Inca: A Genius Idea

The last few years have seen huge technical advances in digital inkjet print in terms of quality and productivity. Inkjet printing has made massive inroads into new areas such as packaging, ceramics and textiles. These new and lucrative sectors offer tremendous opportunities for companies looking to provide innovative product and service solutions to new markets and territories. According to Ciara McGahey, Inca Genius, a part of Inca Digital, serves as the ‘development and manufacturing hub’ to bring those projects to reality. We talked to Ciara about Inca Genius and what it brings to the marketplace for industrial printing.

Tell us about Inca

"Inca is one of the world’s leading pioneers and manufacturers of flatbed inkjet printing technology. It was the first company to design and manufacture a moving table flatbed printer for the printing industry in 2001 with the Eagle 44. We are an innovator and leader in the field of inkjet producing various machine model designs to date, resulting in industry acclaim.

Our big moment really came in 2007 with the launch of the Inca Onset. This technology helped create a paradigm shift in digital print quality delivering a solution that could match screen printing volume and that would become a real workhorse for its owners.

Since the launch of the Onset, Inca has expanded its range, now with the Onset X series, with a print carriage that can incorporate up to 14 ink channels and a top speed of 900sqm/hr. With this ongoing product development Inca continuously seeks new solutions to the challenges their customers encounter.”

What is Inca Genius?

“Inca Genius is a part of Inca Digital which is focused on the development of industrial inkjet printing. Inca Genius leverages the knowledge, established technology and experience of in-house development, production and support teams in areas such as mechanical engineering, printhead technologies, substrates, and software development. Together with close partner relations with leading ink manufacturers, head developers and RIP vendors, Inca Genius provides a complete resource for the development of new and exciting inkjet print solutions. Whether the requirement is for an inline print engine or a complete standalone digital print solution, Inca Genius provides the technical, application and commercial expertise to help realise the full potential of digital print.”

Inca Genius draws on the accrued knowledge and expertise of Inca Digital

Inca Genius draws on the accrued knowledge and expertise of Inca Digital

How will you work with new partners, what will they be gaining by working with Inca Genius?

 “As opposed to Inca Digital, Inca Genius is not just about selling standardised machinery. Based on our industry leading print engine technologies, we are interested in developing specific machine types with partners to open new markets. So for Inca Genius it really is an end to end solution from R&D through to manufacturing. We have experience in developing industrial print solutions as early as 2005 when we worked with a company in the US with our Colombia Turbo 220, which was used specifically for printing doors. This was an early industrial collaboration which was quite ahead of its time. In 2007 we developed a single pass industrial inkjet printer which was a joint development with Sun Chemical for post press corrugated board. Recently we are now seeing similar machines being launched for this application. In essence we have worked outside our core sector for quite some time with a more industrial focus.”

So Inca Genius can help manufacturers and industrial printer’s access new possibilities?

“Yes that is correct. Inca Genius technology can print with inkjet onto a range of different applications demonstrating that inkjet-based print solutions can be used on a variety of substrates, including wood, metal, laminates, wallpaper, synthetic leather and folding cartons.”

How is Inca Genius planning to gain new customers in new markets?

“Our strategy is to build up our distributor network. We are looking to expand into new segments by finding partners who already have access to industrial markets. We have already begun this process by appointing Marabu GmbH Co Kg to distribute our SpyderXi machine. We would welcome any serious discussions with companies that may be interested in providing our technology to other industrial sectors.”

How long has Inca Genius been in existence?

“Inca Genius launched in 2015, a month before the InPrint Show in Munich, where we exhibited our industrial capabilities. This was our first booth to promote Inca’s core technologies.  

The Inca Genius microsite (http://www.incagenius.com/) was developed to promote Inca in industrial markets. The microsite gives us a good opportunity to learn of the requirements for industrial applications by speaking to industry players.

So why is the time right now for industrial inkjet printing?

“Inca’s inkjet technology, quality and achievable speed has developed to the extent that it is challenging traditional printing, besides from screen printing. There is a much wider variety of ink and printhead choices available today. Not many people realise that Inca develops its own electronics for driving the printheads.

So do you sell the machinery and the customer does the rest?

“Today, we sell standard machinery and the customer can integrate it in their production line. Industrial demands are high; the technology needs to be robust, especially if you consider there is often a requirement for a primer or coating solution. It is more challenging than the POP market, but that is what makes this sector so dynamic and interesting.

Inca has an established Global service network to continue supporting its customers after installation.”

You have mentioned the word ‘partner’, how would you define an ideal partner?

“An ideal partner would be a manufacturer who is looking to integrate inkjet technology. This would represent the ideal mix. So they have a customer base, but not the internal experience or competence with inkjet. This is where we can really help collaborate to create the right technology for the specific job at hand.

Inca Genius is the perfect partner for companies looking to develop and manufacture inkjet-based imaging equipment for specific industrial applications. Our experience allows us to develop industrially reliable print, with a dedicated team of designers, engineers and software specialists. Inca Genius can help companies realise their ideas for inkjet-driven print and manufacturing solutions.”

So you are not so interested in partnering with a digital company?

“We are happy to work with other digital player assuming there is no conflict and it is complementary for both of us.”

What has InPrint done for Inca?

“InPrint has helped us to crystallise our industrial print offering and it raised our profile generally. We are now getting plenty of enquiries which is exciting and rewarding especially considering that it was our first individual booth in around 10 years! Through the show we have achieved new work with and have opened up new discussions about industrial. So as a result, the internal application team has grown. This is all part of Inca Genius but it is still in the early stages, our horizons have grown significantly.   We now have a much bigger library of knowledge about applications, so will develop into new markets.. Having the support of our parent company SCREEN GP [MC1] has also opened up our business to new markets which has been tremendously helpful.”

Applications for industrial printing with Inca Genius technology

Applications for industrial printing with Inca Genius technology

Why have you used the word ‘Genius’?

“We picked Genius because this was a way to sum up all of these concepts and because we are part of the Cambridge inkjet cluster we do have considerable expertise to draw upon. I believe that expertise and experience is so vital when integrating industrial inkjet into demanding manufacturing environments customers must feel confident in the partner they are choosing to help them to introduce inkjet into their production. Genius is a word that conveys confidence, passion and positivity about our experience, products and our expertise as ultimately this is what people are buying into.”

If you would like to discuss anything in terms of developing industrial printing applications then please contact us (incagenius@incadigital.com)