Look around the industry. What do you see? Offset presses. Digital printers. Wide format inkjet printers. Offset litho was discovered in 1900, but did not gain traction until the 1950s. Digital color printing was introduced in 1993. Wide format inkjet came in 1995. Walk into any plant; they may have all three.
It took a while for all three printing technologies to find their place in print production. All three were challenged by a status quo. Offset was once described as “only for quick and dirty printing.” Ironically, they said the same for digital color. The president of Xerox was quoted in the Wall Street Journal saying almost the same about inkjet printing (2004). Now Xerox is becoming a force in inkjet.
Yet, all three processes make money for printers. What will be the next big thing? The technology is already here. We just have to find markets for it.
Flatbed UV inkjet can print on any substrate—plastics, wood, glass, board, metal, ceramics, textiles, carpeting, and more. Commercial printers print on paper. Where is the market for printing on all those other substrates? Read more »
Today Xerox announced the availability of a new member of the iGen family: the Xerox iGen 5 150 Press. The iGen 5 150 model is the first of multiple offerings in a family that provides a choice of speeds, a range of feeding & finishing options, and an optional fifth imaging station. It’s the imaging station that is the biggest differentiator between the new iGen 5 150 and earlier iGen models. The fifth station is an LED-based, customer-changeable unit (CCU) that sits opposite the CMYK vector imaging systems within the main print tower cabinetry. Important to note is that the device runs the same speed in five-color and four-color mode.
Xerox first implementation of the fifth station is for color gamut extension Read more »
My trip to Dscoop9 was short — one day only — but fabulous. In the time I was there I saw a hilarious and thought-provoking keynote, spent hours on the show floor collecting print samples (see links to videos below), moderated a panel of innovative HP Indigo 10000 users, met with HP Indigo executives, and interviewed an HP “Graphics Influencer.”
Here are my take-aways from the day I spent at Dscoop9:
How Important Is Dscoop to HP? Dion Weisler was at Dscoop9. Read more »
These are InfoTrends’s top ten trends from PRINT 13:
Who was there? Who wasn’t? Agfa’s departure from the show floor over the summer added another important company to the small cadre of vendors skipping the show (Heidelberg, Kodak, and Screen). In truth, Kodak actually did have a booth, a smallish one at the very back of the show floor, but it wasn’t what you would typically expect out of them. Of much greater importance was Kodak’s participation in others’ booths, including Konica Minolta (for Creo and Prinergy) and Adphos (for the Prosper Imprinting heads). And though the timing of Kodak’s emergence from Chapter 11 may have made a big presence unadvisable, it was nevertheless a missed opportunity to show off the new Kodak to its core audience. It is also clearly time for Kodak to name a new leader who will bring the market knowledge and vision for the next chapter in the company’s history. This has dragged on way too long.Read more »
Today Landa Digital Printing announced design adjustments to the Landa S10FC and S10C while also noting that the S10FC would enter beta testing in the fourth quarter of 2014 while the S10C beta would begin beta in the first half of 2015). The most visible design adjustment is a shifting of the large touch-screen user interface to the backend of the device.
Landa S10C with the operator cockpit at the left by the delivery; to the far right, the print engine and feed unit
Note: The Landa S10FC is the folding carton version and the Landa S10C is for commercial and publishing printing. Both devices are capable of producing 6,500 four-color B1-format sheets per hour with a maximum paper size of 29.5 by 41 inches (750 by 1050 centimeters). The S10C is also duplex capable and has a rated speed of 3,250 sheets per hour when printing on both sides.
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 »
You’ll see an interesting announcement today from Xerox about a new toner set for the iGen4 EXP. They’re calling it “Matte Dry Ink” and to show its impact Xerox sent samples to industry analysts in advance of the announcement. Today’s video blog (see below) will give you a good look at the three samples but if you prefer to read the text account that follows, it covers the same ground. The samples are:
An unfolded sheet of the Wild Africa brochure that Xerox used at Graph Expo to highlight the 26” print length capability of the new iGen4 EXP