Feb 2, 2017
Today Xerox and EFI announced a move that extends their longstanding partnership: Xerox is selling its FreeFlow Print Server digital front end business to EFI. EFI will manage production and support of the existing FreeFlow Print Server and later will integrate it with EFI’s Fiery digital front end.
This next generation digital front end will integrate with EFI’s Productivity Suites, including print management information systems such as PACE, PrintSmith Vision, Monarch, and Radius ERP. It will also integrate with Xerox FreeFlow Core and XMPie workflows as well as third-party prepress solutions from Agfa Apogee, Heidelberg Prinect, and Kodak Prinergy. There is also the future opportunity to leverage JDF more effectively. EFI reports that its Fiery DFE is currently the only JDF certified digital front end. This opens the opportunity, through an API, to allow integration to any other applications.
Xerox Trivor 2400 with an EFI Fiery digital front end at drupa
Some who hear this news may be confused by a quirk in the nature of Xerox’s FreeFlow branding Read more »
Oct 18, 2016
In honor of International Print Day, InfoTrends is releasing ten new print sample videos. This brings to 100 the number of print sample videos I’ve recorded since 2012. Here are the new ones:
- HP Indigo books and output on canvas
- Kodak Flexible Film technology demonstration
- Touch7 and the Ricoh C5110
- Xeikon Trillium and 9800 samples
- OKI C942 CMYK plus white on colored sheets
- Selected dimensional and foil print samples (included are examples from Duplo, Eagle Systems/Kurz, Intec, Konica Minolta, MGI, and Scodix)
- Envelope printing (included are examples from Bell+Howell, Pitney Bowes, Sensible Technologies, and Spiral Binding)
- Canon imagePRESS 850 direct mail and photo book samples (finished on a Duplo DC-646 and a Plockmatic BLM50)
- An International Paper substrate comparison on the Canon Océ VarioPrint i300
- Why I Record Print Sample Videos
For the previous ninety videos, go to the Print Sample channel on the Jim Hamilton YouTube page.
For those who are not familiar with International Print Day, it is “24-hour celebration without borders” for “anyone with an interest in the original communication delivery device…to join the planet’s largest conversation about print in all its forms.” International Print Day starts at 6 pm ET on October 18th (11 pm GMT, 9 am AEST) and will finish 24 hours later. Those wishing to participate on social media should use the hashtag #IPD16.
Read more »
Sep 8, 2016
A week passed since the successful conclusion of the International Woodworking Fair in Atlanta on August 27, 2016. With over 25 product categories such as custom wood working, veneers, flooring, doors, and accessories spread over more than 500,000 square feet. The show drew over 26,000 participants and 1,080 exhibitors some attended educational sessions and most walked the show in search for new product, innovations, as well as sourcing materials for their projects.
IWF 2016 – Home for digitally produced decorative surfaces
Read more »
May 19, 2016
In April, Kodak held an inkjet-focused briefing in Dayton, Ohio to update industry analysts on their current status, new developments, and drupa 2016 plans. The event provided an excellent opportunity to get an up-close look at Kodak’s inkjet offerings, including some technology demonstrations that will be highlighted at drupa 2016 (May 31st to June 10th in Dusseldorf, Germany).
It’s an important time for Kodak’s Dayton-based Enterprise Inkjet Systems Division. drupa 2016 is fast approaching, and the division has big plans there. The next generation of Stream head technology (UltraStream) will also be on display as a technology demonstration. Perhaps most importantly, Kodak’s board has announced that the Enterprise Inkjet business, including the Prosper Press Platform, the S Series Imprinting Systems, and related products are for sale.
Kodak, with a sizeable booth in Hall 5, will be the fifth largest exhibitor at drupa. From an inkjet perspective, Kodak plans to showcase Read more »
May 3, 2016
Note: This blog has been updated because additional information revealed that Canon and Landa were in a virtual tie for the third and fourth positions.
One good way of gauging a vendor’s marketing spend for a trade show is to see how much show floor space it has. Over the years, InfoTrends has measured booth size for shows like Graph Expo, Print, and drupa. With drupa 2016 less than a month away, we decided to repeat the exercise. This is how it works: we take measurements from the show floor map (in this case, the interactive drupa 2016 one at www.drupa.com). Then wherever possible we confirm this ranking through public statements or private confirmations from the exhibitors. We do our best to rank this as accurately as possible, but keep in mind that these are InfoTrends’ calculations, not official numbers. The drupa organizers do not publish a list of top vendors by booth size.
So here are the results for drupa 2016 (with history back to 2008): Read more »
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 »
Sep 25, 2015
In a huge manufacturing building in the Eastman Business Park in Rochester, New York, Kodak is printing sensors that can be used in touch screens for tablets, computer screens, kiosks, and industrial equipment. The process uses technologies that print service providers will find familiar, but they are being used to achieve a very different end result.
First, a series of flexographic plates are imaged on a modified Creo square-spot plate imager. Each plate has a repetitive design of extremely thin parallel lines. The plates are mounted on a modified roll-fed flexographic press that prints with a catalytic ink on both sides of a roll of clear plastic (similar to the material used for motion picture film). The catalytic ink provides a receptive surface for the next step, in which the printed roll of plastic is immersed in a bath with a copper fluid solution. In that bath, copper is applied to the thin printed lines of catalytic ink. The copper is what makes the resulting print conductive, and that’s why you can make touch screens with this printed component. A darkening agent is applied on top of the copper, and the rolls are then cut into sheets containing the functionally printed sensor that will ultimately go into a touch-screen display. This printed grid of thin, crisscrossing lines is virtually invisible, yet it provides the underlying conductive foundation that is able to sense when someone puts a finger on a touch-sensitive screen.
Kodak touch-screen sensor (showing a magnified view of the touch-sensitive grid)
Today Kodak is printing working production samples that can be tested by prospects who may one day Read more »
Sep 8, 2015
Graph Expo 2015 (September 13-16, Chicago) begins on Sunday and whether you are able to be there or not, here are a few things you should know in advance.
Who Has the Biggest Booths on the Show Floor?
One good way of assessing the level of marketing spend that an exhibitor has made on a trade show is to measure the size of their booth. InfoTrends has been doing this for shows like Graph Expo, Print, IPEX, and drupa for many years. This year, the biggest exhibitors (by square foot of exhibit space as measured from the publicly available show floor map) are shown below.
Canon, as was the case at Graph Expo 2014, has the largest booth, followed by Konica Minolta. HP is in the number three spot, up from number six last year. Xerox dropped down a spot and is followed by Ricoh, EFI, Pitney Bowes, and Standard Finishing. KIP America breaks into the top ten at number nine. Last year’s number nine, Muller Martini, is not exhibiting. The top twelve is rounded out by Kodak, KBA, and Scodix. Traditional offset vendors (including some with new digital offerings) will be exhibiting, but not in the biggest booths (KBA is the only one in the top twelve). Offset system providers with booths include Goss, Komori, manroland, Presstek, Ryobi MHI, and TKS, but not Heidelberg, which hasn’t been a Graph Expo exhibitor since 2011.
Read more »
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 »
Dec 16, 2014
Without much fanfare a new continuous feed inkjet printing line has appeared on the market. The new system is called PageMaster, and it was introduced at an open house in the middle of November at Bielomatik’s facility in Neuffen in Southern Germany. PageMaster is an integrated inkjet printing and converting line for booklets or notepads that is being marketed by a new organization called Bielomatti, as part of a joint venture between Bielomatik and Matti. Bielomatik has a 60% stake in the joint venture and therefore will have a larger role in marketing and driving the product. So far the joint venture has no permanent staff and draws resources from both companies as needed. Once the demand takes off, the company will add staff accordingly.
Matti has a lot of experience designing paper transport and print towers for a range of vendors including Kodak, Xerox, and Xerox Impika. The company also markets printing solutions directly to end customers. These are typically custom solutions integrating paper transport and inkjet heads.
Bielomatik is the by far larger partner with 900 employees worldwide (Matti has about 25 employees). Bielomatik focusses on paper processing and plastic welding equipment. In the paper processing the company manufactures complete lines for a somewhat diverse range of applications: the production of copybooks/notepads (the types used in schools), lines for converting bank notes, attaching RFID tags, and wrapping of cut-sheet papers. Apart from basic flexo units that print lines or grids into the copybooks no printing equipment is offered. Accordingly the company’s expertise is in folding, sheeting, collating, and binding in high volume 24/7 environments. Not surprisingly a decline in the established copybook markets is driving the company to seek other opportunities. Read more »