Category: Uncategorized

HP acquires Apogee

Deborah Hawkins
Aug 8, 2018

On the 1st August 2018, HP Inc signed a definitive agreement to acquire all shares of Apogee.

The UK based office equipment dealer claims to be Europe’s largest independent provider of print outsourced services and document and process technology. The transaction values Apogee as of closing at GBP380m

Why Apogee?

This acquisition is a continuation of HP’s strategy to expand its contractual sales strategy and disrupt the A3 office market which began with HP’s acquisition of Samsung Printing in September 2016. Since that time, HP has been recruiting selective office equipment dealers that offer higher margin services, to its partner program across the globe. Read more »

Brands Represent BLUE Ocean for Esko

Ryan McAbee
Jul 25, 2018

Last week Esko announced its acquisition of BLUE Software, LLC, a label and artwork management software company headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. We had the opportunity to speak with Heidi Larsen, VP, Brand Integration Leader, who is directing the integration of the two companies, to get Esko’s perspective.

BLUE will join other Esko acquisitions, Enfocus and MediaBeacon, and sit under Danaher’s Product Identification platform of companies. In the issuing statement, Esko President Udo Panenka, said “We are relentlessly seeking to reduce time to market, cost and quality risk in the end-to-end packaging value chain. The acquisition of BLUE enhances Esko’s unique set of tools to enable brand owners and their partners to improve all three.”

Global brands continually need to flatten and speed up their supply chains so they can respond more quickly to marketing opportunities, different consumer segmentations, and ever-changing consumer preferences. The difficulty is that the industry averages 198 days to produce a label change, as cited at this year’s EskoWorld event. The challenge is further compounded considering brand’s refresh nearly a third of their SKUs every year according to a Keypoint Intelligence-InfoTrends study. The BLUE acquisition will further strengthen Esko’s product portfolio to support their growing and significant business supporting the packaging and identification needs of global brands. Read more »

Xerox Iridesse – After the glitter settles! Well what if? or Sure why not?!

Marc Mascara
Jul 2, 2018

Xerox unveiled their latest production printing press during two jam-packed events in the US and Europe. The first event took place May 9th outside Rochester, NY at the Xerox Gil Hatch Center for Customer Innovation — the largest digital print showcase in the world.

Images courtesy of Xerox – Iridesse launch Webster, NY

 

Customers, prospects and the media were invited to the unveiling of the Iridesse press and given the opportunity to kick the tires. The second reveal took place on May 23 in Warsaw, Poland during the 2018 Xerox Forum, where Xerox Premier Partners (customers) and Graphic Communication Resellers attended.

Image courtesy of Xerox – Iridesse launch Warsaw, Poland

 

Both events could be worthy of an Oscar with the pomp and circumstance of a professional product reveal that introduced the global availability of the press.

My colleague Ralf Schlozer’s first impressions of the Iridesse, launched by Fuji Xerox last December, can be found in the post Fuji Xerox Iridesse – Two specialty colours is better than one. I invite you to re-visit Ralf’s blog for all the launch and specific details of the press while I answer the philosophical question of “do printer’s need a press like the Iridesse now that the glitter and dust have settled?”

So, if you ever worked production you know that manufacturer suggested limits are always ignored, especially if you need to get a job out or when client work is accepted in lieu of going to the competition. You see this in the offset world all the time and that is why successful print companies know that being able to configure equipment for different needs trumps equipment with a “wow” factor. Print customers first question is always can you do this, and the printer wants to respond sure, why not?! Digital equipment sometimes puts the printer into the “what if” situation. Basically, well what if we do this instead?

Quality CMYK for the most part is expected in this class of press, but in terms of flexibility, print providers expect numerous options for not only resolution but multiple halftone screens. Having the ability to respond to real time production needs based on image quality and media range gives production the flexibility to confidently accept work. Iridesse meets that challenge with Ultra HD Resolution which delivers 1200 x 1200 x 10 bit RIP resolution and 2400×2400 imaging resolution, enabling screening options from stochastic to fine line screens up to 600 dpi.

Image courtesy of EFI – Xerox EFI Exp6 5/6 color image Viewer

 

Media plays a huge role in just how many jobs and what type of work a print provider can accept. Just as in offset, digital presses must address a wide array of media while running at rated speeds. I would say most equipment manufacturers are fighting it out on this front regarding the range of media weights and types being supported. Iridesse tops out at 400gsm but gives a respectable range from 52 to 400gsm. Production flexibility comes into play when the print providers press supports a wide array of media types and weights, multiple pick points  (i.e., multiple paper trays), that allow for a broad range of supported media and media sizes along with multiple insertion options all running at rated speed. To meet these extreme requirements Xerox equipped Iridesse with technologies integrated throughout the press called “Mixed Media Xceleration”  giving the operator a wide array of run time media options with no slowdown of output.  Its this production flexibility that digital press manufacturers continue to expand upon, driving machine innovations which adds to the acceleration of the offset to digital migration and the continued ability to drive manual labor cost out of the production process. With that said, Iridesse is highly configurable, supporting many finishing scenarios from square fold to booklet making with Plockmatic’s advanced capabilities, again reducing the overall production touch points with greater production flexibility.

One could say that most digital press manufacturers are competitive in all these areas offering their own set of production capabilities, but Xerox upped the ante by making the print order of colors configurable without the need for a service technician!  As in the offset world, you just run a cleanup and change ink, or in this case you swap out the dry toner. As a PSP, you not only have the ability with Iridesse to produce 4, 5 and 6 color work, but you can self-configure which special color will underlay and overlay the CMYK opening a whole host of design capabilities for high value applications.

Xerox calls this snazzy feature “EZ Swap” which allows operators the ability to swap and run two specialty dry inks in a single pass. The key phrase is single-pass. Just imagine what you could do with a press that supports multiple pass capabilities with very accurate registration. I think offset press operators can see where I’m going with this.  Xerox has tapped into one of the last frontiers left for digital press capabilities in opening the ability for the operator to decide the dry ink lay down order with multiple specialty colors and to expand that capability with multiple passes.

Read more »

Canon Europe’s Philosophy on the Smart Workplace

Deborah Hawkins
Jun 25, 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 be performed virtually – enabling anytime, anywhere communication, collaboration, and fulfilment of transactions.

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, providing a more concrete and comprehensive view of smart workplace solutions and services.

                                                    Smart Workplace Segments

As part of our coverage of the smart workplace, we interviewed key vendors on their visions. The following is an excerpt from interviews with key visionaries at Canon Europe, namely Arthur Batalona (Senior Consultant Strategy & Business Development), Ian Tomlin (Senior Consultant Information Security) and Brennan Peyton (Sales Director, Business Imaging Solutions). Read more »

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.

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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.

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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 »

2016 InfoTrends, Inc.

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