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INX Digital's Executive Viewpoint

By Digital Output staff

In August, we ran our annual State of the Industry report. This seven-part Industry Profile series, which began in the September issue, includes additional insight from many of the participants, such as INX Digital International Co. Based in San Leandro, CA, the company is the digital arm of INX International Ink Co. and part of the Sakata INX worldwide network. It offers a full palette of digital ink systems and application and technology integration services.

 

Advancement with Struggle

Technological advancements occurred in all industry segments over the past two years due to research and development (R&D) companies continuing funding next generation products.

 

“A lot of companies had resources and time that they wouldn’t have had in a good economy. At INX Digital we refocused the R&D group and hired more chemists. This allowed our R&D to have phenomenal progress during a fairly short period of time,” explains Ken Kisner, president, INX Digital.

 

Thanks to this, inkjet technology is positioned to increase market share in new industrial areas—packaging, textile, printed electronics, glass and tile, and identification badges. Kisner cites low-cost variable printing as another addition. It allows big box retailers such as Wal-Mart to require a new generation of bar coding and RFID technology on every product. “This requirement is only possible because of digital technology, where every single package can have a unique serial number,” he adds.

 

INX Digital capitalized on these new segments. It plans to focus on three in the coming years to remain a strategic market player with a fair market share that ranges from 20 to 40 percent in each segment.

 

One focus is textiles. “We think it’s going to go through a second boom. The faster printheads, the finer resolution; it now competes on a new level with traditional rotary screens,” says Kisner. The company already released one product line, Triangle DTX, a product for Epson DX4 and DX5 printheads. INX Digital is now concentrating on higher viscosity textile inks for the industrial market.

 

Raw Material Shortages

On an economic level, raw material prices and shortages place pressure on all companies. INX Digital’s procurement group assures constant supplies, but rising costs are unavoidable.

 

“When the economy rebounded, raw material suppliers were at full capacity and shortages caused prices to rise. Raw material suppliers are making unheard of profits and prices are reaching new heights, becoming a real threat,” explains Kisner.

 

Customer Success

Despite cost increases, INX Digital is committed to helping customers succeed. “If we allow a customer to run out of cyan ink, we shut them down. If you’re not producing a product that fits the business model, neither of us succeeds. We consider this a big responsibility,” acknowledges Kisner.

 

In response, INX Digital strengthened its customer service department, tripling the size. Also, it is educating its dealer channels with a new training portal, smartINX.com. The site is available 24/7 and provides sales overview and insight into products.

 

As INX Digital has grown over the years—originally Triangle Digital and renamed and acquired by Sakata INX—it has kept one philosophy at the forefront of others, customer service is on top.

 

“We’ve continued with our entrepreneurial spirit and thrived, all while taking care of the customer through developing innovative products, delivering on time, and providing consistency,” advises Kisner.

 

The next installment of this Industry Profile column features Mimaki USA, Inc.

 

Oct2011, Digital Output

 
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