DPS Innovations: Connecting global innovation for industrial printing

DPS Innovations grew out of a company previously known as SUN Innovations. After some time,  the R&D Team branched off into separate company. The key people at DPS have been in the industry for many years developing the connecting technology for head systems manufactured by Konica Minolta, Ricoh, Fujifilm Dimatix and Xaar.

DPS Innovations focuses on the development and supply of control electronics and UV LED ink curing units to printer manufacturers and integrators worldwide.

DPS Innovations were established in Novosibirsk, Russia, and when we spoke with Konstantin Kruk (Business Development Director at DPS), the town had a deep covering of snow which is a common sight for most of the winter. But DPS Innovations is growing despite the cold! And now, with their Head Office located in Switzerland, Sales and Technical Support guys there are now able to widen their geographical reach to cover all of the key markets across the world. 

                                       DPS Innovations HQ, Crans-Montana, Switzerland

                                       DPS Innovations HQ, Crans-Montana, Switzerland

The defining focus for the business, according to Konstantin, is most certainly innovation.

He explains, “DPS Innovations are focused on being part of the push towards the advanced print technology for industrial printing. This also includes wide format and single pass for any innovative business, anywhere in the world. We are now busy developing products for Brazil, India, China, Korea, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, France, Switzerland, Poland, Germany and Czech Republic.

I am pleased with our progress especially when you consider that only 2 years ago the business only really served two companies, one Korean and one German equipment manufacturer. Since then we have widened our offering of technology from Xaar and Konica Minolta heads to also include the Ricoh MH series printheads, and GH2220, which is the new Ricoh head that was announced back at the IMI Conference back in November 2014 in Barcelona.”

DPS Innovations supply an entire control system for inkjet equipment developers, including data path hardware, print heads, motion controllers, the ink supply system, and software that controls all of these through the user-friendly customisable interface. 

Konstantin continues, “We pretty much provide solutions from the RIP base through. We are an end-to-end solutions provider that focuses upon getting the print head to work using all of its declared technical capabilities. When it comes to material deposition using inkjet print heads, it is about handling diverse and sometimes viscose materials. It is amazing really when you consider the range from printed electronics through to 3D Print. For our business this makes us both flexible and experienced in providing technological solutions across a wide range of industries. As well as providing the mother boards, DPS Innovation is also involved in developing the ‘brain’ for the controlling software and hardware of the machinery itself.”

DPS supplies control electronics to manufacturers of printing technologies worldwide. The electronics components are created in a modular style, meaning that the product is very versatile enabling the manufacturer fast development of new types of printing equipment, and easy customisation. Typically, the control set includes a set of boards necessary to have control of all functional elements of the printer including the motion control system, the ink supply system (vacuum/air supply to print heads), data transfer system, print head drivers, and any additional system operations that may be necessary. 

In terms of the electronics, it is similar for solvent, UV, textile and ceramic applications.

Konstantin continues, “We have proven driver board solutions for the following print heads: Ricoh Gen4/Gen5, Konica Minolta 512/1024/1024i, Fujifilm Dimatix StarFire SG-1024, XAAR 1001/1002. For any other print heads our developers can design a personality board within 2 or 3 months upon request.”

I made the point that whilst it is interesting and impressive, it doesn’t necessarily distinguish DPS from any another business.  So I asked Konstantin a few more questions.

So what makes DPS different?

“Personally I think it is the very hands on approach that we take, our customer focus and the fact we are very involved in the development of the machine with the customer. We try to be flexible on the cost where possible to help the customer, depending on the economics of the market. We are capable of customising our software, so it is not just one thing and that’s it. Certain add-ons can be implemented sometimes for no charge, whilst other times, there may be a small cost. Increasingly we have some customers that need customised solutions that are not suited to standardised products.” 

So is DPS growing? 

“Yes we have grown the business considerably in a short time. At the moment we have a large amount of enquiries for the Ricoh Gen5, as it is a print head that is on the verge of great popularity. We are really promoting it and have a lot of incoming requests for this and this is enabling us to grow. When it comes to digital printing in general, we have been part of the process of converting analogue companies to digital and whilst working with established leaders like THIEME GmbH showing their digital product which features our technology.”

What kind of trends are you seeing?

“We are seeing plenty of traditional print machinery manufacturers adding digital to their analogue screen printing machinery. This is an increasing trend that we are seeing where digital technology is able to add personalised and customised value to the analogue technology. This hybrid approach has tremendous value we think. The machines use the same path principle as analogue.” 

What kind of applications are they running? 

“It is varied. But it is very visible in direct to garment production. But we really see industrial as the next level where you add a unit with their digital printing onto an industrial manufacturing line. We can see a future collaboration with manufacturers building packaging solutions for FMCG companies.

So do you think that everything that is printed analogue will now go to digital? 

“Not entirely, because this is a cost issue and as they don’t think through properly what digital can do for them. They think it sounds expensive because they think they just need to swap everything from digital to analogue and the cost for the ink alone is sometimes 5 times higher. People are still not quite sure of the potential of digital. I believe that for industrial production, it is not a replacement technology. And as soon as they learn what it is capable of it will become more widespread.

We really have to sell the creative opportunities to them. Our sales depend on the sales of the manufacturer, in order for them to have a productive relationship with us, they need to see the reality of the commercial situation and that it has potential to drive new value for them." 

What segment of industrial production in your opinion is really buzzing at the moment, and what inkjet heads are the ones to really focus on?

“Textile seems to be exciting. Kyocera’s head seems to hold the majority of the market, but we see a tremendous opportunity here for new technologies. Fujifilm Dimatix’s Starfire SG-1024 head is very good and we have some great solutions for the integration of this head. We have a project working for ceramics, but it is still a very good market despite the bad news surrounding the industry. The Dimatix head is great, there are not too many solutions for it. It takes a different look at the application output. From Tecnagrilla it was clear all of the manufacturers had become a bit stagnant – maybe they are waiting for the introduction of new heads to do new things? Indeed, the Starfire may revitalise the market.

We also see that material deposition is growing in its use. By this I mean non-ink deposition where inkjet is part of the process of manufacturing that is not only decorative but functional as well. This is something else entirely, but it is a trend that is difficult to predict where it will go. We have one project in Korea which is very experimental but the potential is huge."

What do DPS Innovations want to achieve by exhibiting at InPrint?

“Obviously we want more business, more contacts, better exposure, whilst meeting a lot of visitors to see industrial printing and digital printing. I have very strong optimism in line with the fact that InPrint is leading the promotion of industrial printing technologies and this is important because we think that more people need to understand what is possible with industrial print technology – informing, inspiring and educating manufacturing production people is really important as the possibilities with industrial print technology are really exciting. But a lot of manufacturers just do not understand what is possible. We look forward to educating as many as possible at InPrint.”

Meet up with Konstantin and the team at InPrint, Hall A6, Booth number F57.