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drupa – Jeff Jacobson comes out swinging at media conference

Wednesday, 23 January 2008
By Print 21 Online Article

Presstex’s new ceo is determined to breathe new life into the direct imaging (DI) company in the face of industry scepticism.

Well-known industry identity and high-powered corporate achiever, Jeff Jacobson, late of Kodak and KPG, announced an ambitious strategy to energise the DI offset press manufacturer. He appears convinced that the company’s large channel to market network in the US, following its buyout of Danka, gives Presstex a unique advantage.

Presstex’s natural market are the small offset printers – presented as those with a sub-$5 million turnover, but in reality less than that – which fly below the radar of most of the big pressmakers. In his presentation to the drupa international media conference at Düsseldorf this week, Jacobson revealed his determination to not only supply this market with a lot more products from other manufacturers, but to migrate the DI technology upscale into large format presses.

Despite Heidelberg, for one, walking away from the DI concept, Jacobson is convinced the technology is a good fit for small printers faced with the challenge of digital printing for short runs. Currently Presstex sells 200 press units a year around the world, although not many in Australia and NZ.

The chemistry free plate technology that is the company’s intellectual treasure is touted as being able to produce saleable print within 20 sheets from start up. The company has two press models, which are made under licence for it by Japanese manufacturer Ryobi, the 52DI and the smaller portrait format 34DI.

With a turnover of more than $250 million and holding over 500 patents in the field, Presstex is no mean player. Jacobson, who joined the company from Kodak last May, has assembled a high-powered management team that includes two former Kodak executives. He took the opportunity of the media conference to put a stick in the ground for a major increase in the size of the company by drupa 2012.

But for this show, it will be more of the same technology albeit with a different attitude.

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