Canon Says, “Let’s Start a Production Digital Print User Group”

Jim Hamilton
 Feb 20, 2014

Probably the most interesting news item to come out of the recent Canon Solutions America (CSA) briefing was CSA’s announcement that it was forming a user group steering committee, and that it hoped to have its first convention in 2015. The focus of this user group will be production digital print.

Keep in mind that two of the most successful user events in the production digital print space–Dscoop (a cooperative of HP Graphic Arts users) and EFI Connect (the annual EFI worldwide users’ conference)–have been gaining more traction in recent years. That CSA would consider creating a group for its own production digital print users should come as no surprise, particularly with Francis McMahon on board. McMahon, Vice President of Marketing for CSA’s Production Print Solutions division, played an integral role in getting Dscoop off the ground many years ago when he was the Director of Marketing for HP’s Graphic Solutions Business. In addition, CSA’s hiring of Dscoop Executive Director Eric Hawkinson in 2013 should have tipped us all off; it makes sense that Canon would use Hawkinson’s skills to start an initiative like this.

CSA’s Eric Hawkinson with Customer Panel

Exactly what form (or what name) the user group will take has yet to be determined. Read more »

Frankly Speaking: App Happy

Frank Romano
 Feb 14, 2014

Mid-winter silliness by Frank Romano

There’s an app for that
Or so they tell us
App is application abbreviated
And that is what they sell us

An app is really a program
What computer software begat
But no one ever says
There’s a “prog” for that Read more »

Happy Valentine’s Day, Mr. Hamilton

Jim Hamilton
 Feb 13, 2014

While it’s nice to see my name written in rose petals (or in clouds or candies or footprints in the sand), by itself this form of personalization, though eye-catching, is not enough. Using variable data requires more than just a person’s name.

With a very small amount of information (for example, name, address, and account status) it is possible to create a much more effective document. Read more »

Xennia Inks approved for All Xaar Ceramic Inkjet Printers

Ron Gilboa
 Feb 12, 2014

Inkjet technology supplier Xennia (UK) announced last week that its XenInx Zircon inks for ceramic tile printing have received formal approval for use in all models of the Xaar 1001 re-circulating printheads. The Xaar 1001 inkjet heads are widely used inkjet heads in color digital presses now operating at tile manufacturers globally. The XenInx Zircon inks are the latest generation of digital inks from Xennia for ceramic tile printing in use with numerous production lines, built by Xennia or other manufactures, using Xaar 1001 print heads.

XenInk Digiital Ceramic Tiles

XenInx Digital Ceramic Tiles

 

XenInk Color Pallette

XenInx Color Pallette

Read more »

Dover Invests in Digital Textile Printing

Ron Gilboa
 Feb 10, 2014

On February 4, DoverCorporation announced that it has acquired MS Printing Solutions s.r.l.(“MS-srl”), the Italian manufacturer of digital printing solutions for the textile and décor industries. Dover, a Fortune 500 industrial conglomerate, will add the company to its Printing and Identification Division, which already includes Markem Imaje and three other companies from the industrial marking and related segments. Though no financial terms were disclosed, the company indicated the MS revenues for 2014 are expected to be $70 Million.

MS LARIO production at Miroglio Group, Italy

MS LARIO production at Miroglio Group, Italy

Read more »

4 Wide Format Lessons from the Olympics

Other Posts
 Feb 6, 2014

The Olympics are starting soon and it got me thinking about some of the ways that competing in the Olympics parallels competing in the wide format digital printing market. I can think of four:

1. Prepare
People that compete at the Olympic level train for years for the games. Speed skaters work out 8-10 hours per days for months leading up to the games in anticipation of an event that may last for minutes if not seconds. Bode Miller, one of the most successful U.S. men’s downhill skiers of all time, was born in ski-country in New Hampshire, went to a ski academy in his youth and basically trained to be a downhill skier more-or-less his whole life. Many Olympians are like that. The point is that to compete at the highest levels they prepare at the highest levels, they don’t go in lightly. Print shops that invest in wide format technology and don’t have a committed strategy to make that a successful part of their business are not likely to find success in this competitive market.

Read more »

Where Did the Family Photo Album Go?

David Haueter
 

It’s only logical that photo books would displace traditional photo albums for many people. After all, a photo book is nothing more than a book with photos printed on the pages, rather than a photo album with prints slid into plastic sleeves. Photo books, of course, also allow for personalization through the adding of text, as well as choices of backgrounds, borders and various binding options.

In the 2013 U.S. Photo Printing Survey, survey respondents that had purchased photo books were asked if they thought photo books would eventually replace traditional photo albums in their households. Interestingly, over 33% said that photo books had already started replacing photo albums and another 30% said that they plan to start printing photo books instead of putting prints in traditional albums. Only 19% said “no.” Those with higher incomes were more likely to already have photo books replace albums in the home, as were those who said they are “early adopters” of technology.

 

Read more »

2014 Insights from Outsourcing Providers Supporting the Customer Communications Market

Matt Swain
 Feb 5, 2014

With the launch of our Customer Communications Channels & Trends advisory service last month, we published a blog post that provided perspective from some of the channel players on what they foresee to be the most exciting event for their services in 2014. Another set of key influencers in the customer communications market are the outsourcing service bureaus. These are the companies that businesses have long enlisted to print their bills, statements, notices, and other critical communications. As the market has evolved to embrace multi-channel delivery, so too have the service bureaus supporting the market. We checked in with several of them regarding their thoughts for 2014.

Here are their responses to the question “How have you prepared to address the multi-channel delivery and payment needs of your clients in 2014?

Read more »

Digital Print in 2014 – Better Late than Never for B2

Ralf Schlozer
 Feb 3, 2014

As we look back on the new product announcements from 2013, I have to admit that the year was largely overshadowed by drupa 2012 and the many new and exciting technologies shown there. We were especially eager to see the new B2 products enter the market in 2013, but it has proven to be a rather slow process. As analysts with many years in the industry, we experienced that launch schedules are overly optimistic side and that the actual product launches often seem to drag on forever. But the announcements from drupa 2012 seem to have taken these delays to a new dimension.

It seems that the duration from the first tech demo to  the beta test phase and then to final product is getting longer and longer. Admittedly the line between an early product demonstration and a technology demo is blurred. Many vendors take a cautious approach and label the new announcements as technology demonstrations. Also technology demoes may never end in a product at all. Still, prospective users want to know when they can expect a launch date of a new product or at least know when limited availability will start for early users. Read more »

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