2024 Print Leaders Forum: Matt Ashman, Durst Oceania

2023 was a huge year in the large format market and our business grew exponentially. Once again, we achieved triple digit growth year on year which clearly shows that Durst is continuing to listen to the market and deliver equipment, software, and solutions that the industry needs and wants.

Durst is committed to manufacturing and will continue to invest heavily into research and development driving innovation for years to come providing reassurance for our existing and future customers as we not only focus on our strengths with new products, while also supporting existing products.

We are not a company that seeks to divest our products or outsource research and development to other businesses as we seek to grow our proprietary technology. We never seek to dilute our product offering or dispose of technological platforms.

This point was proven at a Durst open house where a local business was operating not one, but two brand new Durst products featuring our latest technology alongside a 13 year-old Durst machine– that still produces print every day. We will continue to support these products, regardless of age, for the foreseeable future and I am very proud to be able to support our long-standing customers.

In 2024, businesses are purchasing products based on who they can trust and who will be able to support them, rather than the old paradigm of speeds and feeds. Over the last 12 months within always disappointing to see. The good news is that the vast majority of printing companies are showing strong growth and sharing plans with us for their reinvestment in digital equipment. These companies are exploiting the opportunities presented to them by the rationalisation in the market and they are guaranteeing their growth for years to come.

This industry relies on competition and when there is consolidation from suppliers – this can only be negative for end users. For customers – it is always better to have more choice – less choice is never good, and it would be a shame to see fewer options in the space for printers to choose from.

Printers are continuing to face pressure to deliver shorter run lengths and faster turnaround for customers. Durst customers are already well-placed to meet this challenge with on-demand digital inkjet printing delivering short runs and long runs with unattended operation and a lower barrier to entry which means such equipment has never been more attractive.

For Durst, drupa will be a packaging show. We will demonstrate a number of solutions for printers to safely enter the packaging category with confidence, whether that be primary or secondary packaging, as digitally delivered packaging is now the current global trend.

Globally, we are observing the breakdown of category demarcation, and all businesses are now looking to new areas to grow their business and harness new opportunities – and become the ‘one-stop shop’. Large format printers are adopting flexible packaging and label converters are adopting folding carton printing. This will manifest itself into many exciting solutions – and Durst is perfectly placed to deliver these solutions to the market.

Software continues to be a booming business within the Durst portfolio as we continue to innovate and see huge success with our software solutions globally as well as in the Australian market. We were latecomers to the software area – but that has enabled us to create cutting edge software that is completely agnostic using the latest technology to deliver solutions that make a real difference to businesses in the printing space from RIPs to workflow solutions and online technology through to full business management, ERP and MIS solutions. These software solutions are backed by the Durst Group and its world class support as well as considerable ongoing investment into research and development.

With our acquisition of Aleph, textiles continues to be an area of growth. Durst has always been strong in soft signage, high end apparel and home furnishings, but now having the cutting-edge technology developed by Aleph, we have solutions to fill the mid-range tier. A  report from the Australian Fashion Council supports this showing that domestic fashion and textiles is a growth industry within Australia.

We look forward to seeing many existing friends and future friends at drupa. We will be showing exciting solutions that have to be seen to be believed. Join us for an espresso or macchiato in the morning and a beer or aperitivo in the evening – you can always be assured of a warm welcome at Durst.

This first appeared in Australian Printer magazine.

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