Chapter 4: Document Services Valley: a lifeline for the printing industry?
After a 35-year career at Océ, Jan Verschaeren knows the company inside and out. When it was acquired by Canon in 2009, it was only logical then that he was asked to head the Document Printing business unit as its executive vice president. That was the first business unit to be integrated into the Canon organization. And once that process was complete, mid-2012, he was asked to tackle one last project before finally retiring: to design Document Services Valley (DSV). Océ started as a family business in 1877, when Lodewijk van der Grinten, a pharmacist by trade, developed a dye for colouring margarine yellow like butter before it was sold onto the market. Thirty years later, one of Van der Grinten’s descendants decided to deploy that dye expertise in his own research into blueprint materials. By 1927 the company had successfully applied for a patent on its semi-dry diazo process, a new technology that had the advantage of being able to produce a positive instead of a negative image. By the mid-twentieth century, the electrostatic copying machines that would make Océ big were introduced onto the market. And in 1996 the company entered the printing market with its takeover of the printing division of Siemens Nixdorf. Then, as the market came under intense, increasing pressure, Océ decided to focus on the niche markets of large-format and large-volume copiers.
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