Posts tagged: Digital Printing

Manufacturing Ink for Digital Print: EFI’s Acquisition of Rialco

Ron Gilboa
 Mar 7, 2016

On March 2nd, EFI has acquired Rialco Limited, a UK-based supplier of dye powders and color products for digital print and industrial manufacturing industries. The acquisition is an important one for EFI because it could augment EFI’s equipment offerings with complementary EFI OEM inks for their digital textile printing products.

Based in Bradford (an hour’s drive northeast of Manchester), Rialco manufactures inks and dyes for textiles and wood finishing applications. Rialco was incorporated in 2003 and its latest turnover is just about 7.9 GBP (or just over $11 million) and gross profits of about 2.1 GBP (or just under $3 million) for 2014 (according to DueDil.com). According to EFI the company will operate as part of EFI’s industrial inkjet business, and will continue to support its existing clients as well as expand and grow its capabilities with new products and new customers as part of its long term growth strategy. As noted by Stephen Emery, Vice President of EFI’s Ink and Jetrion businesses, “The deal announced today gives EFI the platform to accelerate the technical advantages we provide to customers in the textile, signage, ceramics and other industries that are rapidly transitioning from analog to digital printing.” Read more »

Heidelberg on Fire – a digital force reawakens

Ralf Schlozer
 Mar 2, 2016

In the early 2000 years Heidelberg was a force in digital print to be reckoned with. The company led the market in direct imaging offset and was a major player in digital colour and BW production printing. However Heidelberg lost the appetite in digital and sold off the activities in toner printing to Kodak in 2004, while the DI business dwindled away.

From 2011 Heidelberg stepped up again and became active in several fields of digital printing. Not all were a resounding success – for example activities in label printing bought from CSAT in 2011 were sold off again in 2014. The Heidelberg-branded Ricoh reseller business fared better and according to Heidelberg about 1,000 units of the cut-sheet colour toner printers were sold so far. With the Gallus Labelfire 340 (former Gallus DCS 340 covered in an earlier blog) and the Omnifire 250 (former Jetmaster Dimension), both launched last year, the digital portfolio expanded rapidly. The latest addition is a B1 digital colour press for the industrial production of digital applications, the Primefire 106.

With so many digital activities under one roof Heidelberg decided to rebrand the portfolio of digital printing solutions under the “fire” moniker – which is a catchy name and surely going to be the source of many puns. The products in detail are:

  • Heidelberg Versafire CV/CP – The Ricoh reseller products, formerly sold as Linoprint CV/CP
  • Gallus Labelfire – Launched as Gallus DCS 340, as a sole product in that application area so far
  • Heidelberg Omnifire – Originally Jetmaster Dimension, now to become part of a range of solutions
  • Heidelberg Primefire 106 – Latest introduction, tops the portfolio as the first industrial cut-sheet inkjet product develop in cooperation with Fujifilm

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InPrint 2015 – demonstrating that print is much more than ink on paper

Ralf Schlozer
 Dec 21, 2015

November 2015 saw the second instalment of InPrint, the industrial print show and conference. A total of 3,400 visitors from 68 countries came to the Munich Trade Fair Centre. Compared to the previous event in Hannover, the numbers of exhibitors, attendees and foot print increased by a third.

InPrint focussed on three fields of application: functional, decorative and packaging printing. Unlike traditional printing shows, InPrint has a different attendee profile: Typical visitors to InPrint are companies such as system integrators, materials developers, and manufacturers interested in providing solutions for the industrial/decorative print market. But even if you do not intend on integrating a custom press, the show is a good opportunity to get informed on where printing technology is being used beyond document printing. Print service providers, who visit InPrint, have been able to expand their horizon while visiting vendor booths as well as attending the conference with its extensive program.

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Xeikon – the new digital printing solutions division of Flint

Ralf Schlozer
 Nov 24, 2015

On Friday the 20th of November the news broke that the Flint Group has bought Xeikon from previous venture capital owner Bencis, almost two and half years after they bought the digital print and platesetter business from Punch International.

Xeikon will continue to operate in its existing lines of business and will now become a new division known as Flint Group Digital Printing Solutions. Even in terms of personnel, continuity is sought, with Xeikon CEO Wim Maes staying as president of the division. The deal needs the approval of European competition authorities, which is expected by end of 2015 as there should not be any concerns about the transaction.

In some ways the acquisition marks a U-turn for Flint after it sold its nascent Jetrion inkjet division to EFI in 2006. EFI paid around $40 million as its first investment in inkjet printing, in the process starting a new line of business, while digital activities pretty much stopped at Flint. Now Flint Group feels it is ready to throw their hat again into the digital arena, possibly seeing the success the Jetrion business is having today. A bigger driver is likely the changed ownership that Flint Group itself is now experiencing. Since 2014 Flint has been essentially an equity capital owned business, owned by Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division in partnership with Koch Equity Development. Prior to that, Flint had grown by acquisition and merger into a leading position in litho and packaging inks. To this day, Flint continues to acquire other ink businesses to consolidate its position.

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HP Indigo: Gearing Up for LabelExpo

Ralf Schlozer
 Jul 21, 2015

In July HP hosted a worldwide HP Indigo VIP event in Israel. More than 250 customers and prospects visited from dozens of countries from all over the world – including USA, about 10 different European countries, China, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand, Mexico, USA, Brazil, South Africa, and more. There were dozens of sessions presented in each of the four tracks: Flexible Packaging, Labels, Folding Cartons and Commercial Printing. In addition to visiting HP Indigo labs and manufacturing facilities, attendees also visited local HP Indigo customers according to their tracks.

The event provided a great opportunity to present some news ahead of LabelExpo Europe, which is taking place end of September in Brussels. Packaging, and especially label printing, is now a major business for HP Indigo. According to HP label volumes are growing by 25% every year. With a forecast of more than 600 million square meters of labels to be printed in 2015 HP claims to represent nearly 10% of the global label market value and has established itself as major player not only in digital print, but in the whole label print market.

However HP Indigo is extending its coverage beyond label markets. While the ws 4000 and 6000 series are firmly rooted in the label market with only occasional installs in folding carton, shrink sleeves and in-mould labels, the HP Indigo 20000 marks a distinctive move into adjacent packaging markets. Of the roughly 30 installations of the 20000 so far most are used for flexible packaging, followed by shrink sleeves, with only a minority used purely in label printing. Meanwhile, HP Indigo has 20 or more installations of the 30000, the B2 sheet fed press that mainly prints folding cartons. Read more »

EFI Extends its Reach into Textile and Grand Format Segments via the Acquisitions of Reggiani and Matan

Catherine Cresswell
 Jul 7, 2015

On July 1st EFI made two announcements: One was the acquisition of the Israeli Matan Digital Printer, a supplier of grand format printing solutions and the second was the acquisition of Reggiani Macchine a supplier of high end textile printing equipment.

Both acquisitions are part of EFI’s stated strategy to invest and grow its product portfolio in adjacent markets and technologies. Workflow and inkjet have been at the forefront of acquisitions by EFI in the past and is likely to continue in the future as this strategy evolves. This strategy enables EFI to leapfrog some graphic arts suppliers and enter into industrial segments that are emerging as adopters of digital technology as a means to dramatically change their respective industry segments’ supply chains and transition mass production markets into mass customization digitally enabled segments. Read more »

Funai Japan Launches New Inkjet Printer with up to 50% Savings on Ink

Barbara Richards
 Jun 19, 2015

Funai Electric, the worldwide licensee for Kodak Consumer and SOHO Inkjet Printers, announced earlier this week it is launching its first Kodak-branded product this month. Funai has a long history of manufacturing inkjet and laser printers for a number of brands around the world. They have built more than 130 million inkjet printers over the last 16 years. According to Kiyoshi Chinzei, Funai Electric’s General Manager, Office Solutions, the KODAK Verité 55 is the first in a line of new and innovative printing products from the company.

Kodak Verité 55 All-in-One Inkjet Printer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product Features

According to Funai, the new inkjet printer provides end-users with up to 50% savings on their printing costs with standard large capacity (XL) color and black cartridges that doubles the print yield. The XL cartridges will print 360 color pages and 400 black pages.  Funai is offering $50 worth of large capacity ink cartridges included in the box compared to standard size ink cartridges from other leading manufacturer’s printers priced below $100.

Kodak Verite XL Ink Cartridges


 

 

 

 

 

The printer has built-in wireless connectivity for printing, scanning and copying.  Users can scan or print from a smartphone or tablet in a single swipe using Flick Print with the Kodak Verite Printer App, available

for Apple and Android devices.  It also features wireless direct and local Wi-Fi connectivity to enable wireless printing from mobile devises through Kodak’s Verite Printer App with support for Apple AirPrint and Google CloudPrint.  The new printer has a recommended duty cycle of 1,000 pages and print up to 10ppm in monochrome and 4.2ppm in color with a draft print speed of 20ppm and 15ppm respectively.  Scanning to multiple file formats is available from Windows, MAC and Mobile Apps.  According to Funai, the printers, will be available in North America initially through Wal-Mart stores then Tesco in the U.K. later this year.  The Kodak Verite 55 All-in-One Inkjet Printer has a suggested retail price of $79.47.

 

 

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Interprint Digitally Prints Décor Paper with KBA’s RotaJET Technology

Ron Gilboa
 May 13, 2015

Interprint one of the world’s most prominent manufacturers of décor paper for the laminate industry has gone digital. In a press release dated May 5th 2015, the company stated their strategy to use digital printing technology to address the growing demand for shorter runs of décor paper used in the manufacturing process of decorative laminates used for furniture, cabinetry, kitchen counters, doors, and other woodworking applications. Interprint is using the marketing slogan “Hello World!” to introduce its clients to this investment in digital innovation, a KBA RotaJET with a print width of 1.68 meters capable of speed up to 150 meters per minute. This CMYK device is capable of producing over 3.7 million square meters per month (based on a speed of 150 meters per minute, a 1.68 meter width, 2 shifts a day, and 22 days a month operating at 70% productivity).

Interprint is using the slogan “Hello world!” to promote its new capabilities (Source: Interprint)

Interprint is using the slogan “Hello world!” to promote its new capabilities (Source: Interprint)

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Leading with Workflow – Canon-Océ Commercial Printing Business Days

Ralf Schlozer
 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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Production placement growth in 2014 – but watch the segments

Ralf Schlozer
 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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