By Arthur W. Lefebvre
Already producing short run waterless polyester- and aluminum-based plates for DI presses, the Israelibased company VIM will introduce the DO-S DirectPlate, a new high performance version of its aluminum plate. This plate is said to yield print runs in the neighborhood of 100,000 impressions and render screen ruling of up to 350 lpi. The announcement came during the World Waterless Printing Conference held on 19, September at Tokyo’s IGAS Exhibition.
VIM has a long history in the graphic arts beginning with Scitex Corporation Ltd. (from the late 1960s -2005) which was founded by Israeli Efraim (Efi) Arazi. The firm was a flagship of Israeli industry, specialized in producing products, systems and equipment for the graphics design, printing and publishing markets.
By the late 1990s Scitex was divided into three principal business units: Scitex Graphic Arts Group—acquired by Creo Inc.—2000; Scitex Digital Printing, sold to Kodak - 2004 and Scitex Vision, which was sold to Hewlett- Packard (HP)—2005. Several companies have been spawned out of Scitex. These companies and products include Inkjet technologies (Objet, Scodix, Diptech, Matan, Korni), Digital Printing Technologies (VIM Technologies, Digiflex) and Indigo N.V. (digital offset color printing) which was founded by Benny Landa in 1977. Hewlet Packard acquired Indigo in 2001.
Mr. Avigdor Bieber had the honor of making the IGAS presentation to an audience largely made up of Japanese waterless printers. Mr. Bieber was general manager and chief technical officer at Scitex where he was responsible for the Eray plotter, the Raystar imagesetter and the famous Scitex Dolev.
He was also founder and president of Karat Digital Press a joint venture between Scitex and KBA. The 74Karat was the 1st four up DI digital press, introduced in 2000 and sold over 100 units.
As founder of VIM Technologies, Mr. Bieber currently serves as the firm’s CEO and chairman of the board. Besides the digital processless waterless plates, the company boasts an impressive line-up of digital technologies including the JT Inkjet DirectPlate, the Inkjet CTP system and Inkjet digital process-less, chemistry-free plates VIM was started in 2001 by a group of industry veterans whose research and development are strongly supported by the Israeli Office of the Chief Scientist located in the Ministry of Industry Trade and Labor. In just a few short years VIM has established itself in Europe, North America, Japan, Central America, and the Pacific region. There are 40 active dealers world-wide with hundreds of customers According to Mr. Bieber VIM’s Business Model is to focus on developing innovative and proprietary technologies and products in the Digital Printing market.
They will sell the consumables and related msystems to generate recurring “annuity” streams via their waterless DP-R, DOB, DO-S plates and the JT Inkjet CTP systems & related disposables. They intend to keep the manufacture of proprietary stages inhouse while outsourcing common production stages.
VIM’s overall Business strategy is to offer the right products and technology for the changing graphic arts industry, with a focus on VIM WL products that serve the needs for short runs, on demand printing (POD market), as well as long run offset presses. They position their products as green solutions because they are chemistry-free and process-less ablative plates that can be used with any thermal CTP that exists in the market.
VIM’s challenge is to gain a foothold in the markets already occupied by Presstek and Toray.