May 12, 2015
The importance of workflow and the matching software ecosystem has been frequently publicised and although not every user might have realised it yet, all production printing hardware vendors are strengthening their offerings in workflow and solutions nowadays. The importance of workflow is however in stark contrast with the lack of approaches in making the benefits of workflow visible in an exhibition or open house environment. Software remains intangible and while the benefit of some features can be calculated in time and money, for other features like customer satisfaction, error reduction, new services offerings and overall process efficiency calculating the exact value for a single business case is much harder.
Canon-Océ already organised several Commercial Printing Business Days, but for the event that took place in April 2015 the software portfolio was targeted to take centre stage. Presentations, workshops and customer testimonials focussed on workflow solutions. Canon-Océ invited users and prospects with interest in workflow solutions and had a total attendance of 550 visitors from around the globe at the three days of the event.
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Apr 29, 2015
InfoTrends just published the 2014 production placement numbers for the U.S. and Western Europe. In both geographies we had some growth in placements. In general Europe showed a much better growth driven by a stabilizing economy in 2014, while growth in the U.S. was marginal, based on the fears of a slowing economy. Of course growth rates differ not only by geography, but also by product segment. One of the fastest growing segments in 2014 were mid-volume color devices, the type of devices typically used at high-end print rooms or quick printers and small to mid-size commercial printers. Installations grew by 29% in the U.S. and 33% in Europe in 2014. This is no mean feat in print market under pressure.
2008 to 2014 Mid-production Placements
For a meaningful tracking of growth or decline in a market, as well as market share overviews, we try to define market segments containing products that compete against each other with similar features, price points and user profiles. Segmenting products can be a tough task however.
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Apr 21, 2015
It’s an interesting time for the photo industry. Cameras continue to get better, faster, less expensive, and, perhaps most significantly, smaller. These devices are taking pictures of everything from scenery to sports, capturing life’s moments from new points of view, from vantage points that were very difficult just a few years ago. Read more »
Apr 16, 2015
Three trends from last week’s ISA 2015 stand out as I think back on the show:
HP PageWide XL8000
- HP’s PageWide announcement, press event, and booth tours garnered the early attention and will represent a validation of the high-speed color, single-pass when the first product becomes available sometime in July 2015. That being said, Canon with its Memjet-based single-pass offerings (such as the ColorWave 900 & 700) can also look forward to a lift in sales as new attention is paid to this market segment. The first available product in HP’s PageWide XL Series will be the 30-PPM XL8000. To follow will be the 14-PPM XL 5000 (November 2015) and the 8-PPM XL4000 and 12-PPM XL4500 (January 2016). All products in the series are four-color and support a 40-inch print width. The speed is the prime differentiator.
Canon ColorWave 700
- HP took the second trend place with an extension Read more »
Feb 17, 2015
About a year after Canon Solutions America (CSA) announced that it was exploring the idea of forming a user group for its production print customers, it has announced a name for the group and the date of its first event. The group is called the thINK Customer Community and its inaugural event, the thINK Customer Conference, will take place September 8th to 10th in New York. The thINK Customer Conference will overlap with Canon’s Expo (the once every four year showcase of Canon technologies).
Though thINK is described as a “Community of Canon Solutions America Production Print Customers,” the focus is clearly on inkjet, Read more »
Jan 30, 2015
During the golden days of digital camera sales, Best Buy was a dominant retailer. It offered consumers a wide selection of compact cameras at good prices. However, with compact camera sales waning, Best Buy has seen its influence on the market diminish, as consumers and vendors focus on more profitable digital interchangeable lens camera sales (DILCs). While Best Buy has sold DILCs, the selection was limited, merchandising was lacking, lens selection was limited and locked away behind glass, and in-store personnel were not trained to answer probing technical questions.
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Jan 5, 2015
There were some BIG ticket items on people’s gadget wish lists during 2014 – from gaming systems, hybrid laptop tablets, and flat screen TVs. Another one of the most popular gadgets people want are digital cameras (aka Phoneless Cameras).
Although there were many new camera models introduced in 2014, there were far fewer than in previous years. In 2014, there were 98 camera models introduced compared to 127 in 2013 and 146 in 2012 (Source: InfoTrends U.S. Camera Model Tracker). It is expected that the number of cameras introduced will continue to drop by anywhere between 10% to 20% in 2015.
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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:
Oct 1, 2014
Heidelberg and Canon/Ocè both reemphasized their push into the digital packaging printing market at their customer events last week. Each company gave a detailed update on the progress it has made.
As promised back in April at a digital sneak peek event, Heidelberg showed their first digital label printer at the Gallus “Innovation Days” from the 23rd to 25 of September in St Gallen, Switzerland. The event, which is not to be confused with the Hunkeler innovationdays) served well as a platform to reemphasize the changes in the ownership structure; this summer Gallus became part of the Heidelberger group, the upshot of a share swap that increased Heidelberg’s ownership of Gallus from 30% to 100% and with the former owner of Gallus becoming the biggest individual shareholder in Heidelberg.
Center stage, however, was the digital label press with the somewhat less catchy name of Gallus DCS 340. The press, which comes with in-line finishing, is the result of development cooperation between Gallus, Heidelberg and Fujifilm. The press base is supplied by Gallus and is derived from the well-established ECS 340 label press, hence the web width is set at 340 mm (13.4”) and a range of flexo, screen and offset modules can be added. The press has a solid granite base and is equipped with an unwind and a die cutting/stripping module. Only the speed of the DCS had be limited to 50 m/min (150 ft/min) compared to 165 m/min (492 ft/min) of the conventional press. The integrated finishing is somewhat misleadingly named “ digital converting system”, since the ECS C finishing part contains no digital components at all. Its core is a semi-rotary die cutter, which is at least format variable, but still requires a conventional die.
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Jun 19, 2014
At a recent launch event in San Diego, CA HP unveiled plans to “reboot” its wide format digital printing portfolio with a new modular thermal inkjet (TIJ) platform. Additionally HP launched new wide format technical printers, production software, and a single print driver for their DesignJet family, but the headliner was a wide format printer from HP that will compete in the single-pass wide format segment.
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