Posts tagged: digital print

The Next Big Thing

Frank Romano
 Nov 2, 2016

 

Look around the industry. What do you see? Offset presses. Digital printers. Wide format inkjet printers. Offset litho was discovered in 1900, but did not gain traction until the 1950s. Digital color printing was introduced in 1993. Wide format inkjet came in 1995. Walk into any plant; they may have all three.

It took a while for all three printing technologies to find their place in print production. All three were challenged by a status quo. Offset was once described as “only for quick and dirty printing.” Ironically, they said the same for digital color. The president of Xerox was quoted in the Wall Street Journal saying almost the same about inkjet printing (2004). Now Xerox is becoming a force in inkjet.

Yet, all three processes make money for printers. What will be the next big thing? The technology is already here. We just have to find markets for it.

Flatbed UV inkjet can print on any substrate—plastics, wood, glass, board, metal, ceramics, textiles, carpeting, and more. Commercial printers print on paper. Where is the market for printing on all those other substrates? Read more »

2016 Development of Digital Ceramic Printing in China: A CEO’s Perspective

Ron Gilboa
 Feb 22, 2016

InfoTrends has been tracking the ceramic tile industry’s adoption of digital printing technology for several years. China is the primary producer of ceramic tiles on a worldwide basis. According to an industry review by the China Building Ceramics & Sanitaryware Association, there are now over 3,600 ceramic tile production lines in operation in China in just under 1,500 facilities. With about 12 billion square meters produced worldwide 2014/2015 this market is estimated to grow at about 3% in subsequent years. Asia-Pacific region accounts for the majority (70%) of the total most is produced in China.

This market was destined to take advantage of the benefits inherent to digital printing technologies such as reduced make ready, design latitude, timely manufacturing and cost reduction. Spearheading these efforts are companies such as Xaar and Fuji Dimatix and few others. These companies, along with ceramic ink manufacturers, developed by a range of ceramic inks that meet the unique characteristics needed for inkjet printing. The initial success in Europe naturally spread to the Chinese market as well which is the focus of this blog.

We had the privilege of sitting down for an interview with Stella Hu, CEO of Shanghai Teckwin Technology Development Co. Ltd., a leading Chinese supplier digital printing technologies. This interview provided an unique perspective on the current market status and future expectations for the digital ceramics printing in China.

Stella Hu, CEO, Shanghai Teckwin Technology Development Co., Ltd

Stella Hu, CEO, Shanghai Teckwin Technology Development Co., Ltd

In 1994, Stella set up a successful print shop in Shanghai that offered top-quality local services. Compromising on quality was never an option, so the company ran top-of-the-line VUTEk and Scitex machines. At that time, there were very few local manufacturers of wide format printers. Stella spent the next 6 years studying the machines and developing applications.

Once Stella had fully experienced the fun of digital printing with extensive applications, she set her sights on developing a new brand of digital inkjet solutions based on her insights on industry and client needs. She launched Shanghai Teckwin Technology Development Co., Ltd. in 2001. The Shanghai-based company developed and introduced its first wide format solvent printer in 2002, and has since continued with product innovations. The company now offers digital inkjet ceramic printers, grand format solvent UV flatbeds, and roll-to-roll inkjet printing systems for graphics and industrial applications.

During our interview, Mrs. Hu offered her perspective on digital printing within the Chinese ceramic tile market.

Read more »

Frankly Speaking: The Quiet Revolution of Digital Printing

Frank Romano
 Nov 4, 2013

A few years ago, you could not turn around without hearing or seeing something about digital printing. The noise has quieted down, but the changes keep on coming.

Offset press manufacturers now send out a press release every time they sell a system because it is such a unique event. There is still a good market for offset presses, but it is smaller that ever and getting smaller.

Komori and KBA were the only press makers at the PRINT show. Komori actually had a press. “Find us by following the noise,” I was told.

Digital printing volumes are growing nicely, but no one notices. Read more »

Seizing Opportunities In The Photo Merchandise Market

Other Posts
 Oct 4, 2013

Whilst the photo merchandise market is showing good growth, there remains a great deal of opportunity to be seized. InfoTrends’ research shows that the percentage of respondents that have purchased photo merchandise, over the period of a year, has remained stable since 2011.

Illustrated in the chart below are respondents who have purchased photo merchandise in the past year (buyers) and those who have not purchased any photo merchandise in the past year (non-buyers).

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Out of the hard drive and into a cloud

Other Posts
 Aug 23, 2013

After spending my Sunday afternoon looking through shoeboxes of photos, I realise that I have more printed photos of my childhood than I do of my adulthood. I have endless family albums and envelopes filled with memories of my younger years. The fact that my old family photos are only available as prints makes me cherish them even more. The sentimental feelings I get holding these photos in my hands I don’t feel when I look at photos I have stored electronically.    

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A Video Look at Print Samples from drupa 2012

Jim Hamilton
 May 30, 2012

As usual, when I go to a trade show, I collect print samples. This time I ended up with a lot of samples so instead of posting one long video on drupa 2012 samples I’ve broken this up into three segments:

  1. Some Inkjet Print Samples, including ones from the HP Inkjet Web Press, the Kodak Prosper S Series Imprinting System, Xerox’s CiPress 500, and Memjet wide-format implementations from Canon-Océ and Caldera
  2. Enhancement beyond Process Color, including a range of effects including pearlescent, gold, hot pink, white, dimensional, glitter, gloss spot sleeking lamination, Braille, and RFID
  3. Larger Format Digital Print Samples, including long sheets and B2 format

Here they are:


Read more »

drupa Attendance Is Down – By a Lot

Jim Hamilton
 May 17, 2012

The drupa 2012 organizers announced final attendance figures today. The total: 314,500. The stunner in this news isn’t that attendance dropped between drupa 2008 and 2012, it’s by how much. drupa attendance peaked in 1990, dropped off in 1995, and then came in at well over 400,000 in 2000. The next two drupas were both around around 390,000. The drupa 2012 figure is down about 75,000 from drupa 2008. Going into the show I hoped that final attendance figures would end up between 350,000 and 375,000. As it turns out, this was very optimistic. The newly released numbers tell a different story entirely.

drupa attendance

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Glossy Paper Makes All the Difference: The Kodak Prosper 5000XL at Fenske Media

Jim Hamilton
 Aug 3, 2011

Last week I traveled to Rapid City, South Dakota to visit Fenske Media, a data-driven solutions provider that installed a Kodak Prosper 5000XL last December. Fenske Media is using the Prosper 5000XL for a range of full color mail applications on glossy paper. Glossy paper is the key to expanding high-speed inkjet printing into new applications at offset quality levels. As Dave Fenske, Partner at Fenske Media, concisely puts it “Printing is entertainment, and entertainment equals shine.”

Fenske Media, Rapid City, South Dakota

Fenske Media, Rapid City, South Dakota

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From Textbooks to Tablets: South Korea’s Education System Goes Digital by 2015

Other Posts
 Jul 6, 2011

Students in South Korea will have a much lighter backpack in the next four years. According to a South Korean online news site, all of South Korea’s educational materials will be delivered via electronic devices by 2015. The South Korean government aims to convert all paper textbooks into digital versions, and increase online classes so students can continue their studies outside of school. South Korea’s Education Ministry plans to use smart phones, tablet PCs, and smart televisions to deliver the entire school curriculum though a cloud-based system, which will allow students to download textbooks on their tablets. Read more »

Finch: A Service, Not Just a Substrate

Other Posts
 May 27, 2011

Media matters. That is the latest marketing push from Finch as the company unveils its digital paper program. The objective of the program is to research and identify the right paper selection for different digital print applications, providing customers with tailored solutions that produce higher quality print jobs at a reduced cost. Customers will be able to collaborate with the digital paper program team to identify the correct paper solution for their printing needs.   Read more »

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