Aug 19, 2015
Color digital printing for packaging got a boost in Europe recently when a brewer long known for innovation, Martens Brouwerij (Belgium) publicized its use of a direct-to-shape print system to print PET bottles in full color, starting in June 2015. Called “Direct Print Powered by KHS™”, the system is engineered and built by KHS (Germany), a global supplier of filling and packaging solutions to the drinks industry, and commercialized by a wholly-owned KHS subsidiary, NMP Systems. The system, based on Xaar 1002 heads, Read more »
Aug 6, 2015
As part of its investor presentation earlier this week, R.R. Donnelley announced plans to split into three publicly traded companies, each with a different focus. These companies will be Customized Multi-Channel Communications (CMCo), Financial Communications Services (FinancialCo), and Publishing & Retail-Centric Print (PRSCo). Describing the move as a “transformative separation,” R.R. Donnelley positions this as the next stage in the company’s evolution from a print & ship model to a multi-channel communication services model that leverages data analytics, content optimization, and multi-channel marketing. The transaction will take the form of a tax-free spin-off of the financial and publishing/retail components and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016. The customized multi-channel media communications component will retain R.R. Donnelley’s outstanding notes/debt and will receive cash proceeds from the sales of the two other components. Existing R.R. Donnelley shareholders will end up owning shares in all three companies. No specifics were provided in regard to the management teams for each component. That will come later.
Source: R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Investor Presentation, August 4, 2015
R.R. Donnelley has net sales of about eleven and a half billion dollars. The three planned companies break out as follows: Read more »
Jul 27, 2015
Konica Minolta, a long time innovator in inkjet technology with over 30 years of experience, has released information on a new generation of print heads aimed at the evolving graphic arts, industrial, and functional printing markets. These printheads have resolution as high as 1,200 nozzles per inch (npi), drop size as low as 3 picoliters, jetting frequency of up to 100 kHz, and a physical size that is significantly smaller than the previous generation of Konica Minolta heads. As with many print head manufacturers Konica Minolta is manufacturing these printhead using Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) fabrication. Konica Minolta’s high precision printhead is capable of jetting of a range of inks and functional materials such as resins. These new capabilities will enable innovative new products in a range of industries. Konica Minolta expects to begin mass production of these heads in the spring of 2016. Read more »
Jul 21, 2015
In July HP hosted a worldwide HP Indigo VIP event in Israel. More than 250 customers and prospects visited from dozens of countries from all over the world – including USA, about 10 different European countries, China, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand, Mexico, USA, Brazil, South Africa, and more. There were dozens of sessions presented in each of the four tracks: Flexible Packaging, Labels, Folding Cartons and Commercial Printing. In addition to visiting HP Indigo labs and manufacturing facilities, attendees also visited local HP Indigo customers according to their tracks.
The event provided a great opportunity to present some news ahead of LabelExpo Europe, which is taking place end of September in Brussels. Packaging, and especially label printing, is now a major business for HP Indigo. According to HP label volumes are growing by 25% every year. With a forecast of more than 600 million square meters of labels to be printed in 2015 HP claims to represent nearly 10% of the global label market value and has established itself as major player not only in digital print, but in the whole label print market.
However HP Indigo is extending its coverage beyond label markets. While the ws 4000 and 6000 series are firmly rooted in the label market with only occasional installs in folding carton, shrink sleeves and in-mould labels, the HP Indigo 20000 marks a distinctive move into adjacent packaging markets. Of the roughly 30 installations of the 20000 so far most are used for flexible packaging, followed by shrink sleeves, with only a minority used purely in label printing. Meanwhile, HP Indigo has 20 or more installations of the 30000, the B2 sheet fed press that mainly prints folding cartons. Read more »
Jul 15, 2015
In a nutshell, here’s why I think print samples are important. As new printing systems enter the market you can assess their market readiness by the vendor’s ability to provide print samples. Early on in a product’s development, vendors are very cautious with print samples. They don’t hand them out freely, sometimes even showing them under glass or in sample books that are chained to display cases. Once a product gets close to release, the system vendors begin to hand out prepared print samples and they also offer to produce output from files provided by existing customers and sales prospects. This stage is symbolic because it signifies that the vendor believes that the product is ready for market.
To underscore my point I have recorded dozens of print sample videos for a broad range of production digital print products. A couple of my recently recorded print sample videos are Read more »
Jul 8, 2015
Dig deep into any printing company, beyond the presses and paper storage, beyond the shredder and bundler, and somewhere in a dark corner you will probably find a junkyard of old computers, copiers, printers, and other machines. It is like a mothballed fleet that will never fly again.
Since the dawn of the electronic era, technology change has been rapid and relentless. Accelerated depreciation is now a fact of life. Yet, for hundreds of years, the technology of printing rarely changed. The other day I had a pack of cub scouts printing on an 1888 letterpress hand press. No electronics and no battery.
That brings me to preserving the past of the printing industry.
The Smithsonian replaced its printing exhibit with Julia Child’s kitchen, which left only three museums of printing in America: Carson, CA, Houston, TX, and The Museum of Printing in Haverhill, MA. The latter will soon move from North Andover, MA to its own building.
Haverill, MA: Future site of the Museum of Printing (Spring 2016)
For 37 years, The Friends of the Museum of Printing has Read more »
Catherine Cresswell, Steve Urmano and Ron Gilboa
Jul 7, 2015
On July 1st EFI made two announcements: One was the acquisition of the Israeli Matan Digital Printer, a supplier of grand format printing solutions and the second was the acquisition of Reggiani Macchine a supplier of high end textile printing equipment.
Both acquisitions are part of EFI’s stated strategy to invest and grow its product portfolio in adjacent markets and technologies. Workflow and inkjet have been at the forefront of acquisitions by EFI in the past and is likely to continue in the future as this strategy evolves. This strategy enables EFI to leapfrog some graphic arts suppliers and enter into industrial segments that are emerging as adopters of digital technology as a means to dramatically change their respective industry segments’ supply chains and transition mass production markets into mass customization digitally enabled segments. Read more »
Today Xerox announced the availability of a new member of the iGen family: the Xerox iGen 5 150 Press. The iGen 5 150 model is the first of multiple offerings in a family that provides a choice of speeds, a range of feeding & finishing options, and an optional fifth imaging station. It’s the imaging station that is the biggest differentiator between the new iGen 5 150 and earlier iGen models. The fifth station is an LED-based, customer-changeable unit (CCU) that sits opposite the CMYK vector imaging systems within the main print tower cabinetry. Important to note is that the device runs the same speed in five-color and four-color mode.
Xerox first implementation of the fifth station is for color gamut extension Read more »
Jul 2, 2015
The 14th Edition of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival (XRIJF) wrapped up on Saturday, June 27 after nine days of 320+ shows, including 90+ free concerts at 19 venues with 1,500+ artists. In addition to listening to some great music, the in-plant executives in attendance had the opportunity to attend a Xerox educational session where they could learn how to “Amp Up their In-Plant.”
The session opened with a keynote speech from Barb Pellow, Group Director at InfoTrends. She shared her perspective on what it will take to reinvent in-plant operations in today’s environment. Pellow stated, “Nearly every industry is undergoing a major transformation that is being driven by new and emerging technologies. None has been more heavily impacted than the printing industry, and this is only exacerbating the challenges that in-plant managers face today. The key is to disrupt the status quo long before there is a need to do so.” According to Pellow, successful in-plants must build a vision, retool their services, reinvent their customer bases, expand their sphere of influence, properly position their new offerings, invest in operational excellence, and instill a culture of innovation. Read more »
Jul 1, 2015
Last week Canon Solutions America held a special inkjet event at one of its best customers, IWCO Direct in Chanhassen, Minnesota. IWCO Direct produces millions of letters a month as part of direct mail campaigns for many major brands. The variable component of these campaigns is printed and finished on a range of equipment including Canon Océ monochrome toner and color inkjet offerings. IWCO Direct is also active in Canon’s customer advisory councils and so they were a logical choice as the first site in the United States to have two of the latest inkjet products to come out of Canon: the cut-sheet Océ VarioPrint i300 and the continuous-feed Océ ImageStream 3500.
Both of these new products have strong potential, and Read more »