Based in Veitshöchheim, a few kilometres from KBA’s main plant in Würzburg, Metronic employs around 300 people and for the current business year is targeting a moderate profit on sales totalling more than US43.5m. It was consolidated in the group accounts in the first quarter.
Last year Metronic defied the downturn with new product launches, among them the Premius for printing optical data storage devices such as CDs, CD-Rs and fast-selling DVDs. The Premius can be seen at the MediaTech trade fair in Frankfurt, May 25 - 27. Its proven keyless/waterless UV inking technology and automatic plate infeed guarantee fast makeready, reliable reproducibility and a brilliant offset quality.
Another new product, which made its debut last November at the Cartes 2003 card trade fair in Paris, is a UV version of the compact B3 Genius 52. The product of two years’ close collaboration with KBA, the technology of the new press draws on both companies’ extensive know-how in applications involving UV-cured and oxidative inks. Development and marketing activities have been clearly delineated, with Metronic focusing on UV technology. Further synergies are anticipated in the future.
Metronic’s expertise in industrial inkjet systems furnishes a springboard for the development of digital printing systems and underscores the emerging interplay between printing and ID technology. The company has already established a firm foothold in the digital inkjet market and was instrumental in developing Agfa-dotrix’ the.factory, a single-pass digital inkjet engine incorporating piezo printing heads.
Metronic has also expanded its presence in the market for freely programmable product ID systems using laser and thermal transfer technology. Laser systems, with their high resolution and low running costs, are a logical complement to freely programmable inkjet systems for product coding. Special coatings that change colour upon exposure to a laser beam offer enormous potential not only for Metronic’s niche applications, eg personalising cards, but also for some of KBA’s products.