MHP Technology pioneers frame assembly and canvas stretching machines for high-quality wall art. Their journey began in 1990 as an art materials factory producing canvas for artists. In 2000, they invented machines to automate their own production. Today, MHP sell their production equipment worldwide and automate digital print and art supply companies around the world with installations from California to Melbourne. 

MHP machines are fast, flexible, and efficient. The company’s technology produces excellent product and stretches canvas for perfect, drum-tight quality. We are a family business, made in Berlin since 1990.

Interview with Georgette Sawan, Executive Vice President, Business Development at MHP Technology.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Georgette Sawan: MHP is sharply focused on providing production automation solutions to manufacturers of stretched canvas. These market segments include printed wall décor, fine art, and photo personalization products, as well as traditional artist canvas. Our services include consulting in workflow, product, materials assessment, and efficiency optimization as well as ongoing service. The stretched canvas product is thousands of years old, with its roots being traced back to 1500 BC India, and the market is now estimated to be worth billions of dollars globally. Industry maturity aside, most producers today are still manufacturing manually, so we accompany clients through the entire production automation process.

Our customer base has recently expanded across several industries with our equipment finding application also for insulation paneling and upholstery furniture.

E.E: What’s the news about new products / services ?

G.S: We are constantly updating our machines with new innovative features. While our very first machine in 2000 was a fully automated solution yielding 250 units hourly, our newest product is again a fully automated canvas stretching machine named MHP Ultra, capable of producing up to 400 canvases per hour, and now feature-rich and flexible for today’s operating environments. The largest model will even stretch formats up to 100x100cm. We also launched our additive manufacturing division in 2023 and will begin offering 3D-design and printing services in 2024.

E.E: What are the ranges of products / services ?

G.S: We have two main production automation segments, frame assembly and canvas stretching. We also do customer specific consulting projects in automation and production workflow. Additionally, we provide technical support and service to all our customers, both virtually and on-site through our experienced team of technicians. We are proud that all our machines are developed and built in our facility in Berlin, Germany.

E.E: What is the state of the market where you are currently active?

G.S: The demand for stretched canvas boomed during the Covid pandemic. People spent time at home decorating their walls with fine art prints and personalized photo gifts and engaging in creative crafts including painting on artist canvas. Producers increased production capacities to meet this expanded demand and the trend has continued. Nearly all fine art and photo products are print-on-demand, meaning they are produced locally with quick turnaround times. This recent growth brought significant new production volumes to local economies in all markets.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends ?

G.S: The demand for wall décor has continued to grow and from a production perspective, factories are increasing their efficiencies through automation, so we see a healthy demand for our technologies and workflow know-how. Frame assembly and canvas stretching are otherwise very manual processes that are physically tiring. Automated processes are healthier for employees, yield better and consistent quality, and enable significant economic efficiencies.

E.E: What are the most innovative products / services marketed?

G.S: Currently, our main product development projects are the loading module for our fully automated canvas stretching machine and an automation solution for picture frame assembly. These are complex projects that require precision engineering and will enable our customers to achieve game changing production volumes and efficiencies. We are also making our extensive knowledge in 3D printing available through our new service in custom key-component additive manufacturing. MHP and particularly machine builders like us must control and domesticize their own key supply chains better to be independent from global disruptions. And we must be able to customize components quickly and reliably for specialty applications.

E.E: What estimations do you have for the beginning of 2024?

G.S: The wall décor and art materials industries can be very seasonal and notably boom during the gifting season in November/December. Now, production companies evaluate their peak season and decide on their next investments. So far, we have heard positive feedback and our order books for QI are already healthy. We enjoy seeing people indulge in a wide array of art on their walls at home, in the office, in restaurants, and many more places. Art is everywhere!