Kornit CEO details Israel-Gaza war impact and firm’s priorities

Kornit Digital CEO Ronen Samuel has spoken candidly about the impact of the Israel-Gaza war on the business and pledged that his top priority was supporting the firm’s employees and customers.

Speaking at Printing United Expo, and wearing a t-shirt featuring a lenticular design with the Israel and US flags overlaid, Samuel outlined the horrors of 7 October and said it was a “very, very tragic situation.”

“More than 10 employees were directly impacted, and members of their families were murdered. Our president of the USA, his niece and her boyfriend were murdered,” he said.

“It’s impacting many of us and we also have employees that are now serving in the Army in the reserve force support. Nearly 70 of our employees serve the borders of Israel.

“It’s a traumatic situation right now. There are missiles flying all over Israel and it is a very fragile situation.”

In Israel, the company employs 500 people in its direct-to -garment and direct -fabric printing division.

He said Kornit’s priority as a company was “our people and our customers”.

“We are making sure our customers will not feel any impact of this event. We made checks of all the inventory, of spare parts, of ink and we have enough inventory in the regions outside of Israel – and our ink plant in Israel is operating fully – to support our customers beyond peak season.

“Israel is a strong nation and Kornit is a strong company,” he stated.

Kornit’s Presto Max system will be on display at the show. This system allows for white inks to be printed onto dark fabrics.

The company has also upgraded its Apollo device to mass-customise direct-to-garment print.

Apollo can produce up to 400 garments in an hour, without the need for any pre-treatment or setup. The machine is operated by just one operator. The Apollo also features an energy-saving intelligent dryer system.

Kornit is now installing three in the US, at beta site customers.

“We are getting very good feedback,” Samuel stated.

Footwear is next on Kornit’s agenda, and the business is developing technology for printing directly to footwear using know-how from 2021 acquisition Voxel8.

A collaboration with Adobe is also new on a new ripping technique. The K-Rip harnesses Adobe’s PDF Print Engine and colour management know-how from the printing industry to bring consistent and repeatable colour to DTG applications.

Kornit, along with HP, Highcon Scodix, Landa and Scodix, is one of many manufacturers in the industry that have their headquarters or substantial operations located in Israel.

Landa Israel executives, who had been planning to host a seminar at Printing United Expo, cancelled their trip because of the crisis.

Israel-Gaza War

In the escalation this month of a conflict that has lasted for decades, more than 5,000 lives have been lost. More than 1,400 Israelis were killed by the gunmen of Hamas, a terrorist group that is banned in Israel. 200 hostages are believed to have been taken. BBC figures show that Israel’s response to Gaza has resulted into the death of more than 3,700 Palestinians.