As mentioned in a previous blog here Domtar Paper has a dedicated team of Business Development Managers who form mutually beneficial partnerships with leading equipment manufacturers.
Aggie Nodari is Domtar’s Business Development Manager who is responsible for the relationship with Xerox, Bluecrest, Superweb Digital and two different finishing partners. Aggie has been with Domtar Paper for over 35 years. Prior to moving into sales 15 years ago, Aggie held a variety of positions in Domtar’s converting plant operations. During that experience, he developed the ability to troubleshoot production issues and make the paper “get along” with the equipment. His background has made Aggie a valuable resource in his current role.
Aggie, can you give us an overview of what your responsibility is in this role?
Our ultimate objective is to be the best partner so when OEMs consider quality products, support and knowledge, they think of Domtar. Our job is more than just developing business. All of our Business Development managers have long tenures and a vast degree of skill sets. Our value goes well beyond the transaction, but field resolution, product development, training, market intelligence and insights, etc.
What changes has he observed from the OEM’s in three+ years?
Because of a large gap in savings per mail piece over toner, inkjet printing has easily been able to capture transition business from traditional toner shops. As the transactional printing market matures, the OEMs are looking for other markets to stay relevant. Traditional commercial printing is still printed primarily on offset equipment. In long run applications, offset has inkjet beat in speed, quality & cost. However, there are niche applications that require unique pre & post equipment. This is where you will see a greater collaboration with the OEM printers and their finishing partners.
What demands from the users of this equipment in the last few years?
The biggest demand I have seen is the push for great quality on traditional uncoated and coated stocks. If the OEM’s objective is to make a bigger push into the commercial print segment, they must achieve close to or equal to offset quality. Most of the major OEMs have their unique hybrid inksets to improve quality. There has also been development to software nuances that incorporate “AI” to avoid paying high cost for onsite service and support. The software and sensor combination can not only schedule maintenance, but determine which parts are wearing down and need to be replaced before they fail.
What are factors that OEM’s consider for updates to their equipment offering?
Since the inkjet printing market is constantly evolving, a new product launch is predicated by need. OEMs that introduce new models will typically fare better with a higher annual install rate. Conversely, OEMs that go several years without launching a printer don’t experience the growth. The inksets are refreshed in many cases more frequently than the platforms that run them.
For each of your OEM’s what is the most recent introduction?
1. Xerox introduced the Baltoro cutsheet inkjet printer info in the last year.
2. Standard Finishing is the sales arm for Hunkler in the book binding space. They introduced the PF 7.
What are the features of these respective introductions?
1. The high fusion inks enable them to print on coated stocks. 1200 x 1200 resolution at 300 ppm. It has earned Xerox a top spot in the cut-sheet inkjet market.
2. The PF 7 is a high-speed variable bookmaker – its an end to end solution, 900 books in 1 hour, variable book size 7” to 14” with variable page lengths
Would you say that customers are more interested in speed or print quality?
Customers want both, which puts us in a great position because our products are built for performance in both print quality and processing. We make sure of this by maintaining close relationships not only with the print OEMs, but the major post-processing OEMs responsible for all the fashions in which our products end up being finished.
What are the OEM’s seeking from Domtar as they research a change?
The OEMs know the value of a robust tested media list, (TML) so they would prefer to benchmark all our grades. Since we have superior products, the output printed at OEMS on our LynxJET is considered the “gold standard”. If a prospective client would like to see the optimum printer output, the request will be to print on LynxJET.
What insights or changes has Domtar made as a result of our ability to collaborate with the OEM’s?
Because we are closely aligned with our internal departments and we engage at all OEM department levels, it is easier to connect them and work collaboratively on projects with marketing, technical and product management.
Another good example of collaboration is we utilize Domtar Quality Service Managers, Xerox Analysts and the lead product engineers. This gives us a multi-pronged approach to resolve any issues that surface in the field.
When the Xerox continuous inkjet fleet was launched, there was language in the customer expectation documents, (CED) that did not address splices correctly. I was able to have a roundtable discussion with the project leads to inform them on how to deal with splices in an efficient way. I shared examples of how others have worded their standard operating procedure (SOP) on how to deal with splices. The language in the CED was updated which all parties, customers, OEM and mill benefited.