Aug 19, 2015
Color digital printing for packaging got a boost in Europe recently when a brewer long known for innovation, Martens Brouwerij (Belgium) publicized its use of a direct-to-shape print system to print PET bottles in full color, starting in June 2015. Called “Direct Print Powered by KHS™”, the system is engineered and built by KHS (Germany), a global supplier of filling and packaging solutions to the drinks industry, and commercialized by a wholly-owned KHS subsidiary, NMP Systems. The system, based on Xaar 1002 heads, Read more »
Aug 7, 2015
As part of the Customer Engagement Technologies (CET) advisory service, InfoTrends has sized and forecasted the global retail value of digital print and electronic customer communications. The retail value represents the average price each end user will pay to commercial providers for each of the messages produced.
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Aug 6, 2015
As part of its investor presentation earlier this week, R.R. Donnelley announced plans to split into three publicly traded companies, each with a different focus. These companies will be Customized Multi-Channel Communications (CMCo), Financial Communications Services (FinancialCo), and Publishing & Retail-Centric Print (PRSCo). Describing the move as a “transformative separation,” R.R. Donnelley positions this as the next stage in the company’s evolution from a print & ship model to a multi-channel communication services model that leverages data analytics, content optimization, and multi-channel marketing. The transaction will take the form of a tax-free spin-off of the financial and publishing/retail components and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016. The customized multi-channel media communications component will retain R.R. Donnelley’s outstanding notes/debt and will receive cash proceeds from the sales of the two other components. Existing R.R. Donnelley shareholders will end up owning shares in all three companies. No specifics were provided in regard to the management teams for each component. That will come later.
Source: R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Investor Presentation, August 4, 2015
R.R. Donnelley has net sales of about eleven and a half billion dollars. The three planned companies break out as follows: Read more »
Aug 4, 2015
InfoTrends has been conducting consumer surveys on the photo merchandise market for several years, and added a section about photo-personalized mobile device cases for the first time in the 2015 survey. Mobile device cases represent a huge market opportunity purely based on the number of smartphones and tablets that are sold every year. They also have high retention rate potential, as most smartphones are upgraded nearly every two years or so with newer models which typically mean a new case will be needed as well. Cases that are personalized with photos also represent a big opportunity for photo merchandise vendors. The InfoTrends 2015 U.S. Photo Merchandise Survey reveals some buying habits of these products.
According to survey results, only 14% of respondents have purchased a mobile case with a personalized photo in the last year, which is well under the penetration rate of other photo merchandise products (for instance, over 24% said they bought photo books in the last year). Consumers have a wide selection of non-personalized mobile cases to choose from which can have specific features such as shock protection or extra battery power that photo-personalized cases usually don’t provide, but there is still great potential to sell photo cases to first-time buyers. Survey results show that personalized-photo cases are most popular among 18-34 year olds and those that have children in the household. No surprise there – the vast majority of photo cases I’ve seen with a photo used a shot of the owner’s children.
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On August 4th Epson unveiled five new EcoTank™ inkjet printers for the North America market. The new all-in-one printers feature large ink reservoirs or what Epson defines as “Supertanks” that come loaded and ready for up to two years of print without replacing the ink. According to Epson, compared with traditional printers, the ink included in the EcoTank is equivalent to about 20 sets of ink cartridges or more. Furthermore Epson claims about ninety percent of the pages printed in the U.S. today are printed in black and white not color.
Figure 1: New Epson EcoTank™ Printers
In the past, the major barrier to color prints has been the high cost of ink replacements with Epson’s new EcoTank printers, the cost is as low as $12.99 per bottle or $52 per set of bottles. Epson claims a standard home printer requires approximately 20 sets of cartridges to print the same number of pages included with the equivalent EcoTank printers. The new EcoTank printers combined the latest in Epson’s advanced Micro Piezo print head technology with a large ink reservoir to create an entirely new printing system. The new models are ideally suited for the home and SMB (small-to-medium size business) environments. They all offer a two-year limited warranty and have built in Ethernet and wireless printing support through a variety of operating systems as well as through Epson Connect™ (Epson’s cloud print and scan service). The new models will be available in the September timeframe through major computer stores, mass merchants and office superstores.
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Jul 27, 2015
Konica Minolta, a long time innovator in inkjet technology with over 30 years of experience, has released information on a new generation of print heads aimed at the evolving graphic arts, industrial, and functional printing markets. These printheads have resolution as high as 1,200 nozzles per inch (npi), drop size as low as 3 picoliters, jetting frequency of up to 100 kHz, and a physical size that is significantly smaller than the previous generation of Konica Minolta heads. As with many print head manufacturers Konica Minolta is manufacturing these printhead using Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) fabrication. Konica Minolta’s high precision printhead is capable of jetting of a range of inks and functional materials such as resins. These new capabilities will enable innovative new products in a range of industries. Konica Minolta expects to begin mass production of these heads in the spring of 2016. Read more »
Jul 24, 2015
For several years, InfoTrends has used the term “Compact interchangeable lens camera (CILC)” to describe the relatively new class of smaller cameras with a removable lens that compete with Digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras. Now, according to InfoTrends’ latest U.S. Interchangeable Lens Camera Market Study, it seems that consumers generally prefer the term “Digital interchangeable lens camera (DILC)” to describe these cameras.
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Jul 21, 2015
In July HP hosted a worldwide HP Indigo VIP event in Israel. More than 250 customers and prospects visited from dozens of countries from all over the world – including USA, about 10 different European countries, China, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand, Mexico, USA, Brazil, South Africa, and more. There were dozens of sessions presented in each of the four tracks: Flexible Packaging, Labels, Folding Cartons and Commercial Printing. In addition to visiting HP Indigo labs and manufacturing facilities, attendees also visited local HP Indigo customers according to their tracks.
The event provided a great opportunity to present some news ahead of LabelExpo Europe, which is taking place end of September in Brussels. Packaging, and especially label printing, is now a major business for HP Indigo. According to HP label volumes are growing by 25% every year. With a forecast of more than 600 million square meters of labels to be printed in 2015 HP claims to represent nearly 10% of the global label market value and has established itself as major player not only in digital print, but in the whole label print market.
However HP Indigo is extending its coverage beyond label markets. While the ws 4000 and 6000 series are firmly rooted in the label market with only occasional installs in folding carton, shrink sleeves and in-mould labels, the HP Indigo 20000 marks a distinctive move into adjacent packaging markets. Of the roughly 30 installations of the 20000 so far most are used for flexible packaging, followed by shrink sleeves, with only a minority used purely in label printing. Meanwhile, HP Indigo has 20 or more installations of the 30000, the B2 sheet fed press that mainly prints folding cartons. Read more »
Jul 15, 2015
In a nutshell, here’s why I think print samples are important. As new printing systems enter the market you can assess their market readiness by the vendor’s ability to provide print samples. Early on in a product’s development, vendors are very cautious with print samples. They don’t hand them out freely, sometimes even showing them under glass or in sample books that are chained to display cases. Once a product gets close to release, the system vendors begin to hand out prepared print samples and they also offer to produce output from files provided by existing customers and sales prospects. This stage is symbolic because it signifies that the vendor believes that the product is ready for market.
To underscore my point I have recorded dozens of print sample videos for a broad range of production digital print products. A couple of my recently recorded print sample videos are Read more »
Jul 9, 2015
It’s hard to not see an article these days – online or print – that talks about how the mobile camera is taking over as the everyday camera, some go as far to say that mobile phones are killing the traditional camera. The iPhone “Shot on iPhone” marketing campaigns are even promoting that their camera phone photos are good enough to turn into huge outdoor billboards, I’ve seen a few along the Boston city highways recently. But it’s not all doom and gloom for the future for traditional cameras just because everyone is using a camera phone doesn’t mean they have forgotten all about the camera. Read more »