Memjet CEO Lauer Talks Strategy as Debut Approaches for “Disruptive” Inkjet Technology
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Own-X, a Memjet partner based in Budapest, Hungary. The device makes high-resolution product labels at a rate of 12 inches per second. Memjet doesn’t make the printers itself, but is building its strategy around the idea of selling print heads, ink, and other components to partners like Own-X. (A Web-based video demonstration of the technology can be found here.)
Memjet intends to introduce its technology in the commercial label market this fall, beginning in Eastern Europe, according to Lauer. The company has similar agreements to supply its components with other manufacturing partners in other parts of Europe, Asia, and the United States.
“We’re not coming out with a Memjet-branded printer, we want to do in-branding,” says Lauer, who sees a big market for Memjet among the companies that print everything from Heinz ketchup bottles to UPS shipping labels—even the coupons printed on the reverse side of cash register receipts. He even envisions a Memjet-powered kiosk in hotel lobbies, with the capability of letting guests choose among 50 or 60 international newspapers—and printing out a current edition in just one or two minutes.
Lauer also sees opportunities for Memjet’s technology in the photo printing centers at pharmacies and warehouse retailers like Costco, in poster-size, wide-format printing, computer assisted design (CAD), and blueprints. The Memjet CEO estimates the global market opportunity for its technology is worth $30 billion.It’s a market ripe for innovation, he says, because while the giant companies manufactured printers for many years, the industry “really hasn’t spent much on R&D.”
In this respect, Lauer sees similarities in Memjet’s strategy to Qualcomm, which initially made cell phones and wireless network infrastructure as a way to gain market acceptance of its core digital wireless technology. “We’re similar in that we’re going to sell to existing printer and imaging OEMs,” Lauer said, referring to the original equipment manufacturers that make products for sale under another company’s brand name.
“Our technology will print 10,000 envelopes per hour, and it’s in color, which stands out in the mass mailing industry,” Lauer says. “It’s just much, much faster and at lower price points.”
To protect Memjet’s “disruptive” technology, Lauer says the … Next Page »
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