Apr 20, 2017
Many of you will be familiar with the phrase “the Zone of Disruption.” InfoTrends has been using it to describe an interesting gap that has formed between two product classes: cut-sheet toner-based printers and roll-fed inkjet printing systems. The roll-fed inkjet models are extremely productive, but also carry with them a price tag of more than $1 million. The cut-sheet toner-based products are much more affordable, but typically don’t offer speeds much faster than 150 pages per minute. InfoTrends defined the Zone of Disruption as an opportunity for products with price points below $1 million, speed faster than most electrophotographic cut-sheet color printers, very competitive running costs, and production-oriented features (such as integrated finishing and advanced front ends). A handful of products have appeared in the Zone of Disruption over the past few years and this week a new one joined the fray: Canon’s Océ VarioPrint i200.
In most ways, the VarioPrint i200 is very much like the i300. It looks like it, has the same footprint, and virtually all of the same features. Two aspects differentiate the two products. The i200 runs at 194 letter size pages-per-minute (ppm) and the i300 runs at 294 ppm. There is also a significant price differential. Canon reports that the i200 is priced 20% below the i300. Although Canon did not announce pricing, InfoTrends expects that this would put the list price of the i200 at somewhere between $600,000 and $650,000. The i200 will be available in the U.S. in June through Canon Solutions America. The two products now form a product family that Canon is referring to as the Océ VarioPrint i-Series.
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Apr 7, 2017
After more than a year of public statements that Kodak’s Enterprise Inkjet division was for sale, the company has decided to keep it. According to the press release there was “strong interest” and they had “multiple offers” but Kodak concluded that these “did not reflect the value of the business.” And so they will keep it and reclassify it under continuing operations (it had been switched to “discontinued”). Randy Vandagriff has been named the new President of the Enterprise Inkjet Division. Phil Cullimore, the previous division head, is leaving Kodak.
Last May in the months after Kodak’s decision to sell the division I wrote:
Kodak Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Clarke suggested that a company with a larger sales and distribution footprint in digital printing markets would be better suited to help Prosper achieve its economic potential.
Now the decision is being positioned as a “pragmatic decision” based on improvements in the business (balanced with the scale of the offers received). In other words, no one came up with a good enough offer. Clarke said that the Prosper group performed well in 2016 with a 40% increase in annuity sales and that expectations were high for this year. He’s also optimistic about the division’s next-generation UltraStream technology, which he expects will go to market in 2019. In related UltraStream news Kodak said that it will begin delivering evaluation kits to a total of 17 companies, including Fuji Kikai, GOSS China, Matti, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Printing & Packaging Machinery, and Uteco. The companies will use the kit to explore the integration of the technology into future printing solutions.
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Mar 10, 2017
Mal Baboyian has 45 years of industry experience, an extremely long job title, and a lot of responsibility at Canon. He’s the Senior Vice President of Canon U.S.A.’s Business Imaging Solutions Group for Océ Product Marketing and Support. This covers a wide range of Océ-branded products, including two exciting new devices: the ProStream continuous-feed color inkjet printer and the Colorado 1640 64″ wide format UVgel roll-to-roll printer. This week at the One Canon press/analyst event in Boca Raton, Florida was the worldwide unveiling of the Colorado 1640 and Baboyian thinks it is Océ’s most important wide format graphic arts product introduction in 25 years. To say that he’s excited about this product would be an understatement—and this is a man who has seen quite a few wide format products. For one, he has helped Canon Océ to reach 6,000 unit placements worldwide in the very successful Arizona product line.
Here’s a quick summary of why Baboyian is so excited about the 1640. First off, it is very fast and quite affordable (MSRP, $58,000). Ink consumption and overall running costs are projected to be at quite attractive levels. In addition, the new Canon-developed UVgel inks have a large color CMYK gamut, give off little or no odor, dry immediately, and use low-temperature LED curing. Some very innovative supply and quality control features (to be explained shortly) top off the list.
Canon Océ Colorado 1640
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Feb 2, 2017
Today Xerox and EFI announced a move that extends their longstanding partnership: Xerox is selling its FreeFlow Print Server digital front end business to EFI. EFI will manage production and support of the existing FreeFlow Print Server and later will integrate it with EFI’s Fiery digital front end.
This next generation digital front end will integrate with EFI’s Productivity Suites, including print management information systems such as PACE, PrintSmith Vision, Monarch, and Radius ERP. It will also integrate with Xerox FreeFlow Core and XMPie workflows as well as third-party prepress solutions from Agfa Apogee, Heidelberg Prinect, and Kodak Prinergy. There is also the future opportunity to leverage JDF more effectively. EFI reports that its Fiery DFE is currently the only JDF certified digital front end. This opens the opportunity, through an API, to allow integration to any other applications.
Xerox Trivor 2400 with an EFI Fiery digital front end at drupa
Some who hear this news may be confused by a quirk in the nature of Xerox’s FreeFlow branding Read more »
Jan 22, 2017
This is the seventh time that I have recorded a video blog review of all the corporate greeting cards I received during the holiday season. This year I highlight cards I received from three different types of providers: technology/systems, support services, and printing/marketing. In this video you’ll see premium substrates, dye cuts and folds to create structural pieces, dimensional effects and foils, as well as eye-catching design and innovative personalization techniques.
If you have an interesting greeting card you’d like to send me, my address is Jim Hamilton, Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends, 97 Libbey Industrial Parkway, Suite 300, Weymouth, Massachusetts 02189, USA
If you would like to see the previous videos, here are the links:
Dec 12, 2016
We were in Japan last month and as luck would have it we were there at the same time that Komori held an open house to showcase its newest digital print solutions. This international event took place at Komori’s facility in Tsukuba, Japan and drew hundreds of attendees from all over the Asia Pacific region. It provided the opportunity to showcase Komori’s Impremia IS29, a B2-format, sheet-fed, UV inkjet printer capable of speeds up to 3,000 simplex sheets per hour. Also on display were a six-unit, 18,000 sheet per hour, B1-format Komori Lithrone GX40RP H-UV offset press running UV inks and a Komori Apressia DC105 die cutter. Komori’s recently announced sales partnership with Highcon was clear to see through the demonstration of the Euclid II+ during the open house. Horizon, also a Komori partner, showed a saddle stitcher.
The theme running across all of the products shown was a demonstration of a hybrid workflow for test marketing a national campaign for a cosmetic product. Read more »
Oct 18, 2016
In honor of International Print Day, InfoTrends is releasing ten new print sample videos. This brings to 100 the number of print sample videos I’ve recorded since 2012. Here are the new ones:
- HP Indigo books and output on canvas
- Kodak Flexible Film technology demonstration
- Touch7 and the Ricoh C5110
- Xeikon Trillium and 9800 samples
- OKI C942 CMYK plus white on colored sheets
- Selected dimensional and foil print samples (included are examples from Duplo, Eagle Systems/Kurz, Intec, Konica Minolta, MGI, and Scodix)
- Envelope printing (included are examples from Bell+Howell, Pitney Bowes, Sensible Technologies, and Spiral Binding)
- Canon imagePRESS 850 direct mail and photo book samples (finished on a Duplo DC-646 and a Plockmatic BLM50)
- An International Paper substrate comparison on the Canon Océ VarioPrint i300
- Why I Record Print Sample Videos
For the previous ninety videos, go to the Print Sample channel on the Jim Hamilton YouTube page.
For those who are not familiar with International Print Day, it is “24-hour celebration without borders” for “anyone with an interest in the original communication delivery device…to join the planet’s largest conversation about print in all its forms.” International Print Day starts at 6 pm ET on October 18th (11 pm GMT, 9 am AEST) and will finish 24 hours later. Those wishing to participate on social media should use the hashtag #IPD16.
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Oct 17, 2016
Last week I went to Boca Raton, Florida for the 2016 thINK Conference. thINK is a user community made up of Canon Solutions America (CSA) inkjet customers. This conference was the second such meeting and it has grown since the inaugural event in New York a year ago. Attendance is up significantly (from 350 to 450 attendees). Also impressive is the growth in partners. Nine additional partners joined for 2016, which brings the total number of partners to 34. This resulted in a larger exhibit area (or Partner Pavilion, as it was described on site). Finishing systems, paper, and software tools are the recurring themes of these partners.
Keynote sessions included tennis great Chris Evert, inspirational speaker Scott Burrows, the Winterberry Group’s Jonathan Margulies, and David Humphreys of The Economist. Though high-profile keynotes are intellectually stimulating and inspiring, I find that the two most important benefits from events like these are the educational sessions and the opportunity to network with peers. The conference program this year expanded to include twenty sessions across five tracks. Those sessions that I attended were well done and thought provoking. The opportunity to hear innovative peers speak about their experiences is priceless. Two examples will demonstrate this. Read more »
Oct 13, 2016
Graph Expo’s first visit to Orlando can be considered a qualified success, in part based on the low expectations that most exhibitors had for the show. It followed drupa, and a drupa year will always be a challenge for Graph Expo. What the future holds for this venerable show is up for discussion.
Let’s first consider attendance in Orlando. Thayer Long, the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC) president, said in a WhatTheyThink interview that the number of visitors (including booth staff) exceeded 13,000. This is down significantly from Graph Expo 2015 in Chicago, but is more or less in line with a reduced show that had at least 30% less exhibit space than in 2015.
Another factor is cost. Chicago is a great city, but Read more »
Sep 7, 2016
Graph Expo’s greatest strength this year could also be its greatest weakness. Coming on the heels of drupa, Graph Expo (Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, September 25-28) will be a great opportunity to see some of the latest product announcements made at drupa. That said, many exhibitors maxed out their marketing budgets at drupa, and the impact on Graph Expo will mean smaller booths and fewer support staff. The move to Orlando is likely to have an impact as well. It is yet to be seen whether the draw from southeastern states plus South and Latin America will balance off the commercial printers from the heartland who drove to Chicago for previous shows (and who may skip the show this year). Graph Expo 2016 will be a smaller, more compact version of the show, and yet that’s no reason to stay away. There will still be a lot to see.
Who Are the Largest Exhibitors?
InfoTrends has been measuring and comparing the booth sizes of trade show exhibitors at trade shows for many years now, most recently at drupa 2016 but also at Graph Expo in 2015. We believe it provides an important metric to assess the level of marketing spend that an exhibitor makes at a trade show.
The biggest Graph Expo 2016 exhibitors (by square foot of exhibit space as measured from the publicly available show floor map) are shown below.
Canon and Konica Minolta tie for the top spot. In fact, Read more »