Posts tagged: Inkjet

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

Read more »

New Xerox Cut-sheet Color Inkjet in the Zone of Disruption

Jim Hamilton
 Mar 1, 2016

With the announcement today of the Brenva HD Production Inkjet Press, Xerox is showing its first product to be jointly developed from start to finish by the combined Xerox and Impika development teams. The device is a cut-sheet color inkjet printer capable of speeds of up to 182 letter/197 A4 images per minute. At first glance, it looks like an iGen, and though it is built on an iGen frame, it will become clear that under the covers the differences are extensive.

The Xerox Brenva HD Production Inkjet Press

The Xerox Brenva HD Production Inkjet Press

The initial application target is likely to be black & white to color conversion as well as applications like transaction, direct mail, and books because Read more »

2016 Development of Digital Ceramic Printing in China: A CEO’s Perspective

Ron Gilboa
 Feb 22, 2016

InfoTrends has been tracking the ceramic tile industry’s adoption of digital printing technology for several years. China is the primary producer of ceramic tiles on a worldwide basis. According to an industry review by the China Building Ceramics & Sanitaryware Association, there are now over 3,600 ceramic tile production lines in operation in China in just under 1,500 facilities. With about 12 billion square meters produced worldwide 2014/2015 this market is estimated to grow at about 3% in subsequent years. Asia-Pacific region accounts for the majority (70%) of the total most is produced in China.

This market was destined to take advantage of the benefits inherent to digital printing technologies such as reduced make ready, design latitude, timely manufacturing and cost reduction. Spearheading these efforts are companies such as Xaar and Fuji Dimatix and few others. These companies, along with ceramic ink manufacturers, developed by a range of ceramic inks that meet the unique characteristics needed for inkjet printing. The initial success in Europe naturally spread to the Chinese market as well which is the focus of this blog.

We had the privilege of sitting down for an interview with Stella Hu, CEO of Shanghai Teckwin Technology Development Co. Ltd., a leading Chinese supplier digital printing technologies. This interview provided an unique perspective on the current market status and future expectations for the digital ceramics printing in China.

Stella Hu, CEO, Shanghai Teckwin Technology Development Co., Ltd

Stella Hu, CEO, Shanghai Teckwin Technology Development Co., Ltd

In 1994, Stella set up a successful print shop in Shanghai that offered top-quality local services. Compromising on quality was never an option, so the company ran top-of-the-line VUTEk and Scitex machines. At that time, there were very few local manufacturers of wide format printers. Stella spent the next 6 years studying the machines and developing applications.

Once Stella had fully experienced the fun of digital printing with extensive applications, she set her sights on developing a new brand of digital inkjet solutions based on her insights on industry and client needs. She launched Shanghai Teckwin Technology Development Co., Ltd. in 2001. The Shanghai-based company developed and introduced its first wide format solvent printer in 2002, and has since continued with product innovations. The company now offers digital inkjet ceramic printers, grand format solvent UV flatbeds, and roll-to-roll inkjet printing systems for graphics and industrial applications.

During our interview, Mrs. Hu offered her perspective on digital printing within the Chinese ceramic tile market.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

Eight Print Sample Videos from Graph Expo 2015

Jim Hamilton
 Sep 28, 2015

I’ve recorded eight short videos (each is between two and five minutes long) that highlight some interesting print samples from Graph Expo 2015:

I hope you enjoy these. I’ll be adding some more Read more »

Label Expo Preview: What to Look for in Brussels Next Week

Bob Leahey
 Sep 23, 2015

Label Expo, the premier tradeshow for the label industry, will take place September 29 to October 2 in Brussels. Now decades old, this is the show that never seems to fade, and also one where the role of digital printing technologies always seems to grow. InfoTrends will attend and make a detailed report about it to clients but for now we offer a quick preview of what we expect to see:

A huge HP booth: The stand’s core equipment will be HP Indigo WS6800 (labels and other applications) and 20000 (a 30” web, for flexible packaging and for labels also), but there will be many other products. Ones particular to HP Indigo presses will include a white ink specifically for shrink sleeves and new yellow and magenta inks with enhanced lightfastness, also software upgrades, including a VDP tool for Adobe Illustrator, within HP SmartStream Designer prepress. Some exhibits will be from partners to HP Indigo (finishing Read more »

Activity in the Zone of Disruption: Pitney Bowes’ AcceleJet

Jim Hamilton
 Sep 9, 2015

Pitney Bowes has just announced a new product called the AcceleJet printing and finishing system. AcceleJet is a narrow-web, continuous-feed to cut-sheet, inkjet printing system capable of speeds up to 246 feet per minute (75 meters per minute) and throughput exceeding 500 letter-sized images per minute. Intended for a monthly volume range of four to ten million letter/A4 images per month, Pitney Bowes is targeting the AcceleJet at market segments such as service bureaus, direct mailers, and in-house operations in non-profits, financial services, insurance, healthcare, utilities, and government. Pitney Bowes estimates that an AcceleJet system including the controller, print engine, and finishing capable of dynamic perforation, sheeting, and stacking will have an average system selling price of $850,000.

AcceleJet fits well in the gap between existing cut-sheet electrophotographic and continuous feed inkjet color products. This gap, known as “the Zone of Disruption,” is an area where Read more »

Brewing in Belgium: KHS & Martens Brouwerij Ramp Up ‘Direct-to-Shape’ Printing

Bob Leahey
 Aug 19, 2015

Color digital printing for packaging got a boost in Europe recently when a brewer long known for innovation, Martens Brouwerij (Belgium) publicized its use of a direct-to-shape print system to print PET bottles in full color, starting in June 2015. Called “Direct Print Powered by KHS™”, the system is engineered and built by KHS (Germany), a global supplier of filling and packaging solutions to the drinks industry, and commercialized by a wholly-owned KHS subsidiary, NMP Systems. The system, based on Xaar 1002 heads, Read more »

Konica Minolta Announces Next Generation High Resolution, High Speed MEMS Printheads

Ron Gilboa
 Jul 27, 2015

Konica Minolta, a long time innovator in inkjet technology with over 30 years of experience, has released information on a new generation of print heads aimed at the evolving graphic arts, industrial, and functional printing markets. These printheads have resolution as high as 1,200 nozzles per inch (npi), drop size as low as 3 picoliters, jetting frequency of up to 100 kHz, and a physical size that is significantly smaller than the previous generation of Konica Minolta heads. As with many print head manufacturers Konica Minolta is manufacturing these printhead using Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) fabrication. Konica Minolta’s high precision printhead is capable of jetting of a range of inks and functional materials such as resins. These new capabilities will enable innovative new products in a range of industries. Konica Minolta expects to begin mass production of these heads in the spring of 2016. Read more »

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