide format inkjet printers was also expanded with the launch of the Inca Onset S40i, the Uvistar Pro 8 and the Acuity LED, as well as its J Press 720.


“Fujifilm is proud to be recognized for innovating productivity and received the InterTech Technology Award from Printing Industries of America for the FUJIFILM J Press 720, the first half-size, sheetfed inkjet press capable of producing offset quality,” Mr. Zimmerman noted.


Mr. Zimmerman noted said that FUJIFILM is putting much emphasis on developing the high-performance inks these new presses require.


“The performance of the ink within these new inkjet equipment systems is becoming one of the key differentiating factors in the production of wide format and digital print,” Mr. Zimmerman said. “Fujifilm launched next generation Uvijet UV inks for wide format, offering market leading performance in terms of color vibrancy, image quality, adhesion flexibility and finishing capability performance. The company also introduced VIVIDIA inks for its J Press inkjet presses and water-based flexo inks for paper and film substrates.


“Fujifilm’s water-based flexo inks are a revolutionary new solution for flexographic printing, providing printers with consistent high quality results while reducing labor and variability factors inherent with current water-based flexo inks,” Mr. Zimmerman added.


Wide format continues to be a key growth area for FUJIFILM North America, Graphics Systems Division.


“The company continues to see major growth in wide format display graphic inkjet inks as the market shifts from traditional offset and screen printing to digital inkjet printing,” Mr. Zimmerman said. “Fujifilm is also seeing increased interest from commercial printers to add wide format capabilities to existing operations.


“Wide format print is growing at a rate of 7%-8% annually and is projected to continue growing at this pace for the next several years. In contrast, commercial print demand has softened, so wide format offers significant opportunity for commercial printers to diversify and grow their businesses,” Mr. Zimmerman added. “Offering more services helps printers foster current customer relationships and add value for print buyer customers.”


Fujifilm has also added wide format media to its product portfolio, and has launched several new innovative media for production of wide format graphic displays and signage.

Another area of growth is in packaging applications. Fujifilm has a broad portfolio of flexo inks – both UV and water-based – for all types of packaging and label applications. In addition, the company has previewed the Acuity LED and the J Press F (provisional name) inkjet solutions for the packaging market.


There have been several improvements and innovations in printing equipment and inks at Fujifilm in the past year. Equipment innovations include the award-winning J Press 720 and the recently introduced J Press 540 W (provisional name) web press and the J Press F (provisional name) for folding carton. The range of wide format equipment was also expanded with new models that produce higher quality output at higher production speeds.


New inkjet digital inks have been added to the portfolio to expand the range of materials and applications for inkjet printing. The new inks – Uvijet brand for wide format inkjet and Vividia brand for digital inkjet – are the result of years of R&D investment in new ink technologies for the fast growing digital inkjet market.


Mr. Zimmerman reported that raw material costs are still volatile, but are more stable than in recent years. There is still worldwide consolidation and rationalization in certain raw material supplies, and this has created supply challenges.


“That said, Fujifilm has strong global purchasing power and multiple manufacturing facilities that enable it to maximize production efficiencies and control costs,” he noted. “The company also recently opened a new ink manufacturing facility in Broadstairs, UK. This state-of-the-art facility is designed to optimize production efficiencies and effectively manage worldwide production and supply chain costs. In addition, investments were made in the Kansas City, MO manufacturing facility to expand production capabilities and effectively mange production costs.”


Mr. Zimmerman said that Fujifilm views 2013 as a pivotal year in the industry, with a more rapid pace of change from traditional analog print methods to digital print production. As a result, the company will keep innovating to continue delivering best-in-class products and services that enable customers to be highly efficient and productive and help them meet the demands of print buyers.


“Fujifilm also expects consolidation in the industry, and a broader adoption of multiple print technologies within each shop,” he added. “Cross media campaign marketing will become more common and printers will need to adapt to a more digitally driven and mobile consumer.


“The company anticipates more focus on sustainability, shrinking carbon and water footprints, using natural resources and packaging materials more efficiently and minimizing waste to become more efficient,” Mr. Zimmerman added. “In fact, Fujifilm is a Gold Sponsor of the Sustainable Green Printing Partnership, a non-profit organization providing sustainability certification in the graphic communications industry.


“It is an exciting time in print with all the changes in the industry,” Mr. Zimmerman concluded. “Fujifilm looks forward to the challenges and working closely with its customers to help them evolve with these market changes and adopt new innovations to ensure their future success.”