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How Kornit’s Latest Acquisition Empowers ‘4.0’ Strategy

Kornit Digital set a goal at its May investor event to become the operating system for on-demand sustainable fashion, and just acquired additive manufacturing technology Voxel8 in its latest efforts to fulfill its commitment to generate $1 billion in revenue by 2026.

With Voxel8’s ActiveLab solution now in Kornit’s suite of technologies, the company can print flexible elastomeric materials with on-the-fly tuning of mechanical properties, thus providing high-resolution graphics in a no-tooling manufacturing process.

Kornit, which develops, manufactures and markets industrial digital printing technologies for the garment, apparel and textile industries, calls the operating system KornitX. The KornitX software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud subscription is designed to help brands digitize their on-demand apparel production, with the company saying that it can take products from design to full collection in as little as two weeks, and from design to the catwalk in one day.

KornitX is the centerpiece of the company’s Kornit 4.0 strategy, which aims to provide brands with sustainable apparel production, while maintaining the principles of flexible inventory management and in-season reactivity.

“Voxel8’s innovative technologies and talent will help us accelerate the execution of our 4.0 strategy to digitize sustainable, on-demand textile production,” Kornit Digital CEO Ronen Samuel said in a statement. “With this advanced and proven 3D technology, we will disrupt the business of fashion, empowering completely new creative decorative concepts and never-before-seen functional textile applications, while exploring new lucrative opportunities in the functional apparel and footwear markets.”

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The acquisition comes amid the launch of its Atlas Max carbon-neutral, industrial-scale direct-to-garment (DTG) production system, which recently underwent a “very successful” beta testing, Kornit said. Kornit estimates that the digital “impressions” market reached 21 billion items such as T-shirts, hoodies, pants and bags, but believes this market can reach 31 billion by 2026.

Kornit’s Max on-demand production technology debuted in May, powered by the XDi features, which delivers 3D capabilities for high-density graphic decoration that can simulate embroidery and vinyl heat transfer in a single, waste-free process. The Max technology will soon be included in the Kornit Presto digital direct-to-fabric printer.

The company also launched its ActiveLoad Automation technology, a robotic system designed to ease the task of manual and labor-intensive textile handling, increasing total output per shift while ensuring minimal downtime and exceptional reliability. On average, a fulfiller using the Atlas Max on the production floor would produce 20 percent more garments per hour with the automated capabilities, cutting loading and unloading times from 35 seconds to 15 seconds.

As part of the expansion of the KornitX operating system, Kornit partnered with online visual communications and design platform Canva in July. With Canva in the fold, Kornit’s partner Print Service Providers (PSPs), brands and organizations can add the design tool to their e-commerce websites, making it easier to create personalized products from design, to order, to product fulfillment.

KornitX will also manage and route all orders through Kornit’s extensive global fulfillment network. Canva currently serves more than 55 million private and enterprise users globally.

“By integrating Voxel8’s technology into Kornit’s product roadmap, we will be able to transform numerous market segments and verticals, accelerating our collective visions and technology advancements,” said Kobi Mann, chief technology officer at Kornit Digital. “Voxel8 offers direct 3D print-on-part capabilities, advanced design software that can be easily integrated with any production floor software workflow, and versatile chemistry enabling on-the-fly formulation of high-performance elastomers to change the material properties of the resulting printed structures by multiple orders of magnitude.”

Mann said that Voxel8 will benefit Kornit as it works with elastomers such as reflective, high-density silicone and metallics; compression elements for sports and therapeutics; protection elements like cushioning and impact resistance; and functionality applications like anti-slip, waterproofing and other qualities combining form and function.

“Voxel8’s innovative and sustainable technology—tested by some of the world’s leading global fashion and footwear brands, such as Hush Puppies, which is part of Wolverine Worldwide, enables the digital creation of unique decorative and functional applications, while eliminating time and waste from the manufacturing process,” Fred von Gottberg, president and CEO of Voxel8, said in a statement. “Voxel8 shares Kornit’s vision of transforming the textile industry and couldn’t be more excited to be part of the journey to build the operating system of sustainable fashion on demand. We look forward to working together to embed Voxel8’s technology into Kornit’s customer offerings, which will collectively provide endless possibilities of enhanced applications and solutions.”

The acquisition comes as Kornit reports second-quarter revenue of $81.7 million, indicating the company has a long way to go to reach its annual revenue goal. For the current quarter ending in October, Kornit Digital said it expects revenue in the range of $88 million to $92 million.

Kornit also generated net income of $5.6 million, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier. On a per-share basis, the Israel-based company said it had profit of 12 cents.