Posts tagged: B2

B2 digital: less hype – but a lot more placements

Ralf Schlozer
 Apr 11, 2017

Visiting drupa 2012 the new breed of B2-format digital presses for commercial printing seemed to outshine everything else. Despite all the ensuing hype, placements remained low and hopes for growth were dashed in the years that followed. At drupa 2016 B2 digital was already eclipsed in the headlines by other technologies, namely B1 digital, industry 4.0, and packaging/industrial print. It started to look like B2 digital would be a disappointment.

And so it comes as a bit of a surprise that B2 digital really delivered in 2016 – with a steep increase in placements, surpassing our forecast noticeably. According to our recently published 2013-2016 U.S. Production Printing Placements report, U.S. placements jumped from 25 units in 2015 to 80 in 2016. Western Europe did very well too as installations almost doubled according to our 2013-2016 W. European Production Printing Placements report. And all these numbers exclude packaging and label presses, which had a record year as well.

US & WE B2 placements

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A Landa 2014 Update

Jim Hamilton
 Dec 12, 2014

The Landa marketing machine had gone a little quiet recently. No word from them at Graph Expo or All in Print China. It wasn’t like them to be so reserved but that all changed this week with a media push that included a video showing their progress with their B1-format cut-sheet digital color printer; a blog by Benny Landa; a couple of quotes from printers who were shown samples (see more on this below); and a few other things such as the announcement of two new hires, a partnership with AVT, and an award to Benny Landa (the Ernst & Young Israeli Entrepreneur of the Year).

Landa said that it will be starting beta tests sometime in 2015 after potential beta customers visit the Landa headquarters in Israel in March. It seems likely that Landa should have a market-ready product Read more »

Nine Print Sample Videos from Graph Expo 2014

Jim Hamilton
 Dec 9, 2014

I’ve recorded nine short videos (each is three and half minutes or less) that highlight some interesting print samples from Graph Expo 2014:

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 »

The Top Ten Trends from PRINT 13

Jim Hamilton
 Sep 27, 2013

These are InfoTrends’s top ten trends from PRINT 13:

  1. Who was there? Who wasn’t? Agfa’s departure from the show floor over the summer added another important company to the small cadre of vendors skipping the show (Heidelberg, Kodak, and Screen). In truth, Kodak actually did have a booth, a smallish one at the very back of the show floor, but it wasn’t what you would typically expect out of them. Of much greater importance was Kodak’s participation in others’ booths, including Konica Minolta (for Creo and Prinergy) and Adphos (for the Prosper Imprinting heads). And though the timing of Kodak’s emergence from Chapter 11 may have made a big presence unadvisable, it was nevertheless a missed opportunity to show off the new Kodak to its core audience. It is also clearly time for Kodak to name a new leader who will bring the market knowledge and vision for the next chapter in the company’s history. This has dragged on way too long. Read more »

Landa Highlights Revised Design of the Landa S10

Jim Hamilton
 Sep 23, 2013

Today Landa Digital Printing announced design adjustments to the Landa S10FC and S10C while also noting that the S10FC would enter beta testing in the fourth quarter of 2014 while the S10C beta would begin beta in the first half of 2015). The most visible design adjustment is a shifting of the large touch-screen user interface to the backend of the device.

Landa S10C with the operator cockpit at the left by the delivery; to the far right, the print engine and feed unit

Note: The Landa S10FC is the folding carton version and the Landa S10C is for commercial and publishing printing. Both devices are capable of producing 6,500 four-color B1-format sheets per hour with a maximum paper size of 29.5 by 41 inches (750 by 1050 centimeters). The S10C is also duplex capable and has a rated speed of 3,250 sheets per hour when printing on both sides.

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MasterWork and Taichuan Collaborate on Digital Color Inkjet Printer at China Print 2013

Jim Hamilton
 May 21, 2013

One of the big news stories from China Print 2013 is a technology demonstration by MasterWork and Taichuan of a sheet fed UV inkjet-based digital color printer with a print width of 420 millimeters. This is the first color inkjet model of its type from a Chinese vendor.

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Color drives the production printing market

Ralf Schlozer
 Jul 23, 2012
Every year InfoTrends updates its five-year print on demand (POD) forecast, with the latest edition now covering the years from 2011 to 2016. The forecast looks at placements, print volumes and revenues achieved in digital production printing. It is becoming obvious that digital printing is not a niche process anymore. The retail value of digital printing (excluding office, home and large format printing) in the U.S. and Western Europe was $63 billion in 2011 when considering all production printing environments from copy shop and small in-plant to large commercial printers and data center service bureaus. InfoTrends expects revenues to grow by about 4% annually.
What is noticeable in the current forecast is that the growth rate for color impressions in production copying and digital printing has accelerated compared to the previous forecasts. In fact, the growth rate is expected to increase to 18.5% CAGR compared to almost 15% in the last forecast for the United States. Continuous-feed inkjet color and, to some extent, the expected new B2 devices are responsible for this growth. Since there is an increased color share in this forecast, color impressions will have a more pronounced influence on the total POD volume and associated revenues. The color share of all U.S. impressions is expected to grow from 23% in 2011 to 48% in 2016. The decline rate of black and white impressions, however, remains almost unchanged. Western Europe will show an even stronger shift towards color, with an average annual growth of 20.4% for impressions made on color devices- opposed to a decline in impressions on black & white devices of over 7% per year. The European market is already more inclined towards color print and by 2015 more digital impressions in Western Europe will be done on color devices than on black & white devices. This is quite a shift for a market in which black & white accounted for 80% of impressions only five years ago.

Benny Landa Comments on drupa 2012

Jim Hamilton
 Jul 9, 2012

A couple of months before drupa 2012, an article appeared in the Israeli press about Benny Landa and Landa Corporation. Given that it was in Hebrew, and only later appeared in English translation, I published a blog with some of the key points from the article. Now another Israeli publication, The Marker, has written about Landa. This time I don’t believe it exists in an English version but I have received a translation from Lior Meron, InfoTrends’ Asia Pacific director, who is in touch with the Landa team. The article (here’s the link if you can read Hebrew) is entitled “Benny Landa’s Printing Revolution” and includes a number of interesting details, which I list below:

  • Benny Landa reports that his company signed hundreds of letters of intent at 10,000 Euros per machine. He says that if they had had more sales people they would have signed even more.
  • The prices for the various configurations range from $1 to $3 million.
  • The configuration that garnered the most interest was the S10 (the B1-format cut-sheet model) but he notes that the letters of intent were evenly split between the cut-sheet and the roll-fed offerings.
  • Landa: “The first press will be ready to go out to the market at the end of 2013.”
  • Landa: “The ink is the fuel of the presses. Every press, within its first five years, produces ink sales that represent fifteen times its value.”
  • It has been five years since Landa started working on developing the nano-pigment technology and adapting it to digital print heads.
  • There are more than 200 employees at Landa Labs; 150 of them are in development and 50 are in the alternative energy field (some of them do both).
  • Marker magazine estimates that Landa’s invested between $150 and $250 million of his personal fortune to fund the development. (Note: It is fairly safe to assume that Landa will use the positive response from the many letters of intent to drive interest in external funding from investors.)
  • Landa: “It’s obvious that one day there will be no print other than packaging…If your business is packaging then your future is bright, but in 200 years, people won’t be communicating through ground-up trees.
  • Landa will soon establish an ink production facility in Israel and then later will add more sites elsewhere. Landa also expects to have an overseas product assembly site where the work will mostly be done through subcontractors.
  • Landa acknowledges that what he wants to achieve cannot be done in a timely fashion with 200 engineers and that is why he is working with a number of industry partners. (Note: Heidelberg, Komori, and manroland have all signed partnerships with Landa.)
  • Landa: “When people ask me what they should do until they receive our presses, I suggest that they buy an Indigo.”

This last point is an important one since with all of the digital announcements from drupa, particularly those related to cut-sheet B2-format digital printers, I’m sure that many print service providers will consider delaying purchases until some of these technology demonstrations become available as released products. I think this would be a mistake. A3- and B2-format digital printers are available today to meet market demand for short run, quick turnaround, targeted, and/or personalized jobs. It would be tempting to wait, and it’s certainly true that some long-hoped for capabilities are on the horizon, but it would be unfortunate if print service providers ignored today’s products and opportunities.

Landa Corporation is in a growth phase and is building an infrastructure to support administrative, business development, sales, and other infrastructure. When asked in the article whether he is hiring HP Indigo employees, Landa responded, “We have never turned to an Indigo employee and asked him to come work for us, and we won’t do so in the future. In the few cases that Indigo employees have come to me, I didn’t take them quickly. First we sent them back to HP to see if they could solve their issues. If they could, they stayed there.”

The next opportunity for the public to see the Landa offerings will be China Print in 2013 (May 14-18, 2013). This will be an excellent opportunity for the company to bring their message of high speed, low running cost, and strong print quality to the world. It will also give Landa an opportunity to update the market on the progress it has made. A key factor will be showing an improvement in print quality over what was displayed at drupa.

New drupa 2012 Digital Production Printing Equipment Additions to InfoTrends’ Ultimate Guide

Other Posts
 Jul 6, 2012

drupa 2012 featured a slew of new production printing hardware, many of which were announced publicly for the first time during the tradeshow. This year’s show included exciting announcements with a primary focus on three technology areas: B2 format cut-sheet, continuous feed inkjet, and liquid toner devices. Vendors demonstrating new products in the above-mentioned categories include established digital print players such as HP Indigo, Kodak, and Konica Minolta as well as lower profile venders such as Delphax, Ryobi, and Timsons. Also of note are the new nanographic presses from Landa, which were shown in seven configurations. Read more »

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