SwissQprint’s remarkable 10-year journey to success

SwissQprint founders (from left) Roland Fetting, Reto Eicher and Hansjörg Untersander.
SwissQprint founders (from left) Roland Fetting, Reto Eicher and Hansjörg Untersander.

SwissQprint is celebrating ten years in business this year. Remaining focused on high-quality inkjet flatbed systems, the Swiss-based company has continually strengthened its position in this industry segment. The swissQprint name actually surfaced out of nowhere ten years ago. Today, the brand is a byword for digital printing systems with high quality, huge versatility and traditional Swiss reliability. Reto Eicher, Hansjörg Untersander and Roland Fetting laid the foundation for this success story in September of 2007. A decade later in 2017, there are now 75 people working at itd head office and production base in Switzerland, and 35 spread across three subsidiaries. In addition, there are sales and service partners representing swissQprint in close to 40 countries around the globe.

Corporate milestones. It wasn’t the proverbial garage where business got started in 2007, but rather the corner of a large warehouse where five men set about developing a novel UV flatbed printer. They made it to market despite adverse economic conditions – first in the German-speaking world, then in other European countries, and soon overseas as well – always through dealer partnerships. Buoyed by this success, swissQprint expanded its production and office areas to the point where there was simply no more floor space left at its headquarters in Widnau. In early, 2015 the company finally took occupancy of newly-built premises in Kriessern. In October of that year, swissQprint established a U.S. subsidiary to intensify activities in the key American market. A second subsidiary in Japan started business in March of 2017, and a third one in Germany the following month. These were purely sales and service operations. Development and production were still done at its headquarters in order to maintain the leanest possible processes and high product quality. To date, there are somewhat more than 900 swissQprint printers in the field worldwide. Certain models, specialized applications and options have earned swissQprint several industry awards over the years – and last year even brought in a business award!

The swissQprint Nyala 2.
The swissQprint Nyala 2.
The swissQprint Impala LED with automated loading robot Rob.
The swissQprint Impala LED with automated loading robot Rob.

Product milestones. From its humble beginnings to this day, swissQprint has focused exclusively on UV flatbed printers with modular design. Modularity makes the base machine configurable and extensible according to customer needs. Oryx was the first model to reach the market, celebrating its première on the margins of drupa 2008. Just two years later, swissQprint surprised the market with Impala, the printer that broke every speed record in its class at that time. Nyala, the largest model built until that date, made its début at drupa 2012. Two years later, swissQprint launched a new generation of printers – the Nyala 2. The total of machines supplied hit the 500 mark in February of 2015, and three months later the generational transition had come full circle with the launch of Oryx 2 and Impala 2. In early 2017, swissQprint brought to market the efficiency-enhancing 4×4 versions of Impala 2 and Nyala 2. Impala LED and Nyala LED, which cure UV inks using LED technology, premièred at Fespa 2017. Oryx LED is set to follow within this year, at which point the third generation will be similarly completed. The three founders of the independent company continue to play active roles in the business. They can look back with pride at how ten years have transformed their initial bold move. But they also look to the future, where they aim to continue pushing ahead with innovations and practical solutions that resonate throughout the wide-format printing industry

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.