Partner, Inkjet Insight
Inkjet Insight recently published an article about sheet-fed inkjet printers. Some were surprised to find that our analysis included product information about Delphax’s elan500 press. Information about the inkjet offerings from Delphax has not been updated since a bankruptcy filing in 2017. Most considered this technology “off market.” However, Inkjet Insight reached out to Richard Lee, CEO of Delphax Solutions, Inc. to talk about the future for Delphax’s intellectual property and the elan product line. There does appear to be a future.
But First, the Past
The Delphax brand and product has a long history in the production market with a strong focus on check printing applications with its Electron Beam Imaging (EBI) toner-based products. Delphax Systems was purchased by Xerox in 1997 and later sold to Check Technologies Corporation four years later in 2001. Check Technology rebranded the new company Delphax Technologies Inc. (DTI) in April, 2002. At the time, the combined company had 225 employees worldwide and $42.8 million in revenue. The new Delphax diversified its portfolio with the launch of the Memjet-based sheet-fed inkjet press named elan 500. It was launched at drupa 2012 and the first customer install was at 2014 at CompuMail Inc. in Concord, CA. By August 2017, Delphax Technologies Canada Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of DTI, declared bankruptcy and later that month Air T Inc. completed a foreclosure of all personal property and rights to undertakings of Delphax Technologies Canada Limited.
Who is the New Delphax?
We learned from Richard Lee that a new entity, Delphax Solutions Inc. (DSI), was created in August, 2017 by Air T to design, manufacture, and sell printing equipment starting with the elan product line. The new company is based in Mississauga, Canada with employees in both Canada and the US. The new company has no involvement with the legacy EBI technology. Adding some confusion to the mix, there is still a legal entity called Delphax Technologies Inc., but the only relationship between the two companies is one of intellectual property licensing, with Delphax Technologies Inc. no longer active in the sale and support of products. Mr. Lee indicated that the new Delphax Solutions Inc. is backed by a financially stable company that is committed to invest in their company and technology.
What’s Next for Delphax Solutions Inc.?
A lot of lessons were learned from the launch of the elan 500 and customer feedback from the initial four customer installations, including CompuMail Inc., Business Data Inc., and Prime Data Inc. Mr. Lee was quick to point out one of the successes of elan 500, AMPV of 1-2 million impressions per month and 90%+ uptime. The company is quietly working on improvements focusing on print quality, productivity and operating costs and a new and improved offering will be announced towards the end of 2018. They will also have an upgrade path for all existing installations as well as for elan 500 presses sold between now and the end of the year. There is also an elan 250, a narrow format offering ideal for producers focused on letter/legal/A4 finished products – field upgradable to the wide elan 500).
|elan 250||elan 500|
|Duty Cycle (Letter)||2.5 million||5 million|
|Ink Type||Aqueous Dye||Aqueous Dye|
|Resolutions||1600 x 1600
1600 x 800
|1600 x 1600
1600 x 800
|Minimum Paper Thickness||70 GSM||70 GSM|
|Maximum Paper Thickness||350 GSM||350 GSM|
|Maximum Sheet Width||8.7″||18″|
|Maximum Sheet Length||26″||26″|
Delphax Solutions Inc. elan Product Family
Delphax Solutions is incorporating production class technologies into all its devices, with inkjet technology from Memjet, develops its own scalable RIP platform built upon the HHR platform from Global Graphics, as well as offering feeding solutions such as the TPF-550 from BDT.
Delphax Solutions Inc. is a now a small company with aspirations to grow rapidly after they complete the update to their offering. They plan to both sell direct as well and through resellers. Mr. Lee indicated that they are in advanced talks with resellers in the US (West Coast) and Europe in addition to their established relationship in China. They are looking for additional resellers and welcome the opportunity to entertain inquiries.
How to Contact Delphax?
The “new Delphax” has been quiet since Air T took over the assets and launched a new company. The core elan product has intrigued the industry from its initial launch, offering the promise of a low acquisition cost device with compelling running costs. The product clearly didn’t gain traction for a number of reasons, including a legacy of corporate structural issues. We are glad to hear that there are a core group of individuals working busily on revamping the product. We expect to learn more in the next few months how far they have advanced their technology and the prospects for the company moving forward.