Nov 21, 2013
I didn’t expect to learn how to become a futurist at AdTech New York (November 6-7, Javits Center, New York City), but it’s one of the many lessons I learned from a day on the show floor and at the conference.
How to Become a Futurist – Sheryl Connelly, a futurist at Ford, gave the Thursday morning keynote and it was a sobering ten point summary of the challenges facing the world. Here are those challenges in short form Read more »
Tim Greene and Norman McLeod
Nov 18, 2013
Many readers know that two of the biggest paper merchants in the U.S. (xpedx & Unisource) are planning to merge. The combination of xpedx (about $6 billion in revenue) and Unisource (about $4 billion in annual revenue) would create a giant in the U.S. distribution business. Whatever you think you know about Xpedx and Unisource, they are definitely not JUST paper merchants, those days are way over. Both companies have important initiatives in packaging, digital printing and yes, wide format.
As the big paper merchants come together we see other companies organizing to compete. Read more »
Nov 14, 2013
Dscoop (Digital Solutions Cooperative) is an independent global community of graphic arts business owners and technical professionals who use HP Indigo, Scitex or HP web press equipment. Dscoop was founded in 2005 and after establishing a strong presence in North America it is broadening its reach with the second conference for the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, Africa). More than 700 digital print professionals from 36 different countries gathered at the second annual Dscoop EMEA conference. Among them were 400 print service providers, a substantial increase from 200 in the year before. The event titled “Print Grand Prix” ran November 6th to 8th at the Rome Marriott Park Hotel, Italy.
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Nov 12, 2013
Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) and Fujifilm Corporation announced last week that Heidelberg and Fujifilm’s Global Graphics Systems subsidiary have established a strategic partnership in the area of inkjet printing. For observers of digital printing for packaging, the news could be important because of the market role of each company: Heidelberg is one of the world’s top suppliers of offset presses for folding carton printing, as well as key workflow tools; Fujifilm is a major supplier of both offset and inkjet technology, and has leading role in CTP, workflow software and other pre-press technology. The partnership could result in Heidelberg’s marketing of an existing Fujifilm inkjet system for packaging or, longer term, the development of other printing presses based on Fujifilm technology. Read more »
Nov 5, 2013
Digital textile printing for customizable garments, décor, and industrial uses has taken the printing industry by storm; and while much of this interest relates to the ability of wide format and direct-to-substrate devices becoming more capable of production runs, there is yet another futuristic application to look forward to: electronic textiles or “smart textiles”.
Figure 1: Lüme Light Up Clothing
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The World Publishing Expo, the largest global trade fair for the newspaper and news publishing industry was held in Berlin, Germany, from the 7th to the 9th of October. It was the 43rd annual exhibition and conference and featured 267 exhibitors from 35 countries, including printing press manufacturers, editorial and advertising system providers, new media providers and other suppliers to the industry.
About 8,500 visitors from 90 countries attended. The 8,500 visitors were an increase from 7,000 who attended the 2012 Expo, which was held in Frankfurt, Germany. It is nevertheless a far cry from the heydays of the newspaper industry when publishers ordered presses by the dozen, invested in dedicated editorial systems, and newspaper publishers routinely had a return on revenue in the 20% range. These cases are pretty rare nowadays as newspapers are on one of the most embattled print segments. Not only is there a massive shift of readership from printed copies to electronic displays, additionally the base business model of publisher is under threat: charging for news content in the light of free electronic news sources. As a result, circulation is dropping across the industrialised countries. According to WAN-IFRA, newspaper circulation dropped by about 25% in Europe in the last four years, with North American circulation dropping by 12% in the same timeframe. There are bright spots however with noticeable gains in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Still with an average daily circulation of over 522 million newspaper copies worldwide in 2012, printed newspapers is a very sizeable market. Newspaper publishers know that they need to shift their business model from traditional mass print production to different forms of publishing however. Read more »
Nov 4, 2013
A few years ago, you could not turn around without hearing or seeing something about digital printing. The noise has quieted down, but the changes keep on coming.
Offset press manufacturers now send out a press release every time they sell a system because it is such a unique event. There is still a good market for offset presses, but it is smaller that ever and getting smaller.
Komori and KBA were the only press makers at the PRINT show. Komori actually had a press. “Find us by following the noise,” I was told.
Digital printing volumes are growing nicely, but no one notices. Read more »
Nov 3, 2013
With over 1,200 attendees and representation from 597 Ricoh dealerships, Convergence 2013 was Ricoh’s largest dealer event of all time. The executive team was very accessible and honest in their self-evaluation of where they have been, mistakes made along the way and creating specific plans for addressing the issues and growing the company.
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Nov 1, 2013
In a further sign that Landa is moving closer to beta testing and production, today Landa and Komori announced that the companies have extended their alliance through a formal licensing agreement. In addition, Landa has ordered production units of the Komori sheet-fed platform for use in the Landa S10, which is going into beta testing early next year and is expected to be delivered to customers in the fourth quarter of 2014. Landa added that it would be using Komori’s sheet-fed platforms for all of its sheet-fed Nanographic printers.
Yoshiharu Komori and Benny Landa
Landa said that since drupa its engineers have been evaluating proposals from European and Asian sheet-fed press vendors. Landa signed partnership agreements with three companies at drupa: Heidelberg, Komori, and manroland’s sheet-fed division. While other sheet-fed platform providers may have been considered in addition to these three, today’s announcement confirms that Komori has come out on top. Komori surely had an edge going into the evaluation process since it provided the sheet-fed platforms for the Landa devices shown at drupa.
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Oct 31, 2013
The road to redemption and a World Championship for the Sox provides some lessons applicable to business. As Boston celebrates the win, the first lesson is that winning is fun. Being on a winning team builds morale; it keeps staff motivated and creates a positive environment. Winning organizations have less bickering, they act more cohesively. Employees believe in each other. When they enter the field of competition they believe they will win and that good things will happen.
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