May 18, 2016
With drupa 2016 about to start, InfoTrends has written reports and blogs on key digital printing and finishing companies that will exhibit products for packaging and label converting there. With this report we will preview one more important drupa exhibitor, Xeikon.
A drupa-Sized Entrant Read more »
Jul 21, 2015
In July HP hosted a worldwide HP Indigo VIP event in Israel. More than 250 customers and prospects visited from dozens of countries from all over the world – including USA, about 10 different European countries, China, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand, Mexico, USA, Brazil, South Africa, and more. There were dozens of sessions presented in each of the four tracks: Flexible Packaging, Labels, Folding Cartons and Commercial Printing. In addition to visiting HP Indigo labs and manufacturing facilities, attendees also visited local HP Indigo customers according to their tracks.
The event provided a great opportunity to present some news ahead of LabelExpo Europe, which is taking place end of September in Brussels. Packaging, and especially label printing, is now a major business for HP Indigo. According to HP label volumes are growing by 25% every year. With a forecast of more than 600 million square meters of labels to be printed in 2015 HP claims to represent nearly 10% of the global label market value and has established itself as major player not only in digital print, but in the whole label print market.
However HP Indigo is extending its coverage beyond label markets. While the ws 4000 and 6000 series are firmly rooted in the label market with only occasional installs in folding carton, shrink sleeves and in-mould labels, the HP Indigo 20000 marks a distinctive move into adjacent packaging markets. Of the roughly 30 installations of the 20000 so far most are used for flexible packaging, followed by shrink sleeves, with only a minority used purely in label printing. Meanwhile, HP Indigo has 20 or more installations of the 30000, the B2 sheet fed press that mainly prints folding cartons. Read more »
Mar 20, 2015
On March 16, 2015, HP EMEA celebrated the grand opening of their new Graphics Experience Center in Barcelona, Spain. This facility is housed at the EMEA headquarters of HP’s Graphics Solutions, which is also HP’s largest R&D lab outside of the U.S. More than 3,000 employees work at these facilities of which more than 450 are in R&D. HP has transformed its existing demo center into a customer facing facility called Graphics Experience Center with 60 end-to-end graphics solutions on display from HP and its partners. At 6,000 square meters, the new facility has almost double the floor space of the old one. This blog describes the highlights of the event.
HP's Graphics Experience Center in Barcelona, Spain
Read more »
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 »
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).
Read more »
Aug 29, 2013
Print is driven by applications and production digital printing is no exception. Demand for certain applications, however, changes over time due to various reasons, such as growth in usage, electronic replacement, personalization, and the move to shorter runs. The change in demand will have a profound impact on production digital printing in competition with other processes as well as between different digital product groups. InfoTrends just published its 2012-2017 production digital print application forecast for the U.S. and Western Europe. It details application volumes and volume growth for 28 print applications in seven main application groups for the main categories of production digital printing devices.
Main Production Digital Printing Applications and Application Groups
The application forecast draws from many sources. InfoTrends’ consulting staff conducts ongoing primary and secondary research in the marketplace to determine the print volume share of the applications and volume trends. The underlying print volume forecast is based on published forecasts, which provide market size in terms of installed base, average monthly print volume, retail value of print, and other factors.
As an example, here is a view of some of the top production digital print applications in Western Europe (by absolute page growth).
10 Fastest Growing Applications in Production Digital Print in Western Europe 2012 to 2017
Read more »
Aug 29, 2012
This week Kodak made news with the announcement by CEO Antonio Perez that his company will focus on commercial, packaging, and functional printing. The choices are not surprising, given prospects now for conventional document printing (down) and for “unconventional” printing such as packaging and labels (up). Kodak is fortifying for life after its planned exit from Chapter 11 next year and has made good choices, all markets where there is still growth for digital printing.
Read more »
May 17, 2012
The drupa 2012 organizers announced final attendance figures today. The total: 314,500. The stunner in this news isn’t that attendance dropped between drupa 2008 and 2012, it’s by how much. drupa attendance peaked in 1990, dropped offÂ in 1995, and then came in at well over 400,000 in 2000. The next two drupasÂ were both aroundÂ around 390,000. The drupa 2012 figure is down about 75,000 from drupa 2008. Going into the show I hoped that final attendance figures would end up between 350,000 and 375,000. As it turns out, this was very optimistic. The newly released numbers tell a different story entirely.
Read more »
May 15, 2012
How print can learn a trick from online to improve its relevance.
In the latest issue of Wired was an insightful article on A/B testing. In short A/B testing is a process that allows you toÂ run two variants of a web-page and use analytics to discover which one gets the best response. The differences can be graphical, such as the use and position of pictures and text; typographical such as font, font size and colour or textual, tweaking the wording used. For more in-depth the original feature is here: The A/B Test: Inside the Technology That’s Changing the Rules of Business.
While the Wired piece was primarily about the use of A/B testing for websites, there must be print applications where it could be an equally powerful tool. Of course, not any printing would do. It has to be digital printing to enable the rapid production of two different variants to be tested. Then there is measurability, which necessitates the use of PURLS, QR Codes or similar to enable tracking consumer interaction. Read more »
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.
Read more »