Category: Production

Milan, Italy – The hub for digitally printed fabrics

Ron Gilboa
Aug 13, 2014

For centuries Milan and the lake Como region have been the trend setters for fashion and décor industries and a source of innovation in fabric printing. Thus it’s no surprise that the wave of digital printing technology that is emerging in many industrial markets is making significant impact on the region. With its early roots in the 1990’s, inkjet innovations found their way into Italian digital printing systems for fabric by companies like Robustelli. Today, this area is brimming with solutions from companies such as Aleph, F-tex, DURST, Kornit, Regianni, MS Printing systems and more. Over the past decade these innovators developed solutions aimed at producing eye catching fabrics that are on display in catwalks around the world from Milan, New York, Tokyo and Paris. Read more »

EFI buys DirectSmile

Kaspar Roos
Jul 21, 2014

In a move to further capitalize on the fast-growing cross-media marketing opportunity, EFI today announced it has acquired the Berlin (Germany)-based Variable Data and Cross Media Software provider DirectSmile. No financial details have been made available about the acquisition, but since DirectSmile is relatively small, the acquisition is not expected to have a material impact on EFI’s top line revenue.

Despite DirectSmile’s limited size, the acquisition is big from a strategic point of view. So far, with perhaps the exception of OPS, EFI’s software acquisition strategy  has primarily focused on providing productivity improvements (predominantly through MIS) and not so much on business enablement. However, in the last couple of years we have seen a rising demand for cross media marketing technology among print businesses. In InfoTrends’ latest investment survey (2014), about 75% of respondents indicated they believe that print companies need to become marketing services providers, the highest number we have seen since we’ve started tracking the question a few years ago. The reason is pretty simple: in a time when print volumes and margins are under pressure, cross media marketing provides an opportunity for print companies to turn the tide, offer services that make their customers meet their communication goals more effectively, and come back for more. Print business that are successful with cross media see an average increase of 15% in print volume.


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Investcorp Acquires SPG Prints

Arianna Valentini, Bob Leahey, Tim Greene and Ron Gilboa

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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Frank Romano’s Love Letter to Linotype

Jim Hamilton
Jul 17, 2014

Professor Frank Romano’s new book, “History of the Linotype Company,” is like a love letter with references and footnotes. Beautifully printed and illustrated, it smells great too. It also weighs about as much as a fully-loaded agate type magazine from a Model 9 Linotype machine. With more than 460 pages, this book does not constitute light reading. If the names James Clephane, Whitelaw Reid, and Linn Boyd Benton mean anything to you, then this will be your goldmine. If they don’t, then this book provides the opportunity to drink in a rich mixture of historical documents and Romano’s astute observations. Romano is clearly obsessed with this topic, and for that we should all be thankful. Who else as a young man would have had the forethought to collect old type catalogs and preserve an unpublished company history?

In the Preface, Romano describes the book’s intent Read more »

Konica Minolta’s Print Production Blueprint for the Future

Jim Hamilton
Jul 15, 2014

At an analyst, press, and customer event in New York City last week Konica Minolta launched two new color products and hinted at (but did not provide specifics on) announcements to come later this year. Rick Taylor, Konica Minolta U.S.’s President and Chief Operating Officer, and other Konica Minolta U.S. executives also outlined the company’s strategy in a presentation titled “Blueprint for the Future” that showed how print technology remains at the core, but is surrounded by solutions and services.

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Xaar making a Comeback in China Wide Format

Tim Greene and Ron Gilboa
Jul 14, 2014

Rapper L.L. Cool J has a lyric that goes “don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years” and that is kind of what Xaar would probably say about its new print head launch:  that Xaar is a major supplier to the wide format digital graphics market and China is an important part of that. However, Xaar led the emergence of the large wide format graphics business in China in its early days, but as the segment became increasingly commoditized many Chinese wide format printer manufacturers expanded their wide format equipment portfolios.

 

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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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Charlie Corr in Memoriam

Jim Hamilton
Jul 10, 2014

It is our sad duty to report that Charlie Corr has died after a long illness. The industry has lost one of its greatest intellects. He will be sorely missed.

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Content Rising Event Review: Where Marketers Need to Look Next

Arianna Valentini
Jun 24, 2014

On Wednesday June 18th, Skyword, along with partners Conductor, Outbrain, and Traackr, held “Content Rising”, an event geared toward enterprise marketers in Boston, MA. The purpose of Content Rising was twofold: first, to raise brand awareness for the event sponsors and second to further educate marketers on the best strategies for content marketing.

While there is much buzz in the media on content marketing techniques and opportunities for brands to leverage content to pull in consumers, many of the marketers in attendance commented that they are still trying to refine their strategies and are not yet fully comfortable with the tactic. Gaining confidence in using a content marketing strategy was a strong theme of the night and also provided the vendors in attendance the opportunity to educate the audience on the best strategies for execution. Here are some of the highlights from the event, as well as a brief overview of the vendors in attendance.

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HP poised for rebooting digital wide format

Tim Greene and Ron Gilboa
Jun 19, 2014

At a recent launch event in San Diego, CA HP unveiled plans to “reboot” its wide format digital printing portfolio with a new modular thermal inkjet (TIJ) platform. Additionally HP launched new wide format technical printers, production software, and a single print driver for their DesignJet family, but the headliner was a wide format printer from HP that will compete in the single-pass wide format segment.

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