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Roland DG has acquired a majority stake in innovative one-pass print and emboss technology developer Dimense, and will use the move to turbo-charge its digital wallpaper aspirations.

It's a deal: (l-r) Aleksey Etin,CEO, Dimense, with Kohei Tanabe, president, Roland DG

The deal gives the Japanese wide-format developer access to the combined ink and wallpaper related technological capabilities of Dimense, and its parent, the Lithuanian-based inkmaker Veika. 

Veika has been using Roland DG print engines for its Dimense one-pass print and emboss technology since 2015, the deal now gives Veika access to Roland DG’s large global sales channels and technical know-how.

In Australia and New Zealand, the Dimense printers are imported and distributed through Stick on Signs. Abe Weiszberger, managing director of the company said, "The deal is good news, it will mean extra resources for R+D, and quicker time to market for new developments."

Local distribution arrangement are not scheduled to alter, Weiszberger said, "There will be no change to the current arrangement, Stick on Signs will continue to supply the Dimense product range."

Roland DG has taken a 50.1 per cent stake in the Lithuanian business, with the deal set to complete by the end of next month. Veika and the Dimense management team will own the remaining 49.9 per cent of the company, which has €6.75m in assets and been in operation since 2015. The Dimense press was on show at PacPrint last year, and since then has been installed at a number of print businesses around the country.

The deal will enable Roland DG to enter the custom wallpaper business. Personalised home décor is a booming market, thanks in part to the huge viewing figures of home renovation TV shows around the world. Roland DG says the digitalisation of wallpaper printing "has not yet fully penetrated the market, but growing demand for personalisation and upcoming market expansion present the perfect opportunity for Roland DG to make its official entry into the market." Roland DG said, "this embossing technology has great potential as it can bring texture and dimension to various printed applications, such as gypsum molds. Roland DG aims to strengthen the presence in the wallpaper market through the continued development, sales, and support of Dimense and Ecodeco, both proprietary technologies of UAB Dimense print."

Single step: print and emboss
Dimense: Single step print and emboss

Kohei Tanabe, Roland DG Corporation president, said the share purchase marked a “momentous fusion of our mission” to bring “new opportunities to society through digital technology." He said, "Roland DG has consistently grown through digitalisation and market creation. Now, I am honored to move forward together, fostering the market for embossing, including wallpapers, through the acquisition of UAB Dimense print shares.”

Aleksey Etin, CEO of family-run Veika highlighted the longstanding relationship between the two companies, and said, “Veika and Roland DG have been business partners since 2015. I believe that this joint adventure with Roland DG will be a great opportunity to benefit from the best that the two companies have: Roland DG’s expertise in printer development and distribution capabilities around the world, and Veika’s know-how in inks and media development.”

What sets the Dimense apart is its ability to print and embosses in one pass, thanks to an inkjet engine and a calendar press in the same machine. It prints at 20sqm an hour on a 1.6m roll, with an emboss of up to 1.5mm. Weiszberger said, “The pioneering technology of Dimense prints and embosses in a single step. That means structure and motif are perfectly matched."

Bringing the past to life: Beyond Solutions
Print and emboss in one pass: Dimense wall art by Beyond Solutions at the West Australian Museum Eygpt exhibition

Typical applications include home and office decor, point of sale and signage material. Finishing choices include matte, allowing use of the brightest colours, such as gold, which Weiszberger describes as a "see it to believe it" media finish, pearlescent “to add the wow factor” to any print, chameleon for advertising, packaging, and interior decors, media plus for an enhanced embossing effect, up to 1.5mm, and silver for wherever a metallic finish is required.

Weiszberger said, “Most importantly, the Dimense System is totally green. The inks used are water-based latex, the process is PVC and plasticiser free, and all products and ingredients used in the process are non-toxic and certified harmless with the eco-Institut-Label in Europe."

Roland DG has resin inks on its AP range of printers, they use a different formulation to the inks used on Dimense, which runs water-based latex inks and proprietary clear structural ink, and a range of special double-layered substrates. The system works as the top layer of the Dimese Ecodeco base coating can foam and expand by up to 1.5mm when exposed to heat in the printer, while the areas covered by the structural ink remain flat.

According to Weiszberger anyone who can operate a simple wide format printer can operate the Dimense.

Dimense at Fespa in may: (l-r) Abe Weiszberger, managing director of ANZ distributor Stick on Signs (left) with Aleksey Etin, CEO of Dimense
Dimense at Fespa in May: Abe Weiszberger, managing director of ANZ distributor Stick on Signs (left), with Aleksey Etin, CEO of Dimense owner Veika


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