The agreement aims to drive synergies and further increase customer value by expanding the scope of the two companies’ long-standing collaboration in digital-ink-jet textile printing.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Epson ltaly had sales of 215 million euros, or about $244 million at current exchange in 2015, while Robustelli had sales of about 12 million euros, or $13.6 million.
The entry of Robustelli into the Epson Group will allow it to leverage its manufacturing capability to bring the advantages of its digital-ink-jet textile printers to more customers around the world. As part of the enhanced acceleration, the two companies plan to focus on joint research and development efforts to achieve this goal.
The digital textile printing market worldwide is expected to grow at an annual rate of about 25 percent, Epson noted. In addition to using its manufacturing network to meet this growing demand, Epson will deploy its worldwide sales and service network to provide Monna Lisa to more countries and regions around the world.
Located in Como, the heart of the Italian and European high-quality textile printing industry, Robustelli specializes in the development, manufacture and sale of digital-ink-jet textile printers, notably the Monna Lisa series, which it began developing with Epson in 2003. This product has established a strong brand image by providing high-quality gradations and color reproduction.
Sunao Murata, chief operating officer of Epson’s Professional Printing Operations Division, is scheduled to be appointed as president of Robustelli.
“As the market for high-quality digital textile printing expands, I believe that formalizing our partnership with Robustelli in this way puts us in a great place to meet the needs of the growing numbers of customers who are seeking to leverage the advantages of advanced digital solutions that will help drive their businesses forward,” Murata said. “We will work closely with our colleagues at Robustelli to take Monna Lisa to the next level and remain leaders in the field.”
Digital textile printing involves the use of printing systems to print out digital data. It is different from traditional analog printing in which dedicated plates are pressed directly onto the fabric. Digital printing offers faithful reproduction of fine gradations and subtle color tones. It is suitable for small-lot production runs at low cost and high speed, without the need for the plates that are indispensable for analog printing, and it minimizes the environmental impact in comparison to analog printing.