ZwartOpWit aims for bright future with Komori

Belgian printing house Bulckens has been making some significant investments lately. The company – to many customers also known as ‘ZwartOpWit’ for its online domain name – not only installed a fully equipped 8-colour Komori Lithrone G40P with H-UV, but it also decided for the very first Komori Impremia IS29 UV inkjet press on mainland Europe. CEO Manu Lemeur is confident these investments, totalling some 4 million euro, will be worth the money: “We always focus on opportunities.”

“We have been pioneering new technology before”, explains Lemeur his decision for the brand new B2 sheetfed inkjet press. “We know what it is like, having to learn from experience. That’s not always the easiest way, but it does bring us an advantage over competition.” His vision and approach to the market stem from the fact that he was not schooled as a printing professional, but actually studied Economics: “I don’t like to get emotionally involved when it comes to investing in technology – I prefer to have a rather rational and practical approach to such matters. Komori, and its Belgian distributor Albyco, have shown to understand this way of thinking: by putting a real effort in getting to know what drives this company, they were able to come up with solutions that exactly fit our needs.”


Taking business online

Lemeur took charge of the Bulckens company in the 1990’s, after his parents sold their publishing business to the Belgian publishing house Roularta. It proved quite a challenge to transform the remains of the company, employing 15 people at the time, into a true printing house, recalls Lemeur. He started investing and he pioneered new ways to bring in additional print volumes: “In 1999, we were one of the very first printing houses to deploy the Internet as a communications- and sales-channel.” It is also the moment for him to claim the (‘BlackOnWhite’) domain name: “Remember, this was still in the pre-Google era. So it was very important to have a catchy name to stand out. Ever since, we operate under both names.”

Ahead of competition
The company prospers: it now employs over 85 people. “These people are very important to me”, says Lemeur. “I put a lot of effort into creating optimal working conditions. Employees having pride in their job are key to building a successful business.” Running a number of sheetfed offset presses and a range of finishing and embellishment equipment enables ZwartOpWit to offer a broad portfolio to its B2B-customers. Furthermore, Lemeur invested in large format UV inkjet already in 2007: “Again, we were well ahead of competition. This has brought us a wealth of knowledge and experience over the years, all of which we can now use to our advantage!”

On the right track
Next to installing an 8-colour Komori Lithrone G40P, featuring H-UV curing, Lemeur also decided to become the very first printing house on mainland Europe to put in the Komori Impremia IS29 UV sheetfed inkjet press: “We have tested the machine quite extensively, before we made our final decision.” ZwartOpWit has gone through a learning process since installing the inkjet press, putting its knowledge of UV inkjet to good use. Also, support by Komori has been outstanding, says Lemeur: “Although inkjet technology is pretty much mature by now, it still remains quite a challenge of course to print a perfect picture in full colour at a running speed of 3,000 sheets an hour.” He sees huge opportunities for the Impremia IS29 to create added value on paper and special substrates: “I am very pleased with the route we’ve taken It is an important step towards a bright future.”


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