Sep 28, 2015
I’ve recorded eight short videos (each is between two and five minutes long) that highlight some interesting print samples from Graph Expo 2015:
I hope you enjoy these. I’ll be adding some more Read more »
Sep 25, 2015
In a huge manufacturing building in the Eastman Business Park in Rochester, New York, Kodak is printing sensors that can be used in touch screens for tablets, computer screens, kiosks, and industrial equipment. The process uses technologies that print service providers will find familiar, but they are being used to achieve a very different end result.
First, a series of flexographic plates are imaged on a modified Creo square-spot plate imager. Each plate has a repetitive design of extremely thin parallel lines. The plates are mounted on a modified roll-fed flexographic press that prints with a catalytic ink on both sides of a roll of clear plastic (similar to the material used for motion picture film). The catalytic ink provides a receptive surface for the next step, in which the printed roll of plastic is immersed in a bath with a copper fluid solution. In that bath, copper is applied to the thin printed lines of catalytic ink. The copper is what makes the resulting print conductive, and that’s why you can make touch screens with this printed component. A darkening agent is applied on top of the copper, and the rolls are then cut into sheets containing the functionally printed sensor that will ultimately go into a touch-screen display. This printed grid of thin, crisscrossing lines is virtually invisible, yet it provides the underlying conductive foundation that is able to sense when someone puts a finger on a touch-sensitive screen.
Kodak touch-screen sensor (showing a magnified view of the touch-sensitive grid)
Today Kodak is printing working production samples that can be tested by prospects who may one day Read more »
Sep 23, 2015
Label Expo, the premier tradeshow for the label industry, will take place September 29 to October 2 in Brussels. Now decades old, this is the show that never seems to fade, and also one where the role of digital printing technologies always seems to grow. InfoTrends will attend and make a detailed report about it to clients but for now we offer a quick preview of what we expect to see:
A huge HP booth: The stand’s core equipment will be HP Indigo WS6800 (labels and other applications) and 20000 (a 30” web, for flexible packaging and for labels also), but there will be many other products. Ones particular to HP Indigo presses will include a white ink specifically for shrink sleeves and new yellow and magenta inks with enhanced lightfastness, also software upgrades, including a VDP tool for Adobe Illustrator, within HP SmartStream Designer prepress. Some exhibits will be from partners to HP Indigo (finishing Read more »
Sep 16, 2015
Jim Hamilton received an Indigo-printed calendar covering 12 women who changed the world. One of them was Ada Lovelace, who was the world’s first “programmer” for the Babbage computing engine. At the same time, I was at the EDSF fundraising event at Graph Expo where the Women of Distinction awards were bestowed by Julie and Andy Plata. There is also the Girls Who Print recognition. Jim’s question was “Who is the Ada Lovelace of the printing industry?”
Ada Lovelace (from the HP Indigo One of a Kind calendar of women who changed the world)
It just so happens that I had done a short article for the Museum of Printing newsletter on someone who is worthy of consideration. Who is she? Read on.
Mary Katherine Goddard is famous for printing the first Read more »
Excerpt from Digital Imaging Reporter’s State of the Industry 2015
There has never been a higher level of interest in photos, photography and imaging. InfoTrends predicts that almost 200 billion photos will be captured by cameras, phones and tablets in the U.S. in 2016.
Our research has consistently shown that age has a dramatic impact on consumers’ usage, attitudes and purchasing habits. We believe that baby boomers provide insight into the market of the past, generation Xers shed light on today’s market, and millennials give us an idea of where the market is heading in the coming years.
Read more »
Sep 15, 2015
Although some BIG changes are coming to the wireless industry, you won’t hear the wireless carriers making a lot of noise about it. Phone subsidies— phones offered by wireless carriers at a discount if multi-year service agreements are signed — have fed our gluttonous appetites for the latest and greatest mobile phone for years. This is all about to change, though, and this change has actually been occurring for some time.
Sep 10, 2015
Apple iPhone 6s and 6s Plus
September is notoriously the month of the iPhone, and Apple has continued its practice of rolling-out a new or newer generation of iPhones. On September 9th Apple introduced the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
Although there were many smartphone models introduced this summer and more will undoubtedly come out in the months leading up to the Holiday gift giving season, it will be hard for any phone or manufacturer to rival the marketing and media splash that Apple has made.
Sep 9, 2015
Pitney Bowes has just announced a new product called the AcceleJet printing and finishing system. AcceleJet is a narrow-web, continuous-feed to cut-sheet, inkjet printing system capable of speeds up to 246 feet per minute (75 meters per minute) and throughput exceeding 500 letter-sized images per minute. Intended for a monthly volume range of four to ten million letter/A4 images per month, Pitney Bowes is targeting the AcceleJet at market segments such as service bureaus, direct mailers, and in-house operations in non-profits, financial services, insurance, healthcare, utilities, and government. Pitney Bowes estimates that an AcceleJet system including the controller, print engine, and finishing capable of dynamic perforation, sheeting, and stacking will have an average system selling price of $850,000.
AcceleJet fits well in the gap between existing cut-sheet electrophotographic and continuous feed inkjet color products. This gap, known as “the Zone of Disruption,” is an area where Read more »
Sep 8, 2015
Graph Expo 2015 (September 13-16, Chicago) begins on Sunday and whether you are able to be there or not, here are a few things you should know in advance.
Who Has the Biggest Booths on the Show Floor?
One good way of assessing the level of marketing spend that an exhibitor has made on a trade show is to measure the size of their booth. InfoTrends has been doing this for shows like Graph Expo, Print, IPEX, and drupa for many years. This year, the biggest exhibitors (by square foot of exhibit space as measured from the publicly available show floor map) are shown below.
Canon, as was the case at Graph Expo 2014, has the largest booth, followed by Konica Minolta. HP is in the number three spot, up from number six last year. Xerox dropped down a spot and is followed by Ricoh, EFI, Pitney Bowes, and Standard Finishing. KIP America breaks into the top ten at number nine. Last year’s number nine, Muller Martini, is not exhibiting. The top twelve is rounded out by Kodak, KBA, and Scodix. Traditional offset vendors (including some with new digital offerings) will be exhibiting, but not in the biggest booths (KBA is the only one in the top twelve). Offset system providers with booths include Goss, Komori, manroland, Presstek, Ryobi MHI, and TKS, but not Heidelberg, which hasn’t been a Graph Expo exhibitor since 2011.
Read more »