Dec 16, 2011
The close of the year end is always a good time to look up from day-to-day business and review the important news that happened during the year.
Overall 2011 proved to be a pretty decent year for digital production printing. Installations of digital production printing equipment were on the rise again, after recovering from a drop in 2009 in the aftermath of the financial crisis. 2010 installations were already on the rise driven by gains in high end colour placements (see blog). 2011 was set to improve on that, however this time it was not financial markets that were the problem. Instead, nature struck in the early months of the year. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan raised some doubts about whether Japanese suppliers would be able to meet demand. In fact, we did see a decline in installations in device segments with large shares of Japanese manufacturers in the second quarter. However installations in the third quarter were almost up to normal again and we expect that by the fourth quarter almost all of the supply chain disruptions will have been ironed out. Overall the impact on the POD market in 2011 was limited, some product introductions could have been delayed and total sales in 2011 will be somewhat lower. Read more »
Nov 11, 2011
Organised by the Centre Technique du Papier in Grenoble the first Technical Conference on deinking of digital prints took place on the 8th and 9th of November in Grenoble. The attractive mountain panorama of the Alps did not detract from the importance and challenges of deinking in today’s graphic arts industry.
Deinking is not only an environmental factor in the production and use of print (as is the total carbon footprint, health and safety at the workplace, and overall usage of resources), it is also an important economic factor for the operators of deinking plants and mills for paper with recycled fibre content. If graphic arts quality paper is to be produced from recovered fibres, certain quality parameters have to be met. While users’ expectations on paper quality are increasing, data from INGEDE (the International Association of the Deinking Industry) shows that the brightness of recovered fibres has been decreasing over the last six years.
With the projected rise of inkjet volumes and potential problems in deinking inkjet prints, inkjet took the centre stage of discussions at the conference. Based on InfoTrends data for 2010, inkjet contributes about 7% of the digital print volume in document printing, with the majority of that share being produced in home and office environments. The overall inkjet share is expected to increase to 13% of all digital production print by 2015, with production printing growing to just under half of that. Large format and packaging & label printing are not included in this view as these prints usually do not enter the waste paper stream for graphic paper recycling. Read more »
Mar 18, 2011
As a follow-up to Wednesday’s blog, here are some observations collected over the two days of this event:
Announcements: Three major announcements came out of this event: (1) HP’s T400 Inkjet Web press (for more on this, see the InfoTrends white paper), (2) Pitney Bowes simultaneous announcement of the IntelliJet 20, and (3) HP’s partnership with Compart for an AFP solution for the Inkjet Web Press.
It’s not a document until it’s finished: ONeil’s T300 was in their main production area along with offset presses, monochrome roll-fed digital printers, Indigos, paper storage, binding & finishing, and mail lines. The most illuminating part about the tour of this facility was the extent and sophistication of O’Neil’s various binding, finishing, insertion, and mail operations. It becomes obvious how critical these functions are to O’Neil and its clients. O’Neil has found that a roll-to-roll workflow is best for them given the range of finishing requirements (perfect bound, saddle-stitch, and transactional mail)
More than seven million impressions in a day: O’Neil said that they had one day (3-shifts, 24 hours) in which they printed 7,619,883 impressions on their Inkjet Web Presses. This was on multiple 20-inch webs and they calculated that thisÂ was atÂ 80% uptime). Note: 7,619,883 impressions over 24 hours equates to 5,292 impressions per minute.
The heads are lasting a long time: After a year of operating their T300, 71 of the individual heads were still in the unit and operational. This is about 50% of the total number of heads. After a year and a half of operation there were 44 original heads left, and there were 41 left after a year and three quarters. Read more »
Feb 14, 2011
At last, Xerox has entered the continuous feed colour inkjet fray.
At the Hunkeler InnovationDays event in Lucerne, Switzerland, it announced it will be commercialising the solid ink machine that was shown as a technology demonstration at Ipex in May 2010.
Little has changed in the specification of the machine since Ipex but the marketing message has moved on. Xerox has switched from referring to the technology used as solid ink to waterless inkjet, which does neatly sum up the biggest benefit of the process. The headline specs of the four-color continuous feed machine are a top speed of 152m (500 feet) per minute, web width of 520mm (20.5”) and a stock weight range of 50 to 160 gsm.
Key applications are transactional print and direct mail for the yet-to-be-named machine, which until the branding boffins have done their bit, will be known as the Xerox Production Inkjet System. Orders are now being taken for early installs by the end of 2011 with full commercial availability in 2012. Read more »