What do Redefine Meat, Highcon and Twine Solutions have in common? Alon Bar-Shany, Chairman and CEO and member of the Board of Directors. For more than 16 years, Alon Bar-Shany led the fortunes of HP Indigo as General Manager. After his departure, the sought-after manager is now active in three different companies. AdditiveManufacturing.global spoke to Alon Bar-Shany about his new plans.
AdditiveManufacturing.global: From digital printing to additive manufacturing, textile as well as further processing in the graphic sector. Isn't that a big step into new industries?
Alon Bar-Shany: I don't see this as a break. I was in the technology sector for over thirty years. My involvement with Redefine Meat, Highcon and Twine Solutions is also based on technology, with the complexity of technology, innovation and business models. Indigo also consisted of these components in the beginning. It's about not just bringing new products to market but creating new markets and delighting customers. And to do this with products that are functional, more efficient and more environmentally friendly than previous ones. In conventional printing as well as in additive manufacturing, this means an optimal interaction of materials, hardware and software. In this respect, I have changed markets, but not the orientation.
AdditiveManufacturing.global: Redefine Meat offers additively manufactured meat products...
Alon Bar-Shany: ... and not only that. Redefine Meat's portfolio is very extensive and does not only offer products in the field of 3D-printed nutrition. The company also has many other different products in its portfolio where the texture and taste of meat has been replaced by plant-based ingredients. The food industry is very extensive.
To begin with, Redefine Meat has focused on plant-based replacements for meat products. There is a lot to do in this area in particular. Not only sustainability plays a role here, but also the understanding and relationship to meat itself. The keeping of animals for our food has become a mass market where the suffering and killing of animals is commonplace. I am convinced that with Redefine Meat we can contribute to ending this. In the next few months, we will also be adding products such as mince or kebabs to the range - unlike steaks, for example, these are not printed. Products can be understood here in the same way as applications in digital printing. There are many different applications for Redefine Meat's innovations. These are reflected in products.
We are currently building a factory in Israel that will produce the main components of Redefine Meat's products. After the official launch in Israel this summer, the products will also be available worldwide from 2022. We are already in the process of establishing distributors and other sales channels. The global roll-out will change the meat industry and more than benefit the increased environmental awareness.
AdditiveManufacturing.global: Highcon is a company in the graphic arts sector...
Alon Bar-Shany: Yes, but Highcon also offers new approaches. The company offers the leap from analogue to digital production, replacing conventional product manufacturing. The waste produced by conventional cutting processes alone is enormous. Again, the combination and complexity of technology, innovation and new approaches means that production can be more efficient, faster and more sustainable. We need to move away from time-consuming, labour-intensive processes and replace them with sustainable, efficient and effective ones.
AdditiveManufacturing.global: Twine Solutions? The company is particularly targeting the analogue textile sector...
Alon Bar-Shany: That is correct. However, Twine Solutions' approach offers the possibility of huge savings in yarn dyeing - especially water. Water is one of the most precious commodities in the world and we must not waste it. Millions of litres of water are used every day worldwide for yarn dyeing. Twine Solutions' system can dye different types of polyester yarns suitable for product development and production requirements. It is designed to be used in any production environment. Both Oeko-Tex and Intertek have certified the solution. It is important not only to advance the digital textile production process, but also to create solutions for the analogue textile sector that have a sustainable impact on the entire process.
AdditiveManufacturing.global: How do you assess the impact of Covid-19?
Alon Bar-Shany: Every crisis is an opportunity. The financial crisis of 2008/2009 brought about many good things and opened a door for digitalisation. Covid-19 has now accelerated this and highlighted many areas where we should become even better and, above all, more sustainable. The increased awareness of sustainability is testimony to this. It matters a lot what we eat and produce - and especially with what impact on the world.
AdditiveManufacturing.global: It sounds like your move into other markets speaks from your heart....
Alon Bar-Shany: I was or am in the fortunate position that I can choose who I work with. Of course, Israel is a "village" in that sense and people know each other. I wanted to work with companies that offer both the complexity and business models of technology, functionality, sustainability, innovation and efficiency and at the same time have the potential to change the world for the better. I believe that I have succeeded in this.
AdditiveManufacturing.global: What are your plans for the future?
Alon Bar-Shany: I will continue to focus on satisfied customers and visit them when possible again. This also applies to distribution channels. Understanding the industry and channels is an important point to have enthusiastic customers who enjoy using the products - in the case of Redefine Meat, consuming them. If we have to create new markets for this, we will do it. Besides efficiency, sustainability is one of the most important issues we have to address.
AdditiveManufacturing.global: Thank you very much for the interview.