These are InfoTrends’s top ten trends from PRINT 13:
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 »
Last week I went to Alpharetta, Georgia in suburban Atlanta to see HP’s Graphic Arts Experience Center. Opened in March of 2011, the site is a 60,000-square-foot showcase of HP’s graphic arts portfolio including its Indigo, SmartStream, Inkjet Web Press, Designjet & Scitex wide format, and Specialty Printing Systems (SPS) inkjet offerings. In addition to acting as a sales hub, the site also houses training facilities and is a center for graphic arts business development services for HP customers in the Americas.
I was invited to the Experience Center to attend an HP customer event along with a handful of industry analysts and trade magazine editors. It was an eye-opening experience in a number of ways and in this blog I’d like to share three insights I gained from the visit.
Make It Matter
The HP slogan ‘Make It Matter,’ which you see in HP promotional posters and on their employees’ business cards, has always reminded me of that scene toward the end of the movie ‘Saving Private Ryan’ where a dying Tom Hanks tells Matt Damon to ‘earn it.’ Movie dramatics aside, what HP has done with it Graphic Arts Experience Center has a lot to do with ‘making it matter.’ Bringing the whole portfolio (including Inkjet Web Press and SPS) under one roof makes a lot of sense and is particularly important given the cross-over opportunities for existing and future HP customers. That the site serves multiple purposes for sales, training, and business development is also key. The Experience Center has recently added an Inkjet Web Press T200 (that’s been upgraded to a T230) and it would also have an Indigo W7250 if it hadn’t been for the surge in demand for the product (the unit targeted to the Experience Center went to a customer in Massachusetts). I was highly impressed with the broad range of print samples, in fact, I felt like a kid in a candy store. (I madeÂ a video with some of those samples.) The samples cover a range of markets including commercial print, direct mail, technical, publishing, signage, labeling, packaging, and pro-photography printing.
A recurring theme at drupa 2012 is that many of the planned digital devices are intended as B2-format offset press replacements. This is puzzling positioning. Is there really a need for digital stand-ins for very efficient offset presses? The digital market, need I remind you, is built on values well beyond mere quick turnaround and cost-effective short runs. Production digital print is best leveraged when it facilitates full process automation, electronic collation, variable data, and the use of the digital printer as a virtual document archive. Designs that lack duplexing or use traditional offset feed and delivery systems miss out on some of the most basic digital print advantages.
In this video blog I discuss print samples provided by HP at their press/analyst event in Israel (March 2012). These include HP Indigo, HP Inkjet Web Press, and HP Specialty Printing Systems examples. This event is covered in two other InfoTrends blogs: