Category: Packaging

A Decade of Dscoop

Barb Pellow
Mar 11, 2015

Last week, like many others I braved snow, sleet, and freezing rain to get to DscoopX in Washington DC.  While the weather outside was less than desirable, there was tremendous spirit and enthusiasm for the industry and digital technologies inside the Gaylord Convention Center.

Snowy D.C. Weather

More than 2,000 print professionals from 41 countries and over 115 business partners participated to share perspectives on how to “Xpand Print”.  According to show organizers that means that since inception more than 20,000 HP end users worldwide have participated in a Dscoop event. DscoopX had the largest Dscoop solutions showcase ever with over 45,000 square feet of exhibitions. It had the biggest HP presence in the solutions showcase in Dscoop history featuring an HP Indigo 30000, HP Indigo 20000, two HP Indigo 10000 units, and an array of large format technology all showcasing applications and opportunities for digital technology.
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HP Flexes Its Packaging Muscles: Part 2

Ron Gilboa
Dec 2, 2014

Hewlett-Packard’s Graphics Arts Division demonstrated its ongoing commitment to digital printing for packaging with two major events in Eastern Europe. The first event, the worldwide premiere of a printing and finishing solution developed and integrated by Kama and HP Indigo in Israel, was covered in InfoTrends’ blog on November 24. This blog covers the demonstration of the HP T400 at the Obaly Morava open house. The T400 is a high-speed inkjet press for the full color printing of liner stock that is later laminated to corrugated board and then converted into packaging and displays.

Obaly Morava (Otrokovice, Czech Republic) is a privately-held manufacturer of corrugated cardboard and packaging. The company manufactures corrugated packaging using three- and five-layer cardboard to create various configurations, including tuck-in flap boxes and specialized packaging. Obaly Morava’s equipment list includes the finishing elements needed to manufacture packaging (e.g., die-cutting, folding, gluing, sewing), equipment for various print processes (e.g., rotary screen and flexo printing for up to 5 colors), and now CMYK (with HP’s T400 inkjet press). Read more »

B2 Digital Presses: Market is Ramping Up in Europe, North America

Bob Leahey and Ralf Schlozer

The new generation of ‘B2’ format sheet fed presses from HP Indigo and several other suppliers has caused interest and excitement since their first unveiling two years ago. Today about 140 B2 presses are operating worldwide, and that total is growing. InfoTrends recently interviewed 40 current users of B2 presses and also surveyed 200 prospects for the technology in Europe and North America, in order to understand the status and outlook for B2 digital systems, which are available now from Delphax, Fujifilm, HP Indigo, and Screen, with more to come.  The results are charted and interpreted in the new report, Opportunities and Challenges in B2 Digital.

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HP Flexes Its Packaging Muscles: Part 1

Ron Gilboa
Nov 24, 2014

HP’s Graphic Arts division demonstrated its ongoing commitment to the future of digital printing for packaging applications by announcing a partnership with Kama, a major manufacturer of finishing automation.. The announcement came a part of a recent open house that Kama held at its Dresden, Germany headquarters; also at that event, Kama, a 120-year-old manufacturer of automatic die cutters, hot foil stamping systems, and folder-gluers, revealed its collaboration with HP Indigo to launch a prototype of the FlexFold 52, a folder-gluer that will become commercially available in Q2 2015. During his introduction, Kama CEO Marcus Tralau proclaimed that “packaging is coming home” to Germany with this new technology introduction.

The FlexFold 52 offers automatic setup for rapid changeovers from one job to the next, making it ideal for producing short runs of folding cartons. Setup is handled via JDF and JMF commands, and the device can automatically adjust the length and width of the folding elements before gluing them together at a speed of 200 meters per minute with nearly whisper-quiet operation. Developed in collaboration with HP Indigo’s team, the system complements the capabilities of the HP Indigo 30000 printing system when producing folding carton applications.

 

Kama FlexFold52

Kama FlexFold52

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Digital Packaging Printing Moving into Focus for Heidelberg and Canon

Ralf Schlozer
Oct 1, 2014

Heidelberg and Canon/Ocè both reemphasized their push into the digital packaging printing market at their customer events last week. Each company gave a detailed update on the progress it has made.

As promised back in April at a digital sneak peek event, Heidelberg showed their first digital label printer at the Gallus “Innovation Days” from the 23rd to 25 of September in St Gallen, Switzerland. The event, which is not to be confused with the Hunkeler innovationdays) served well as a platform to reemphasize the changes in the ownership structure; this summer Gallus became part of the Heidelberger group, the upshot of a share swap that increased Heidelberg’s ownership of Gallus from 30% to 100% and with the former owner of Gallus becoming the biggest individual shareholder in Heidelberg.

Center stage, however, was the digital label press with the somewhat less catchy name of Gallus DCS 340. The press, which comes with in-line finishing, is the result of development cooperation between Gallus, Heidelberg and Fujifilm. The press base is supplied by Gallus and is derived from the well-established ECS 340 label press, hence the web width is set at 340 mm (13.4”) and a range of flexo, screen and offset modules can be added. The press has a solid granite base and is equipped with an unwind and a die cutting/stripping module. Only the speed of the DCS had be limited to 50 m/min (150 ft/min) compared to 165 m/min (492 ft/min) of the conventional press. The integrated finishing is somewhat misleadingly named “ digital converting system”, since the ECS C finishing part contains no digital components at all. Its core is a semi-rotary die cutter, which is at least format variable, but still requires a conventional die.

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Investcorp Acquires SPG Prints

Other Posts, Ron Gilboa and Bob Leahey
Jul 21, 2014

Recently, Investcorp, a multi-national investment firm known for investing in alternative markets, announced that it will be acquiring SPG Prints, a Netherlands-based company specializing in the manufacture of digital inks and equipment for wide format, textile, and packaging applications. With this acquisition, SPG Prints may now have a chance to further expand their offerings within the graphic arts industry.

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Landa and Altana: Why It Makes Sense

Bob Leahey
Jul 11, 2014

Digital print technology start-up Landa made a splash recently with its news of a $130 million investment in it by Altana Chemical (Germany), in the process becoming a minority owner of the Israeli company. In an interview  with InfoTrends recently, Benny Landa, founder and head of his namesake company, explained that the Altana investment is about more than money and ownership–Altana is a strategic partner, contributing to Landa’s mission in terms of materials science, marketing, and global supply chain. Some points:

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Xaar 1002: Future Proofing Industrial Digital Print

Bob Leahey and Ron Gilboa
Mar 19, 2014

Last week piezo inkjet head manufacturer Xaar plc (Cambridge, UK) announced the commercial availability of the Xaar 1002 piezo inkjet head for use with both UV curing and ceramic inks. The news is significant because Xaar has more than twenty OEM customers using its Xaar 1001 head for industrial printing applications; the first batches of Xaar 1002 head have been shipped to OEMs and over time will completely replace Xaar 1001, which is now out of production.

While Xaar improved its 1001 head since its launch in 2007, the Xaar 1002 is the first truly new successor to it. The new head is outwardly almost identical to the earlier one but, according to Xaar, contains 90% new components. At its heart, for instance, the 1002 head has the same number of nozzles–one thousand–but the nozzles are based on a new design and new manufacturing, changes that Xaar says ensure straighter jetting and other enhancements.

Xaar 1002 Piezo Inkjet Printhead
Xaar 1002 Piezo Inkjet Printhead

Xaar has had great success Read more »

xpedx + Unisource – Will Bigger Be Better?

Jeff Hayes
Jan 31, 2014

International Paper (IP) and Unisource Worldwide (UWW) Holdings have announced a definitive agreement to merge their distribution businesses and form a newly created, publicly traded company that will be the largest paper distributor in North America.

This is a big deal. Two of the largest distributors of paper, board, and related supplies for the commercial printing and packaging industries are merging. It would be like Sysco and US Foods, UPS and Fedex, or Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks merging — OK, maybe not that big, but you get the idea.

The new xpedx/Unisource (unipedx? I hope not.) will have an unparalleled combination of product assortment, availability, logistics services, operational efficiencies, and, potentially, pricing power in the market. According to IP, the combined xpedx and Unisource business will have projected annual revenue in the range of $9 billion to $10 billion, and will have about 9,500 employees across more than 170 distribution centers in North America.

xpedx (blue) and Unisource (red) North American Locations

InfoTrends graphic from xpedx and Unisource data

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Konica Minolta Solidifies Long-Term Relationship with MGI Group

Other Posts and Ron Gilboa
Jan 27, 2014

This week, Konica Minolta announced that it will take a 10% minority shareholder position in MGI Group. This investment is valued at €13.7 million. Konica Minolta’s technologies in this area include office MFP devices, an upcoming B2 digital printer under its own brand, and a wide range of commercial and industrial printers for textiles, woods, and materials. According to Konica Minolta, the relationship with MGI is one step of many in a growth strategy that involves investing in technologies and companies that can advance its market penetration into digital printing. This alliance is also beneficial for the MGI Group, whose growth strategy is to expand its range of digital printing solutions for commercial printing environments into digital printing for industrial environments. The MGI Group already offers a wide range of products, including:

  • Digital color printers (e.g., the Meteor DP8700S XL)
  • Print enhancement tools (e.g., the JETvarnish 3D)
  • A variety of finishing products for card, punch, and envelope that are integrated with its printers
Figure 1: Meteor DP8700 XL

Figure 1: Meteor DP8700 XL

JETvarnish 3D

Figure 2: JETvarnish 3D

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