Feb 2, 2017
Today Xerox and EFI announced a move that extends their longstanding partnership: Xerox is selling its FreeFlow Print Server digital front end business to EFI. EFI will manage production and support of the existing FreeFlow Print Server and later will integrate it with EFI’s Fiery digital front end.
This next generation digital front end will integrate with EFI’s Productivity Suites, including print management information systems such as PACE, PrintSmith Vision, Monarch, and Radius ERP. It will also integrate with Xerox FreeFlow Core and XMPie workflows as well as third-party prepress solutions from Agfa Apogee, Heidelberg Prinect, and Kodak Prinergy. There is also the future opportunity to leverage JDF more effectively. EFI reports that its Fiery DFE is currently the only JDF certified digital front end. This opens the opportunity, through an API, to allow integration to any other applications.
Xerox Trivor 2400 with an EFI Fiery digital front end at drupa
Some who hear this news may be confused by a quirk in the nature of Xerox’s FreeFlow branding Read more »
May 25, 2016
KBA-Sheetfed Solutions, a division of German press manufacturer KBA, announced recently it will offer a B1 sheet fed inkjet press called KBA VariJET 106 for printing folding cartons. The new press will be built on the platform of KBA Rapida 106, a sheet fed offset press, and on an inkjet print engine and DFE by Xerox Impika. According to KBA, KBA VariJET 106 will print 4,500 sheets per hour in B1 size (750 x 1060mm/29.5 x 41.7 inches) and will be modular in nature, allowing custom configurations to include Read more »
May 3, 2016
Note: This blog has been updated because additional information revealed that Canon and Landa were in a virtual tie for the third and fourth positions.
One good way of gauging a vendor’s marketing spend for a trade show is to see how much show floor space it has. Over the years, InfoTrends has measured booth size for shows like Graph Expo, Print, and drupa. With drupa 2016 less than a month away, we decided to repeat the exercise. This is how it works: we take measurements from the show floor map (in this case, the interactive drupa 2016 one at www.drupa.com). Then wherever possible we confirm this ranking through public statements or private confirmations from the exhibitors. We do our best to rank this as accurately as possible, but keep in mind that these are InfoTrends’ calculations, not official numbers. The drupa organizers do not publish a list of top vendors by booth size.
So here are the results for drupa 2016 (with history back to 2008): Read more »
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
Read more »
Feb 25, 2016
Inkjet is having, and will continue to have, significant impact on the production digital print market. One of the most active areas for inkjet is in the “Zone of Disruption.” It’s a busy segment, and it will only get busier as drupa 2016 approaches, so now is a good time to revisit the product activity there.
In defining the Zone of Disruption, InfoTrends has in mind inkjet products with a capital acquisition cost of less than $1 million, very competitive running costs, and high levels of productivity. This puts them at speeds faster than current cut-sheet color toner devices, and at a capital acquisition cost lower than most 20” roll-fed color devices. To be truly disruptive there are some other important aspects. These devices must compete in quality and ease of use against the mainstream cut-sheet toner devices. This requires sound design, effective feeding & finishing, as well as workflow software that automates production. Success within niche markets is certainly good, but being disruptive in the marketplace means that these products must address the needs of mainstream cut-sheet and roll-fed color users. As this market progresses, InfoTrends is closely watching for broad levels of success by products in the Zone of Disruption. As of today, only a relatively small number of products fit there and relatively few placements have been made.
The Zone of Disruption fits below the gap between Read more »
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.
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 »
Jan 2, 2015
Frank Romano is at it again. His latest, History of the Phototypesetting Era, follows the publication last summer of his History of the Linotype Company. Both books have been aptly described as time capsules. Particularly notable throughout all his writings are Romano’s attention to detail, his desire to document events, and, in the case of this latest book, an “I was there” perspective.
Romano’s History of the Phototypesetting Era is remarkable as much for its Read more »
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.
Read more »
Jun 18, 2014
The announcement of annual results is always a good opportunity to provide an update on company strategy or present a new organisational alignment. The latest Heidelberger Druckmaschinen annual press conference, however, had far deeper implications than that.
A main message to investors, debtors, and the whole graphic arts community was that Heidelberg delivered on its promise of returning to profitability. Although the net revenue of â‚¬4 million was not particularly impressive, it is nevertheless an encouraging sign because it implies a turnaround. In the last five years Heidelberg has accrued a net loss of almost one billion Euros. While financial analysis will certainly have a feast on the numbers, the announced strategic reorganisation and several other organisational moves have important implications for the future of the company.
In the last year Heidelberg has conducted an in-depth analysis of the business areas the company is active in. They have been clustered into four strategic fields of action:
– Digital printing
– Service and consumables
– Sheet-fed Offset
– Weak margin operations Read more »