Apr 27, 2016
I attended the recent Dscoop Americas event in San Antonio and was struck by a few trends:
- Value-added special effects – One of the fascinating things that HP did in its Dscoop exhibit floor space was to display some special effects that its R&D labs are working on which may or may not be implemented someday on the Indigo platform through the use of the fifth, sixth, or seventh imaging stations. The intent of showing these was to get feedback from attendees on the concepts, each of which provides some value-added feature. The concepts included fluorescents, phosphorescents (glow in the dark), thermochromic, silver, scented, adhesive, glitter, chameleon, lenticular, expanding, gloss, invisible, and taggant. Attendees could vote on which effects they were most interested in. For those who want something now, HP has recently introduced a new more opaque white for Indigo. This white will require fewer hits to get the desired opacity. Speaking of value-added special effects, Scodix showed some beautiful examples combining dimensional and foil. (For more on Scodix, see the InfoTrends blog entitled “Pre-drupa: Israel’s Scodix Rolls Out Speedy, B1-Sized Digital Enhancement System.” For more on HP’s Indigo news, see the InfoTrends blog entitled “HP at drupa 2016: Re-Imagining Production Digital Printing.”)
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Apr 25, 2016
Noosh, a company whose print and marketing sourcing software is used by nearly 5,000 businesses and 20,000 users in 44 countries, is now transforming itself into a content marketing platform. By embracing this new approach while continuing to cultivate its roots in print sourcing, Noosh can offer licensees a head start on integrating multi-channel communications into their marketing strategies. Read more »
Apr 12, 2016
Scodix, the Israeli provider of digital enhancement systems for the graphic arts industry, announced on April 7 its introduction of Scodix E106, a B1-sized version of inkjet-based embellishment systems for which the company is now famous. Scodix will target the folding carton market with Scodix E106, where it says the new press will enhance up to 4,000 sheets per hour, speed that will allow it to finish short and medium print runs for both digital and analog presses. Scodix says it has already taken eight orders for E106, which will be the centerpiece in its booth at drupa; InfoTrends will report on that show (May 31 to June 10 in Düsseldorf ) for its package related consulting service.
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Frank Romano, Ron Gilboa and Jim Hamilton
Apr 7, 2016
Note: This blog is a result of an ongoing discussion about market definition that began with a conversation that Frank Romano and Ron Gilboa had at SGIA last November. Jim Hamilton joined the discussion later and after a few exchanges Frank suggested that we present this in point/counterpoint form. Frank will go first.
Frank: Separated by a Common Language
When you are on a ship in the South Pacific Ocean, thousands of miles from any land, and the satellite connection is down, you start to overthink things. Some people multi task; I multi think. And I started to think about all the new technology we will see at drupa for printing beyond the traditional. But as I read the releases, articles, and punditry, I wonder if we are all on the same page.
Take the three terms that are now bandied about: industrial and functional printing, and decoration.
- Industrial Printing: the product is produced using multiple technologies in an integrated manufacturing process. A prototype gear that becomes part of a mechanism is industrial. A container that has its identification printed at the factory where it is filled is industrial. Printed display screens are industrial. Most printed electronics is industrial.
- Functional Printing: the product is sellable in and of itself. A brochure is functional. A sign is functional. A 3-D printed model of a person is functional (your own personal mini-me). A package is functional. A printed T-shirt that changes color in the sun is functional. Products that change color due to external influences such as light (UV/black light), temperature (heat), pH changes, or water contact are primarily functional. “Smart” textiles and wearables are functional. Home decor wallpaper, fabric, and floor coverings are functional. The argument may be made that everything has a function, so why have two categories. But we must distinguish between products where commercial printing may be integrated at the point of manufacture, and products that may be produced by outside services.
- Decorative Printing: adding type, color, and imagery to existing products. This would include inkjet food decoration, printing on glass, wood, textiles, and other material. In the late 1800s they figured out how to print on metal, and beautiful tin boxes were produced for both home use and packaging. Embossing, coating, and die-cutting are decorative. This category may not be necessary, but Ron likes it.
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Mar 29, 2016
During a pre-drupa event last week in Israel the HP Indigo and PageWide Web Press production teams announced a range of new products and product improvements. Headlines among this news are:
- A new B1-format device called the HP Indigo 50000
- A twin-engine, 197 feet-per-minute, roll-fed, label print called the HP Indigo 8000
- A new Indigo high-definition laser array capable of 1,600 dot-per-inch resolution
- Spectrophotometers, scanners, sensors, and vision systems for the Indigo product line that enable improved productivity, consistency, and image quality
- Expansion of HP’s PageWide Web Press HD platform to include a monochrome offering called the T490 M HD
- Ongoing development of PrintOS
HP’s event was hosted at the HP Indigo facilities in Kiryat Gat and Ness Ziona and was informative as well as very telling about the company’s ongoing commitment to the future of digital printing not only from a technology perspective but taking into consideration social responsibility related to environmental impact as well as the profitability of their community of customers.
In his welcoming comments Alon Bar-Shani, General Manager, Indigo Division at HP Inc. mentioned the team’s commitment to the success of their clients, pointing out page growth of over 50% that has occurred in the Indigo installed base since last drupa, that is expected to produce an estimated 30 Billion A4 pages by the end of 2016. According to Bar Shani, this growth can be attributed to the dedication of HP Indigo’s team to print quality, the versatility of their solutions, and a line of products that is built to last. This sentiment was echoed also by David Murphy, Worldwide Director of Marketing & Business Development, HP PageWide Web Press division, HP Inc., who cited productivity, quality, versatility and economics as the key drivers in the estimated 50 Billion A4 pages printed on HP’s PageWide Web Press installed base in 2015.
Alon Bar-Shani Holds Up High-quality Canvas HP Indigo Print
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Mar 24, 2016
A select number of potential customers from all over the world were invited to visit the SPGPrints factory in Boxmeer, Holland on a day trip out during FESPA Digital 2016 to see the singlepass PIKE up close. In addition, previews of the new Javelin multipass device were also given inducing much interest from the international group of printing companies. The factory tour also showed how the company that is also largely an ink manufacturer, has now completed its third phase of expansion, doubling its production space.
PIKE’s Archer Ink Jetting Technology Extends to Multipass Javelin
Following its official launch at ITMA 2015 and announcements preceding, (SPGPrints Gives ‘Sneak Preview’ of New Single-Pass Printing Solution) SPGPrints’ 1.85m single pass textile machine and a preview of the multipass Javelin were shown in action, up close and personal to the group of printing customers from Brazil, Columbia, Greece, India, Israel, and Pakistan among others, enabling insightful questions to be asked about their ability to perform high speed textile printing cost effectively. The PIKE’s ‘Archer’ ink conditioning and delivery system used in conjunction with the Fujifilm Dimatix Samba printheads is also being used in the new multipass Javelin with the same jetting distance to fabric expected to be achieved by launch in the summer of 2016.
In the PIKE the Archer Printbar jets ink up to 4mm from the fabric (as opposed to the usual 1.5mm), which helps to reduce ‘headstrike’ with the fabric and reduce what is described as the ‘printhead headache’ of costly print head damage and machine downtime. Linked to this a 2.5 year printhead warranty is offered which could even extend beyond this timeframe once customer experience is gained. The Archer name is taken from the Archerfish found in estuaries and mangroves of Australasia that forms a narrow groove in its mouth to jet out a long spurt of water to capture insects some distance away.
SPGPrints’ PIKE Singlepass in action at the customer demo day
The PIKE, which is targeted Read more »
Mar 23, 2016
Highcon, the digital finishing system supplier, recently held a three day event at its headquarters in Israel to show technology developments that it will soon unveil at drupa 2016 in Germany. The short version of our report on this “pre-drupa” gathering:
- Since its debut at drupa 2012, Highcon has placed 25 of its “Euclid” and “Euclid II” devices globally
- In 2016 it will add a new portfolio of digital cutting and creasing systems and related tools, the Highcon Beam, Highcon Euclid III and the Highcon Pulse.
- These products will give carton converters and other printers new access to Highcon’s unique finishing, and also to two applications new at Highcon, 3D printing and variable data cutting.
Why Highcon Matters Read more »
Mar 21, 2016
At drupa 2012 Xeikon made a splash by showcasing a new liquid toner technology under the Trillium brand name. Although it was quite apparent that Xeikon was banking the future of its digital imaging business on Trillium, it has not said much about the technology recently, and then the anticipated delivery to French direct mail printer TagG Informatique in 2015 was missed.
On March 17th 2016 Xeikon finally gave a detailed update on Trillium. The first product will be commercialised under the Trillium One name, as originally announced with a 60 meter per minute (200 fpm) speed, 1,200 dpi imaging resolution and 50 cm (20”) web width. Imaging speed is laid out for 120 m/min, so a future speed upgrade should be possible.
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Mar 9, 2016
The latest offering from thINK and Canon Solutions America is “The Inkjet Edge: How to Transition Your Business to Inkjet,” a new book that will be a valuable tool for print service providers of all types. The book follows in the footsteps of “The Designer’s Guide to Inkjet,” which was published last year. While “The Designer’s Guide to Inkjet” addressed the practical application of inkjet technology with a focus on design and prepress, “The Inkjet Edge” takes a more business-oriented approach in an effort to help print service providers that are considering, or are in the midst of, an inkjet transition. The book is heavily illustrated and packed with market data and statistics from InfoTrends and I.T. Strategies. It also offers perspectives from a range of print service providers and solutions partners. A concise eleven chapters cover everything from the opportunity and the justification process to the use of color, paper, finishing, and workflow across a range of applications. Also important are two chapters dedicated to data-driven messaging.
Particularly valuable are the many quotes from experienced inkjet print service providers. Here are a few examples: Read more »
Mar 7, 2016
On March 2nd, EFI has acquired Rialco Limited, a UK-based supplier of dye powders and color products for digital print and industrial manufacturing industries. The acquisition is an important one for EFI because it could augment EFI’s equipment offerings with complementary EFI OEM inks for their digital textile printing products.
Based in Bradford (an hour’s drive northeast of Manchester), Rialco manufactures inks and dyes for textiles and wood finishing applications. Rialco was incorporated in 2003 and its latest turnover is just about 7.9 GBP (or just over $11 million) and gross profits of about 2.1 GBP (or just under $3 million) for 2014 (according to DueDil.com). According to EFI the company will operate as part of EFI’s industrial inkjet business, and will continue to support its existing clients as well as expand and grow its capabilities with new products and new customers as part of its long term growth strategy. As noted by Stephen Emery, Vice President of EFI’s Ink and Jetrion businesses, “The deal announced today gives EFI the platform to accelerate the technical advantages we provide to customers in the textile, signage, ceramics and other industries that are rapidly transitioning from analog to digital printing.” Read more »