When Heidie-Mari Middel took on the role of Production Specialist at Kyocera Document Solutions South Africa, the country was in the grip of the pandemic. Eighteen months into the job, she says that there is much to look forward to in the production printing space.
‘We launched our first cut sheet inkjet device in the market and are extremely happy with how it has been received, with more than 165 devices installed worldwide,’ says Middel. ‘Our roadmap will continue with inkjet, and we are excited about what lies ahead for inkjet printing. Because it reduces prepress costs and waste, while offering mass customisation and shorter production runs, there is no doubt that the uptake in the market will grow.’
Middel adds that printing technology has gone through a big change over the last 20 years, with printing markets having needed to adapt accordingly. This has also meant that clients’ demands have changed.
‘Inkjet has grown exponentially for the production of personalised mailings to print transactional details and direct mail. It is an excellent low-cost alternative to laser printing offset pre-printed pages, with full-colour single-pass inkjet saving time and reducing waste. It is also perfect for printing on all kinds of media.’
Kyocera SA has installed its first inkjet production press, the TASKAlfa Pro 15000c, at a demo site in Pretoria and will be monitoring its performance closely. A case study will be compiled and shared with the market once the demo period is concluded.
With production inkjet technology having advanced rapidly, it is gaining appeal as a simple, fast, reliable and affordable alternative to toner-based presses. ‘For the production printing sector, the cost-savings are significant,’ Middel adds. ‘Inkjet allows for a more competitive and more profitable way to increase revenue and drive business growth. We believe inkjet will continue to be one of the fastest-growing markets in print production.’
Describing herself as a “print nerd”, Middel says she is drawn to the industry by the smell of freshly printed paper, and the creativity intrinsic to packaging, displays and design. ‘My career has allowed me to work closely with customers and be part of the creative process,’ she says. ‘I really enjoy learning and evolving with the industry and the technology.’