No Heidelberg at Graph Expo 2010

Jim Hamilton
 Feb 28, 2010

WhatTheyThink reported last week that neither Heidelberg nor Komori would exhibit at Graph Expo this year. This news represents the culmination of a trend that has been brewing over the past ten years at the Graph Expo and Print shows. Since 2004, InfoTrends has compared the Graph Expo show floor maps to provide an indication of market changes. These rankings are compiled by measuring the published show floor map. Initially InfoTrends began conducting this exercise to show the impact of the digital vendors on a trade show that had been dominated by traditional printing press vendors. This point has long since been made. For all practical purposes, as one looks at the list of top vendors, Graph Expo has become dominated by digital exhibitors.

Company 2008 2007 2006 2004
Heidelberg 1 1 1 1
HP 2 2 5 4
Xerox 3 3 3 3
Kodak 4 4 2 11
EFI 5 Tie 10/11 17 12
Canon Tie 6/7 Tie 10/11 Tie 6/7 17
Océ Tie 6/7 Tie 6/7/8 10 10
Böwe Bell + Howell Tie 8/9/10 5 Tie 6/7 9
Komori Tie 8/9/10 Tie 6/7/8 8 5
Mitsubishi Tie 8/9/10 Tie 6/7/8 11 14

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Getting Compact

Jim Hamilton
 Feb 26, 2010

I was reminded recently of a good example of innovative design. I had seen GBC’s eBinder at ON DEMAND 2009 in the Xerox booth where it was shown in-line with a Xerox Nuvera, but the full impact of the design took a while to sink in. As is often the case, a picture can tell the story better than a wordy description. The eBinder uses a single flat plastic consumable (see below) to form an elliptical lay-flat, wrap-around  binding that can support document page counts ranging from 2 to 100 sheets.

eBinder Ellipse consumable (top) and GBC ProClick consumable (bottom)

eBinder Ellipse consumable (top) and GBC ProClick consumable (bottom)

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The iPad: a Photo Enthusiast’s View

Carrie Sylvester
The iPad was introduced on January 27, 2010. Based on its appearance, the iPad could be described as an oversized iPod Touch. Apple, however, describes it as its “most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device.” The iPad is a 0.5-inch thick tablet device with a 9.7-inch diagonal LCD display. It offers 1,024 x 768-pixel resolution and features the iPhone’s signature multi-touch interface.

 iPad hardware-01-20100127

European debt resulting in different speeds of economic recovery

Zac Butcher
 Feb 25, 2010

Wherever I go at the moment I hear cautious optimism regarding the European economy and the prospects for business in 2010. Nevertheless there seems to be something troubling people, a sense of unease despite the positive sentiments. A couple of weeks ago someone went as far as suggesting they were seeing a multi-speed recovery in Europe; some markets picking up - others remaining severely challenged.

Today, I thought I’d take the bull by the horns, go one step further and openly talk about the enormous elephant in the room – DEBT.

OK, so I’ve said it – what now? Read more »

Activist Shareholders Go to Court to Defy Canon-Océ Acquisition

Other Posts
 Feb 23, 2010

The proposed acquisition of Océ by Canon is still not certain as it emerged that activist shareholders Hermes Asset Management, owning 3.3% of Océ’s shares, and The Universities Superannuation Schemes, owner of 1.8%, have asked a court in Amsterdam to conduct an investigation about the negotiations that took place between Canon and Océ. Since Canon made the offer, there has been resistance from certain shareholders as they argue that Canon’s proposed €8.60 offer per share undervalues Océ, and that higher returns can be achieved if each of Océ’s business groups is separately divested.

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Implications of the CARD Act for TransPromo

Matt Swain
 Feb 22, 2010

Today, the major provisions of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act (the CARD Act) takes effect in the United States. The ultimate goal of this law is transparency and clarity in terms and conditions. The likely result will be sweeping changes to how credit card issuers approach their marketing, advertising, and billing. What does this all mean for TransPromo? One long-standing hurdle to the implementation of TransPromo is the headache of document (and data) redesign. Credit card issuers were given a government-mandated opportunity to open up that data and begin a redesign process–however basic it may end up being. That said, multiple vendors and service providers have leapt at the opportunity. The general feeling from many of the companies these vendors are working with is that if they are going through a redesign anyway, what else can they do?

Some of this activity was already put into motion while ramping up for the Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z), which took full effect on October 1, 2009. Similar to the CARD Act, the relevant portion of this law related to content and formatting changes that credit card billers needed to put in place. has an interesting timeline that shows when various credit card legislation takes effect. Our expectation is that 2010 will reveal significant headway made for TransPromo in the credit card industry in the United States.

Konica Minolta and Océ End Development Relationship

Jim Hamilton
 Feb 12, 2010

In another indication that Canon’s planned acquisition of Océ is moving toward completion, Konica Minolta and Océ have mutually announced that they are ending their joint development efforts, which had centered around cut-sheet monochrome and color output systems for the production printing market. Konica Minolta and Océ said that they would continue to supply production printing systems to each other on an OEM basis, under the OEM sales agreement. They will also continue to supply consumables and parts and offer after-sales service for products already in the market.

The OEM relationship had started with Konica Minolta providing its 50- and 65-ppm color copier/printers to Océ. It expanded when Konica Minolta announced its bizhub PRO 2500P, an OEM version of Océ’s VarioPrint 6250. The companies announced a formal partnership for a development and marketing relationship in January of 2008.

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Pre-IPEX media briefs – continued

Ralf Schlozer
 Feb 9, 2010

After listening to several vendors so far at the pre-IPEX media briefs I have to admit this has been a slow start. With 100 days still to go before the show, it appears that some vendors felt the time not to be ripe to share too much detail on what will be on display at IPEX. It looks like they want to save the fanfare for the opening day of IPEX. Here is my response to the vendors: Rest assured, we will even come if we have heard a lot of details about the products to be launched. In fact having the press to write more about upcoming products would even help attract more visitors.

Despite this general reticence, there were some interesting product news. With the announcement by Domino Printing Sciences the array of suppliers of inkjet label printers has been enlarged again. The N600, due to be available from IPEX starting in May, is a continuous fed colour inkjet label printer. It uses Kyocera inkjet heads and has a resolution of 600 dpi at a speed of 50m/min (164 feet/min) with four grey levels per drop. Reducing the grey levels to three will allows even a faster speed of 75 m/min. The printer uses UV inks and is firmly targeted at label applications. Domino will provide unwind and rewind, with the opportunity to integrate in-line finishing steps, and also supplies its own front-end.

Pitney Bowes was one of the few vendors that spent considerable time on talking about its new product line of high speed continuous feed inkjet colour printers. Although the product was already announced in September last year and covered by an InfoTrends analysis, the interest of the press crowd was considerable. The Intellijet is the fruit of the strategic alliance with HP, in which Pitney Bowes has the exclusivity of the T300 inkjet web press for transactional and direct mail markets. In addition Pitney Bowes features its own DFE capable of processing data streams. At this opportunity Pitney Bowes announced the first sales to an U.S. based healthcare payment company, who is taking three printers at once.

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Showtime: The Pre-IPEX event season has started

Ralf Schlozer
 Feb 8, 2010

Every big events has its forebodings and so do big trade shows like drupa or IPEX have a string of press events running up to the event itself, in which vendors and show organizers give the press a first glimpse on the things to come. This will be the first blog on pre-IPEX announcements and there will be more coming up in the next days and weeks as the information trickles in.
The IPEX organizers themselves set the scene today at the first pre-IPEX event and shared some pre-show figures. IPEX will be big — but slightly smaller than IPEX was in 2006. Floorspace will be reduced by 15%, but still will encompass a whopping 60.000 square metres (approx 650.000 square feet). The IPEX organizers are still upbeat as initially a much bigger drop in the number and booked floorspace of the exhibitors was expected. There are only 3,500 square metres of exhibition space vacant and the IPEX organizers are confident to fill these gaps soon.

There was some interesting news however on who is taking how much space. In 2010 HP will have the biggest booth, by beating Heidelberger Druckmaschinen by about 500 square meters. Heidelberg’s booth size essentially halved compared to IPEX 06. An even bigger drop had Xerox in its booth size, but Xerox still ties with Canon on the third rank in booth size. Fujifilm, Kodak, Ricoh/InfoPrint, Konica Minolta and Océ complement the line-up of digital companies in the top 10, joined by Friedheim International, a U.K. based finishing equipment dealer. In other words 8 out of the top 10 exhibitors by booth size sell digital printing equipment. KBA and manroland are present at IPEX as well, but with smaller booth sizes. Overall the share of digital equipment manufacturers increased from 26% to 38% of the show floor, while printing press manufacturers dropped from 41% in 2006 to 26% in 2010.

At the same time the show is getting more international. About 50% of attendees are expected to be from outside of the U.K., compared to 40% in 2006. Additionally 28% of the over 1,000 exhibitors are new to the show, illustrating the innovation potential that is still within the Graphic Arts industry. Especially Chinese manufacturers have been very active and their presence at the show will essentially double. No doubt — at IPEX 2010 there will be some interesting news to be found on the showfloor.

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