Category: Uncategorized

Live from FESPA 2018: Steve Urmano’s Top 3 Picks

Ryan McAbee
May 18, 2018

Sharp’s Vision for the Smart Workplace

Deborah Hawkins
May 17, 2018

The traditional work environment is fundamentally transforming, and visions of the future Smart Workplace are emerging. Through the combination of the Internet, mobility, cloud, sensors, and the Internet of things, work can get done virtually anywhere people can communicate, collaborate, and transact.

To better segment and organize the “Smart Workplace,” Keypoint Intelligence has created a taxonomy of services related to our industry. This taxonomy helps define and categorize disparate technologies and services into a more concrete and comprehensive view of the Smart Workplace solutions and services.

Figure 1 : Smart Workplace Segments

 

Read more »

Printer Spotlight: Consortium Companies in Edison, NJ

Ryan McAbee
May 1, 2018

At the crossroads of New Jersey, just off the bustling Turnpike and Parkway, lies the town of Edison. The town was named after one of the most iconic figures in American history – the prolific inventor, Thomas Edison. Over a century ago that Thomas Edison moved his research laboratory to the Menlo Park area. It was there that Edison would invent solutions that continue to impact our lives today from the phonograph to the electric light bulb.

Against this backdrop in history, the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of Thomas Edison can be found today in the nearby Consortium Companies. The multi-generational, family owned print service provider offers a diverse range of products and services for clients in New Jersey, nearby New York City, and across the country. Whether customers need personalized mailers, oversized signage, fulfillment services, or marketing/novelty items, the group of Consortium Companies can deliver.

Read more »

Visions of Modern Packaging from the HP Media Day

Pat McGrew
Mar 11, 2018

The team at HP hosted a Media Day in Israel in February that unveiled the HP C500 cut sheet inkjet corrugated board printing platform along with demonstrations of the HP Indigo 6900 and 20000 platforms. Combined with a customer event, the HP team had an opportunity to bring both a technology story and a customer success story to the Media event.

Keypoint Intelligence produced analysis for the event that covers the event and introductions. This blog is focused on the samples shown during the event, which focused on the  corrugated packaging story, and the complementary stories behind folding carton solutions.

Read more »

2017 Camera Wrap-Up – Where Have all the Cameras Gone…

Carrie Sylvester
Dec 22, 2017

Where have all the cameras gone….

For the past several years we have done a year-end round up of the cameras that were introduced. It’s always an interesting exercise to look at what features and technologies camera vendors have chosen to feature in their products.

This year, the list of features was long but the number of camera models was not. You may think – is it just me or were there not as many new cameras introduced? Well you’d be right to think there were fewer cameras coming to the U.S. market. There were 33 new camera models that came to market in the U.S. since January 1, 2017 – 24 fewer than in 2016. In 2016 the US market saw 57 models introduced, 72 models in 2015 and 98 models in 2014. (Source: Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends U.S. Camera Model Tracker**).

Read more »

News Flash! Your Workflow is NOT Proprietary

Pat McGrew
Dec 4, 2017

As we approach the end of the calendar year, it is a good time to take a look at your workflow. If you have been following the earlier blogs, there is a road to travel to ensure that you have the most efficient workflow, from the point you begin to sell a job to the point where you deliver it. And while it is true that every workflow should be developed to meet the needs of the operation it supports, it is also true that it is very, very rare to find a workflow that meets the criteria to be proprietary.

Workflows have physical, data, and file-based components woven together to ensure that work that is sold is onboarded promptly and correctly, scheduled, and executed. Physical workflows are how you move substrates to and among your devices and through to fulfillment. Data workflows describe how data moves into the organization from customers, and then through the organization into accounting and production. Data not only includes the information needed for managing the order in the accounting system, but also the order and fulfillment specifications, as well as the data that follows the job through each workflow touchpoint. It is machine data as well as data captured from the production systems. In VDP printing environments it can also encompass the data used to create the VDP work if it isn’t delivered as a print-ready file. The file-based components areprincipally the print-ready files, but could also include font and graphic assets, dieline files or other supporting documents.

Read more »

What is Smart Print Manufacturing?

Ryan McAbee
Oct 9, 2017

The printing industry transitioned over the past four decades from a craft to a manufacturing process, driven by an endless stream of enabling technologies. The communication landscape continues to shift and evolve leaving print to compete against the speed, cost, and targeting capabilities of digital channels. Competition also remains stiff within the industry which remains focused on reducing costs through automation. The next decade will be about redefining print manufacturing to make it smarter as we transition to the next industrial revolution.

Smart Print Manufacturing (SPM) starts with streamlining inputs (customers, job onboarding, and production resources) to optimize every stage of production, eliminating or minimizing manufacturing inefficiencies and errors while maximizing uptime and execution.

SPM combines manufacturing methods with industrial technologies to optimize all stages of print production. Many print service providers have already implemented lean and just-in-time manufacturing techniques to optimize their supply chain and minimize waste. Mass customization and autonomous production, however, are still bubbling up.

  • Mass customization: creating customized, and in some cases personalized, products in small quantities while not increasing manufacturing costs.
  • Autonomous production: the use of data and networked communication to connect machines to management and information systems and other machines to decide and execute the most efficient manufacturing process.

While these concepts may seem as farfetched as the sci-fi technologies used by Jetsons when that cartooned appeared in 1962, the first generation of mass customization and autonomous production are already here. Cimpress, parent company of well-known online print brands in North American and Europe, is a mass customization company. Their brands produced 30 million orders from 17 million customers that resulted in 46 million customized products. The company has subsequently launched a platform, called Cimpress Open, to let merchants and other printers tap into its mass customization capabilities. As for autonomous production, most major equipment manufacturers that supply the industry have initiatives. Heidelberg demonstrated its “push-to-stop” technology at last year’s drupa tradeshow which allows the press to initiate processes, e.g., blanket washups, without needing input from the operator.

Source: InfoTrends

SPM relies on a stack of technology that is changing and evolving. In the table below we list the technology, description, and industry examples available today.

Technology Definition Sample of Industry Solutions
Analytics Software to interpret and visualize data that can be customized to individual users. Canon PRISMAlytics, EFI Fiery Navigator, Kodak Analytics, ONYX HUB, SpencerMetrics Connect
Big data Massive sets of data, often from multiple sources, that requires advanced software to capture, store, and analyze. Heidelberg (PTC Machine Cloud) and Pitney Bowes Clarity (GE Predix)
Business Intelligence Software that combines production data with financial data; often an add-on module to a print MIS or ERP system. Avanti Executive Dashboards, EFI BI, Tharstern BI
Cloud Computing An evolution of IT to pool and share resources (network, servers, storage, applications, and services) often via the Internet. Most cloud-based offerings in the print industry use a cloud computing service, such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
Cyber-physical systems Smart machines that translate data into actionable information to interface with other machines, systems, and people. Autonomous robots for materials movements.
Industrial Internet of Things A subset of the Internet of Things specific to manufacturing for increasing revenue through improved productivity, workforce transformation, and new business models. IIoT encompasses many other technologies in this list. No specific examples although many industry solutions are necessary parts of IIoT.
Robotics The use of robots to perform tasks, often repetitive, previously done by a person. Several vendors use robotic arms for material movements, e.g., from palette to cutting table, from suppliers like KUKA Robotics.

 

Print service providers of all shapes and sizes need to prepare, plan, and take steps to implement their own version of Smart Print Manufacturing. SPM is not just for the largest printers. While some technologies, due to cost or expertise, are out of reach for some printers, e.g., robotics, others are not, e.g., cloud computing. Those who wait will find it increasingly difficult to compete as the efficiencies of competitors trickle down to their cost structure and market pricing.

Have stories to share or questions to ask, then reach out to @mbossed on Twitter, or LinkedIn, or good ole e-mail.

Bright New Horizons for Memjet DuraLink Integrators

Pat McGrew
Sep 6, 2017

Pat McGrew & Bob Leahey

It’s here! We’ve been waiting for it and now it’s here – Memjet pigment ink and second generation print heads. This introduction starts the path to new generations of Memjet-enabled devices arriving in the market.

There were some interesting changes to the Memjet go-to-market that emerged from the announcement of DuraLink technology at the Memjet Analyst Day in August. DuraLink, the second-generation print platform from Memjet, supports aqueous pigment inks through newly designed print bars that form part of an integration kit. Memjet General Manager for Commercial Presses Eric Owen compared the new platform to a Blue Apron Box, where integrators take the modules they need to integrate the technology into their platform, as opposed to the first generation VersaPass which was delivered as a self-contained print engine supporting dye-based inks. The new technology uses pigmented inks, new heating technology, and 70,400 nozzles that enable up to 1600 x 1585dpi printing up to 2.5 meters wide. DuraLink joins the first generation dye-based technology which is now branded as VersaPass. The addition of the DuraLink solutions gives existing and future OEMs an important new option for print engines.


DuraLink Technical Specs

  • Configurable up to 100.9 in / 2.5 m wide
  • Up to 1600 x 1585 dpi resolution
  • Up to 668 fpm / 203 mpm
  • Print heads 8.77in/222.8mm width
  • Aqueous pigment inks
  • Sold as components to be integrated

For existing OEMs that want to replace VersaPass heads with DuraLink heads, Duralink is expected to take nine to 12 months to integrate. For new OEMs the Memjet team expects it to take 1-2 years to do the needed Mechanical Engineering. Memjet expects the first DuraLink-based products to enter the market in 2019.

DuraLink - Images

Printhead Maintenance Module Ink Supply Waste Ink Management Aerosol Management Print Engine Supervisor Print Bar Interface Dongle Dock

An important claim for Duralink is the reliability of the print heads. According to Memjet, with Duralink printheads and inks, nozzle-out conditions will go unnoticed due to the 5X nozzle redundancy of the new head design. The new 2.2 pl drop weight aqueous pigmented ink with its more limited dot gain is also expected to provide crisper images. Memjet also makes important assertions about the DuraLink’s pigmented inks, that they are water-fast, fade resistant and environmentally friendly.

The inks’ gamut is broader than GRACoL for coated papers, compared to Memjet’s dye based inks, with noticeably smaller ranges on plain papers. There is still testing to do on a broader range of substrates to codify the best substrates for the new technology, but over time OEMs should have the tools they need to target a broad base of applications, from transaction and commercial to labels and packaging.


Resolution Meters per Minute Feet per Minute Inches per Second

1600 x 1585 74.5 m/min 244.5 fpm 48.9 ips

1600 x 1260 93.7 m/min 307.5 fpm 61.5 ips

1600 x 790 149.5 m/min 490.5 fpm 98.1 ips

1600 x 580 203.6 m/min 668.1 fpm 133.6 ips


What does it mean?

While the technical details of the technology are interesting, the challenges that face Memjet and their integrators are also worth mentioning. The first generation of Memjet heads, VersaPass, was dye-based and found acceptance in transaction printing, office products, tabletop and high-speed label printers, and some wide format applications. With the pigmented inks and the new head technology, Memjet says that DuraLink is designed both for simplicity and for greater utility. Memjet’s management expects OEMs to take the new DuraLink technology into a wider range of applications, expanding in wide format, growing in transaction and commercial printing, and adding packaging applications over time. Much of where the technology goes will depend on Memjet’s OEMs. In the Memjet business model, the OEMs are responsible for all warranties, head life claims, and customer engagement, not to mention their marketing skill and overall support.

We know from watching other inkjet manufacturers that there is often a disconnect between the capabilities of the technology and the training provided by the vendor who directly engages with the end customer. The Memjet DuraLink technology will be capable of excellent print quality under the right circumstances with the right preparation, right substrate selection, and right decisions about print speeds and drying methods. The burden is on the OEMs to build a value proposition, match capabilities to markets, and deliver on the promise of a new generation of Memjet technology.

If you have stories to share reach out to me! @PatMcGrew on Twitter, on LinkedIn, or Pat.McGrew@KeypointIntelligence.com all reach me.

 

 

 

 

Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. Announces Acquisition of Muratec America, Inc.

Barbara Richards
Aug 3, 2017

KMlogo

NewMuratecLogo

Muratec has more than forty years in the industry entering the U.S. market in 1982 as Muratec Business Systems to sell fax machines through private-label agreements with multiple U.S. companies. The company changed its name in 1992 to Muratec and realigned to focus sales and distribution exclusively through a national business-to-business dealer channel.  They are typically seen as a strong tier-two player and have a loyal dealer network.

According to Rick Taylor, President and CEO, Konica Minolta Business Solutions, U.S.A., “Historically, we’ve had a mutual and complementary product lineup with Muartec making this acquisition a great platform to create new synergies together.” Taylor further added “The fundamentals of both of these companies align and we both strive to be the best in every region, makes this a perfect fit.” In fact, KM has been supplying Muratec with their A3 MFP engines for some time. The Muratec MFX-Series business-class MFPs are just the latest example of that long standing OEM relationship.

Muratec MFX-Series Business Class MFPs

muratecMFXseries

In addition to their A4 and A3 MFPs, Muratec also sells and services industrial label presses both inkjet and toner based technology. These digital label presses are designed for short run, high-definition digital color labels.

Muratec Precision Label Series (toner-based) Models

Muratectonerbaseddigitalpresses

 

Muratec Digital Label Presses & Packaging Printers (Ink-based) Models

MuratecInklablepresses

Read more »

Epson Announces Partnership with Nuance and showcases new products at “Prism of Possibilities” NYC Event

Barbara Richards
Jul 27, 2017

epsonlogo nuancelogo

Epson and Nuance form Strategic Partnership

On July 25th, Nuance Communications, Inc., and Seiko Epson Corporation announced a worldwide strategic partnership to enhance the Epson customer experience by providing Nuance document imaging solutions through Epson distributors and resellers. According to Epson, this new partnership brings together the low running costs, reduced intervention and environmental impact as well as the high reliability of their printers, with the ability to securely control and manage print and capture to enhance productivity, while reducing operating expenses for their customers. 

Under the new partnership, Epson will sell and distribute Nuance eCopy ShareScan and Equitrac Office/Express software on their family of inkjet MFPs including the high-speed WorkForce Enterprise WF-C20590 (launched in Spring 2017)http://client.keypointintelligence.com/bliQ/InfoCenter/Document/Item/52413605-84e7-47cd-9f6a-a5e10fb45b1d and LX -10000/7000 series of linehead technology for SMB and corporate workgroups.

In addition, Epson will also integrate the Nuance Omnipage SDK and Epson scanning applications for better OCR accuracy within document workflows and will bundle Nuance’s Power PDF software with a select line of Epson document scanners.

Nuance Solutions to be made available to Epson include:

Epson products Nuance products Nuance products Nuance products
WorkForce Enterprise/Pro Printers Equitrac Office Express Equitrac Express eCopy ShareScan
Document Scanners OmniPage Capture SDK PowerPDF

New DS-410 Document Scanner

At the event, Epson also announced a new commercial document scanner, the DS-410, complete with a 50-sheet automatic document feeder, duplex scanning and 26ppm/52 ipm scan speeds. It offers support for ISIS and TWAIN drivers for seamless integration into most document management software along with a three year limited warranty. According to Mark Pickard, Senior Product Manager of Scanners, the DS-410 is ideal for environments that require a fast and flexible document scanning solution that provides paper-intensive businesses an affordable solution to save, store and protect critical documents. The DS-410 is available today through select resellers and distributors nationwide at a MSRP of $379.

Figure 1- Epson DS-410 Document Scanner

EpsonDS410

 

In addition to the new scanner and partnership announcement, Epson also showcased products from their commercial and enterprise divisions as well as new wearable technologies that will be available later this year.

 

Read more »

2016 InfoTrends, Inc.

WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux