Sep 18, 2014
The International Woodworking Fair (IWF) took place from August 20-23, 2014 in Atlanta, GA. This event brought together woodworking equipment manufacturers of all kinds, and a wide range of related product manufacturers. The event was split between two main halls: one for equipment producers and one for product manufacturers. This show drew attendees from North America as well as from 70 countries around the world. With almost 1,000 exhibitors (of which, 200 were international), the show catered to over 22,000 attendees looking purchase, learn, and explore new innovations in woodworking-related equipment, materials, and services. Key themes at the show were the growing desire for innovation; automation; and the need for education in new business opportunities, technologies, and applications.
IWF Atlanta Exhibit Hall
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Sep 3, 2014
HP announced on August 27 that a Czech corrugated converter, Obaly Morava, has recently installed the first HP T400 Simplex Color Inkjet Web Press to print corrugated liner stock in process colors. The news has two important features: (1) Obaly Morava will be the first to use HP’s thermal inkjet T-Series presses for packaging; (2) the corrugated market gains a major new entrant in the Read more »
Sep 2, 2014
End of summer silliness by Frank Romano
I think that I shall never see
Inkjet ink that is not pricey
Ink that comes in color and black
Ink that always sets me back
Ink that drips but never a flood
Costing more than human blood
Inkjet pricing that is not humane
On a par with vintage champagne
Ink that comes in magenta, yellow, and cyan
Ink that is more expensive than a trip to Cannes
We’re paying for that unique ink storage
But purchase requires a second mortgage
Kodak tried to sell ink really cheaply
Kodak may regret the episode deeply
Ink that takes an age to unwrap
Ink that generates a lot of scrap
But now I recycle those colors and blacks
And I get a peanut-sized discount at OfficeMax
But what does the future hold?
Inkjet ink becomes the new gold
Poems are made by fools like me
But ink is made by folks like HP
Join Frank Romano and InfoTrends’ Jim Hamilton at Graph Expo 14 for a special keynote seminar on “The Future of the American Printer” in Chicago on Sunday, September 28.
Aug 13, 2014
For centuries Milan and the lake Como region have been the trend setters for fashion and décor industries and a source of innovation in fabric printing. Thus it’s no surprise that the wave of digital printing technology that is emerging in many industrial markets is making significant impact on the region. With its early roots in the 1990’s, inkjet innovations found their way into Italian digital printing systems for fabric by companies like Robustelli. Today, this area is brimming with solutions from companies such as Aleph, F-tex, DURST, Kornit, Regianni, MS Printing systems and more. Over the past decade these innovators developed solutions aimed at producing eye catching fabrics that are on display in catwalks around the world from Milan, New York, Tokyo and Paris. Read more »
Jul 21, 2014
Recently, Investcorp, a multi-national investment firm known for investing in alternative markets, announced that it will be acquiring SPG Prints, a Netherlands-based company specializing in the manufacture of digital inks and equipment for wide format, textile, and packaging applications. With this acquisition, SPG Prints may now have a chance to further expand their offerings within the graphic arts industry.
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Jul 11, 2014
Digital print technology start-up Landa made a splash recently with its news of a $130 million investment in it by Altana Chemical (Germany), in the process becoming a minority owner of the Israeli company. In an interview Â with InfoTrends recently, Benny Landa, founder and head of his namesake company, explained that the Altana investment is about more than money and ownership–Altana is a strategic partner, contributing to Landa’s mission in terms of materials science, marketing, and global supply chain. Some points:
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Jun 19, 2014
At a recent launch event in San Diego, CA HP unveiled plans to “reboot” its wide format digital printing portfolio with a new modular thermal inkjet (TIJ) platform. Additionally HP launched new wide format technical printers, production software, and a single print driver for their DesignJet family, but the headliner was a wide format printer from HP that will compete in the single-pass wide format segment.
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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 »
Jun 12, 2014
I’ve spoken at two recent graphic arts events where something unusual happened. Chief Executive Officers of billion-plus dollar companies were in attendance speaking to customers and prospects. This is not only unusual, it’s also very symbolic, and it underscores the importance of a kind of event that is happening more and more frequently: invitation-only customer/prospect events held at a company-owned or partner facility. Customers and prospects are flown in, wined & dined, shown the latest product updates, and given a strategy update by senior executives. And in case you were wondering, the marketing dollars spent at these events are very likely those that were saved by not participating at IPEX or other graphic arts trade shows.
At left, Xerox's Ursula Burns cuts the ribbon while Jeff Jacobson and Paul Morgavi look on; at right, Kodak's new CEO Jeff Clarke (in tie) with ImageMark's Walter Payne
- Xerox’s Inkjet Summit “The first of the events I spoke at was a Xerox Inkjet Summit at the Impika headquarters in Aubagne, France (near Marseille). Read more »
May 30, 2014
Continuous feed colour inkjet printing has been a big success story over the past seven years especially in transaction print and with some book and direct mail printers. However the market lost a bit of momentum recently. While the move to inkjet in the transaction market is in full swing a lot more opportunities rest in short run publishing and promotional applications, especially when some degree of customisation, personalisation, and just-in-time manufacturing. Inkjet has had limited success so far in areas requiring higher print quality, particularly on coated papers. Canon’s launch of the ImageStream 3500 is intended to address that challenge.
On the 22nd of May Canon invited a small group of analysts to the Miyakoshi Akita plant in northern Japan, where all of Miyakoshi’s digital print engines are manufactured. At the manufacturing site Canon presented the latest launch in its inkjet portfolio, the ImageStream 3500. At first sight the ImageStream 3500 looks like a JetStream 3300 — part of Océ’s Wide series. In fact, both products share the same press base. Accordingly the maximum print speed is set with 160 meters per minute and the paper width is 30 inch.
The differences between a JetStream and the new ImageStream lie in the inkjet heads and the ink. The printer uses the latest Kyocera printheads with a native resolution of 1,200 dpi and three drop size levels. The printer can print with 1,200 x 600 dpi resolution at full speed, or 1,200 x 1,200 resolution at half speed, which is still an impressive 1,600 A4 pages/minute. The high resolution results in tiny droplet sizes with 1.3, 2, and 2.8 picolitre. Canon is using a new, waterbasedÂ ink as well, not only optimised for the tiny droplet size, but also engineered to stick on the surface of the paper — any paper. Read more »