Aug 4, 2016
Today, Cefla Finishing group announced that it had acquired a majority stake (60%) in JetSet Industrial S.r.l., a manufacturer and integrator of inkjet printing systems for a range of applications and industries. JetSet Industrial’s move into inkjet printing started in 2012 in Bergamo, Italy, which is also home of several other inkjet equipment suppliers.
Still a start-up in many ways, JetSet is a bespoke supplier of decorative printing systems for ceramic, glass, textiles, and woodworking materials. JetSet has the skill set to integrated technology as well as develop materials in support of their printing technologies. This makes the company a turn-key supplier to its customers. According to Hoovers.com, the company has eleven employees and generated $2.15 million in revenues in the past year. JetSet has also invested heavily in their core capabilities for inkjet system integration.
JetSet Wave Integrated Color Single-Pass Print Head Module
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Apr 7, 2016
Note: This blog is a result of an ongoing discussion about market definition that began with a conversation that Frank Romano and Ron Gilboa had at SGIA last November. Jim Hamilton joined the discussion later and after a few exchanges Frank suggested that we present this in point/counterpoint form. Frank will go first.
Frank: Separated by a Common Language
When you are on a ship in the South Pacific Ocean, thousands of miles from any land, and the satellite connection is down, you start to overthink things. Some people multi task; I multi think. And I started to think about all the new technology we will see at drupa for printing beyond the traditional. But as I read the releases, articles, and punditry, I wonder if we are all on the same page.
Take the three terms that are now bandied about: industrial and functional printing, and decoration.
- Industrial Printing: the product is produced using multiple technologies in an integrated manufacturing process. A prototype gear that becomes part of a mechanism is industrial. A container that has its identification printed at the factory where it is filled is industrial. Printed display screens are industrial. Most printed electronics is industrial.
- Functional Printing: the product is sellable in and of itself. A brochure is functional. A sign is functional. A 3-D printed model of a person is functional (your own personal mini-me). A package is functional. A printed T-shirt that changes color in the sun is functional. Products that change color due to external influences such as light (UV/black light), temperature (heat), pH changes, or water contact are primarily functional. “Smart” textiles and wearables are functional. Home decor wallpaper, fabric, and floor coverings are functional. The argument may be made that everything has a function, so why have two categories. But we must distinguish between products where commercial printing may be integrated at the point of manufacture, and products that may be produced by outside services.
- Decorative Printing: adding type, color, and imagery to existing products. This would include inkjet food decoration, printing on glass, wood, textiles, and other material. In the late 1800s they figured out how to print on metal, and beautiful tin boxes were produced for both home use and packaging. Embossing, coating, and die-cutting are decorative. This category may not be necessary, but Ron likes it.
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Dec 10, 2013
Though inkjet has been a hot topic since 2008 (remember the ‘inkjet’ drupa?), it is hard to underestimate the continuing impact inkjet is having across all areas of the graphic arts. I think 2013 marks an interesting turning point. Inkjet is everywhere from document printing to labels & packaging to decorative to functional and 3D printing.
Gartner Hype Cycle
3D printing had to be one of the most talked about topics of 2013 and jetting technologies are the key behind many 3D printing implementations (though in this case they are jetting materials rather than inks). That being said, in my opinion 3D printing has reached what Gartner likes to call the ‘Peak of Inflated Expectations’ and others have described as ‘Irrational Exuberance.’ The way some people talk about 3D printing you’d think that before long you’ll be 3D printing your beer complete with the bottle (with a label on the outside and a cap on top).
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Aug 20, 2013
Industrial printing is always a side story at specialized trade shows like the beverage industry’s ‘drinktech’. Home to vendors of filling systems and other automation equipment for brewers and makers of soft drinks and other products, the 2013 version will take place September 16 to 20 in Munich. And though most of the printing will be coding and labeling related, there will be at least one full color printer, the KHS Innoprint. Already the subject of advance publicity, Innoprint prints on PET bottles directly in CMYK colors, using UV inkjet. The Innoprint is not the first system to do such printing–Tonejet and INX have offered direct color printing of metal cans since 2009–but if Innoprint performs as claimed, it will be the fastest direct digital color printer of beverage containers, and the first to come from a major maker of industrial automation systems for the drinks industry. The speed of Innoprint is important because it means that digital printing of labels as an integrated part of a production-speed bottling system will become possible.
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Aug 15, 2013
With a quiet roar, the namesake of a product we are all familiar with is taking a leap into the digital age. Formica Group, global manufacturer of the ubiquitous–and trademarked–Formica, is taking a bold step and now offers custom versions of its decorative architectural laminates to meet the needs of individual customers and designers called Formica Envisionâ„¢. Your restaurant’s bar counter, or your living room wall panels could thus soon feature your theme, or whatever other image or pattern that you want. Naturally, digital printing is behind the change; Formica Group will not comment on its technology, except to confirm that it some species of inkjet. Read more »
Jun 28, 2013
Over the past couple of days here at FESPA 2013 we’ve had a great opportunity to get a glimpse at the future of industrial printing. Many times Tim and I were approached by customers and vendors alike the industrial printing topic is top of mind. However producers as well as vendors define industrial printing in ways that center on applications their products produce. Some consider packaging, laminates, textiles, and others ceramic tiles as industrial applications. But let me offer another perspective, an industrial application is one where a transition from short run custom printing for pilot projects, or prototypes is converted to a manufacturing process that integrates management, workflow, and an integrated digital printing solution that is used for full production runs. Read more »
Jul 30, 2012
The expanded use of inkjet heads for document printing in production environments is just one application of the technology. At drupa, in addition to a dedicated focus on document printing, there were also examples of functional and 3D printing. Heidelberg showed a technology demonstration of a printed touch screen, Ricoh displayed Objet 3D printers, and there were quite a few other examples.
A “Tree” with Leaves Made of Printed Solar Cells (drupa 2012)
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Apr 25, 2012
Danaher Corporation, an industrial and healthcare manufacturing conglomerate, made news again this month for another purchase that is important to the color digital printing world. This came when Danaher announced that it will buy X-Rite Inc., which makes color measurement systems. X-Rite also is the parent of Pantone, the formulator of color standards for print service providers, including converters of labels and packaging for consumer products. Danaher’s offer values X-Rite at $5.55 a share, or about $479 million. This is a 39% premium over X-Rite’s closing share price of $4.00 on April 9, 2012, which was the last trading day prior to the announcement. Stockholders representing approximately 68% of the voting power of X-Rite’s outstanding shares reportedly intend to tender their shares into the offer. The deal is subject to regulatory approval and closing conditions, but is expected to close by July 1, 2012. Observers of the CDLP market will remember that Danaher made a similarly important purchase in 2011, with the acquisition of Esko.
For its 2012 investment, Danaher will net a company that is highly influential in the packaging and label industries. X-Rite’s spectrophotometers, colorimeters, densitometers, and related products are widely used by converters and other print service providers to test color reproduction, a vital topic in the representation of consumer brands. At the same time, X-Rite’s Pantone business is one of world’s top sources of color standards. The Pantone Matching System (PMS) colors are commonly the choice of brand owners worldwide. PMS colors may be less influential in other regions than they are in North America, but many global brands often have a high reliance on them. One sign of their importance is that, among color digital label and packaging (CDLP) press manufacturers, it is common for an individual vendor to describe a new press’s color printing capability by estimating the percentage of PMS colors that the press can reproduce.
Danaher’s 2011 purchase of Esko, which was then called Esko Artwork, was a somewhat smaller investment, $470 million. Danaher closed that deal at the middle of 2011, and thus added to its portfolio one of the top suppliers of design and workflow software for the packaging and label converting industry. Esko became part of Danaher’s “Product Identification” group, whose anchor member is Videojet Technologies (Wood Dale, IL), the leading vendor globally for monochrome inkjet coding systems. While there is no obvious synergy between Esko and Videojet, Esko has continued to thrive as an independent company within the group. Assuming the newest Danaher purchase goes through, the conglomerate’s Product Identification group will soon have Esko, X-Rite, and Pantone within it, and there will be synergy between their various products and services.
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Apr 9, 2012
Analysts predicting the developments at drupa 2012 have fixated on Landa Corporation of Israel, the technology developer headed by Benny Landa, the founder of Indigo. Landa publicized its planned drupa booth back in January, but did not reveal much, except to say the company would have a really new technology on display, ostensibly a jetting method that would rely on specialized inks and be a highly economic and productive method for use in commercial, packaging, and publishing markets. On April 2 the company revealed a bit more, by making the following points: Read more »