I’ve recorded nine short videos (each is three and half minutes or less) that highlight some interesting print samples from Graph Expo 2014:
Print Sample Books from Graph Expo 2014 – This outstanding selection of print sample books collected at Graph Expo 2014 include the latest installation in NewPage’s ED series: #16 Digital Possibilities.
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 »
Kodak is leveraging Charlotte, NC-based ImageMark as a customer demonstration center
If you were looking to purchase a production digital printing device, a platesetter, or workflow software, where would you rather see it? I think it’s clear that if possible you’d like to see it in action at a customer site. At a customer site, you could see an actual implementation and ask real-world users all the questions you want about the product: Does it do all they say it can? What problems have you had? Is it upgradeable? Can it handle the types of jobs that I want to run on it? What are the service and consumable costs associated with this product? Of course this type of dialog is ideal, but how many sites would be willing to put up with this on a regular basis? Recently, I got a chance to see how this might work at an innovative print service provider called ImageMark Business Services in Gastonia, North Carolina (just outside Charlotte), which is embarking upon a partnership with Kodak.
in addition to the four traditional process colors (CMYK). Today, we have seen leaders in the high-end electrophotographic market, such as HP, Kodak, and Xeikon, expanding the capabilities of their devices to provide additional efforts to accommodate five or more print stations also known as, “5+” colors, during production. There has also been some activity in off-line digital devices that provide the ability to add value to a printed page through the application, typically via inkjet heads, of a gloss coating or some other effect. New entrants to the offline market such as, Scodix and MGI, are a few of these offline companies entering this market.
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.
This week Timsons, in collaboration with Kodak, announced the T-Press, the largest format inkjet document printer so far in an end-to-end production line targeted at mid-volume book runs.And the width is impressive, with a 53” or 1.35 metre web width, allowing for an 8-up production across the width of the web for a typical A5 book format. Linear speed of the printer is 600 ft/min (200 m/min) and resolution will be 600 by 900 dpi. This roughly translates into 7,500 A4 or letter size impressions. The T-Press is a monochrome web-fed printer, but future full colour versions were not ruled out.
Timsons and Kodak are partnering on this dedicated short-run book printing solution according to their areas of expertise. Timsons developed a dedicated press design, including the finishing line. Kodak is supplying the Stream heads (the basis of the Prosper presses and imprinting heads), workflow, and front-end. Timsons is a dedicated manufacturer of analogue book printing and finishing equipment and draws from a lot of experience in materials handling. In designing the T-Press Timsons did not simply put the inkjet heads onto an existing offset press design, but redesigned the paper path for an optimal location of the inkjet heads and driers and a minimal web length to reduce start-up waste. The front and backside printing units are in a stacked configuration so the unit is relatively compact, despite the wide web.
Last year around this time I reviewed all of the corporate greeting cards I received over the holiday season. I’m at it again this year and cover such diverse topics as colored signatures; recycled paper, FSC, and other green initiatives; text & image personalization; QR codes; printing on the envelope; metallics & pearlescents; special effects like dimensional printing; and non-card items such as calendars, menus, photo books. I also rant about electronic greeting cards that come with insincere tag lines like: “In our appreciation for the environment, we chose to send you our holiday wishes electronically.” Baloney! Face it, you’re just lazy and trying to hide your cheapness in an eco-green candy coating. If you really care, send me a physical card next year. My address is Jim Hamilton, 97 Libbey Industrial Parkway, Suite 300, Weymouth, Massachusetts 02189, USA.
I hope you enjoy this video. If you have comments or questions, please let me know. If you have innovative samples you’d like me to see, please send them to: Jim Hamilton, InfoTrends, 97 Libbey Industrial Parkway, Suite 300, Weymouth, MA, 02189