Dover Invests in Digital Textile Printing

On February 4, Dover Corporation announced that it has acquired MS Printing Solutions s.r.l. (“MS-srl”), the Italian manufacturer of digital printing solutions for the textile and décor industries. Dover, a Fortune 500 industrial conglomerate, will add the company to its Printing and Identification Division, which already includes Markem Imaje and three other companies from the industrial marking and related segments. Though no financial terms were disclosed, the company indicated the MS revenues for 2014 are expected to be $70 Million.

Dover has over 30 constituent companies that generated $8.7 billion in revenues in 2013 from four industrial segments communications technology, energy, engineered systems as well as Printing & Identification. The later a $1 billion division (FY2013) currently includes four companies: Markem-imaje, Datamax-O’Neil, and OK International.

Recently Dover has been realigning its printing portfolio with both divestiture and new acquisitions.

  • On December 3, 2013, the company announced that it will sell its Dek its screen printing division to ASM Pacific Technology late in 2013 for about $200 million.
  • On January 1 2014 Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG has sold its wholly owned subsidiary CSAT GmbH to Markem-Imaje GmbH, a Dover Corporation company CCAST is the manufacturer of the Linoprint L inkjet label printing system.

The acquisition of MS-srl is the next in Dover’s strategy aimed at entering a growing segment where healthy profit pools exist, and where digital deposition of materials is an ingredient for success.  MS-srl fits well with the current range of offerings of Dover Printing and Identification Division, and the acquisition opens up a market where digital printing is expected to grow at double digit growth in the next five years. InfoTrend believes that over 450 million liner meters of fabric were digitally printed in 2013.

MS-srl has a range of products for paper and textile printers aimed at varying range of production levels. The company’s family of paper printing products has a print width of 1.8 meters, and throughput ranging from 155 to 500 square meters per hour. MS srl’s textile printers range from 1.8 to 3.2 in print width; in terms of productivity, the company’s MS LARIO leads the industry with its maximum throughput of over 8,000 square meter per hour. Combined with finishing and feeding solutions and a deep understanding of customer needs, MS-srl’s digital printing systems are installed at many of the bigger textile producers in Italy and around the world.

InfoTrends expects more large companies to invest in the digital textile business, drawn by the exciting growth rates and enticing profit margins in inkjet. Historically MS has been a hardware company, but InfoTrends expects Dover to invest in the development of inks for the MS printer line as ink represents a significant portion of the value of the digital textile printing market.

Digital printing is rapidly expanding into new industrial and functional market segments. Textile printing is one of the markets that are growing rapidly with many vendors looking for opportunities to expand their reach both with strategic aligned technology as well geographic expansion into new countries. To that end MS-srl brings in know how of digital printing of textiles and Dover brings its international span, sales channel, and the ability to invest in market development that is sometimes out of reach for smaller companies such as MS-srl.

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