Océ marks 75 years of doing business in Japan

Since 1934, the number of customers in Japan that rely on Océ’s printing solutions has grown significantly. They can be found mainly in manufacturing, but also in the Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) market for technical documentation systems as well as the commercial printing market, Océ said. Companies that Océ serves include the top Japanese automobile manufacturers and commercial printers. The 1999 acquisition of NS Calcomp, which marked the establishment of Océ Japan, enabled the company to support Japanese customers and partners from five offices throughout the country.

Mutually important strategic relationships

Just as Océ is vital to Japan, Japanese companies are strategically important for Océ. They expand the company’s distribution power; Konica Minolta and FujiFilm, for example, OEM Océ printing systems. Additionally, Japanese companies are important for Océ’s portfolio. Océ sells products from Konica Minolta, Canon, Mutoh, Brother and Muratec and jointly develops new color printing solutions with Konica Minolta, Fujifilm and Miyakoshi. With no other country does Océ maintain such intensive international strategic alliances. Annually Océ now purchases over 350 million euro worth of products and components from Japanese partners.

Océ technology now goes beyond printing into solar panels and PCBs

While Japan is renowned for its electronics, automotive technology and manufacturing processes, The Netherlands has established a track a record in land reclamation, urban engineering and digital printing. In recent years, one of the keynote technological innovations in the document management sector is Océ CrystalPoint technology, used in the company’s wide format color printer, the Océ ColorWave 600. Nowadays, Océ CrystalPoint technology is also used in advanced applications outside printing. Two key areas with potentially far-reaching implications are solar panel manufacturing, a significant development in the quest for carbon-free energy; and printed circuit boards (PCBs) for personal computers, cameras and automobiles; a modern car, for example, consists of some 300 PCBs, and digital production of PCBs cuts costs by at least 30%.

CEO Rokus van Iperen: Serving Japanese customers for three generations

During an event at the Dutch Embassy in Tokyo, Rokus van Iperen, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Océ, said: “It gives me great pleasure to be here today, surrounded by friends and colleagues from Océ Japan and many of our suppliers and strategic partners. Jointly, we provide a broad range of innovative printing products to the world’s second-largest economy. Our ambition is to continue to develop long-term strategic partnerships with top Japanese vendors in relevant business areas, ranging from specific component purchases to joint R&D developments. We have developed long and strong relationships with major partners and have built win-win relationships over three generations.”

The launch of Océ’s long relationship with Japan in 1934

In August 1934, Karel van der Grinten ─ grandson of the company’s founding father Lodewijk van der Grinten ─ traveled to Japan and established the first commercial relationship with a company there: the Sakurai organization in Tokyo. In 1955, Océ signed an agreement with Ricoh, that went on to market Océ Diazo products for the offset market. Soon afterwards Bunshodo joined the relationship between Océ and Bruning, an Océ licensee in the USA, selling almost the entire Océ product range in the Japanese market. When Océ developed its digital line of large format products, its partnership with Shacoh brought more Océ products to the Japanese market in 1996. Through this partnership, Océ grew its share of the high volume large format reprographic market in Japan.

The opening of Océ Japan in 1999

The May 1999 majority shareholding (85%) in NS Calcomp Corporation in Tokyo, immediately renamed the Océ Japan Corporation, gave Océ access to the CAD market; previously, Océ was mainly selling to the reprographic market through Shacoh. It also gave Océ access to Calcomp vendors like Kimoto and Otsuka. In 2001, Océ acquired the Gretag Professional Imaging division, enabling the company to serve key customers in the sign and display market and establish relationships still nurtured today.

Océ Japan in 2009

Océ Japan employs 100 professionals in the large format printing market and has gradually grown market share. Océ Japan serves major customers through its direct sales and service organization and works with partners to cover the Japanese market. Among Océ Japan’s most successful partners are companies like FujiFilm Graphic Systems, Otsuka Shokai, Kimoto and Fujitsu. Océ Japan has also maintained its historic partnerships with Sakurai and Shacoh.

Océ is focused on strengthening its top-three position in key market segments and year-on-year profitable growth of the business. Océ maintains direct support to selected customers and regions and supplies print media that make total solutions possible.