Posts tagged: Print

Beyond CMYK: The Digital Print Enhancement Opportunity

Jim Hamilton
 May 30, 2017

I love print. I particularly love it when it knocks my socks off. I’m a fool for gloss varnishes, metallic foils, velvet finishes, neon colors, and lenticular images. You get the picture. I’m also a huge digital print advocate. Yet much of production color digital print is process color only. Cyan, magenta, yellow, and black are great, and they are perfect for a lot of work, but sometimes I yearn for more. Maybe it’s that I’ve been spoiled by all the fantastic capabilities of offset print.

CMYKplus collage

InfoTrends estimates that 30% of offset printed color pages have some type of enhancement beyond the four process colors. I often refer to this as “CMYK+.” CMYK+ may be a spot or flood coat, a Pantone color, a metallic gold or silver ink, opaque white, or a range of other value-add special effects. Sometimes print will even use a combination of two or more special effects. All in all, this amounts to more than a trillion color offset pages that have some type of an enhancement beyond process color in promotional document applications. How many digital pages have such special effects? Read more »

PROKOM in Vienna: The First Konica Minolta User Community Meeting

Jim Hamilton
 May 22, 2017

On Thursday May 11th, around 150 Konica Minolta production print users gathered in Vienna for a day of presentations at the inaugural meeting of PROKOM, the Konica Minolta user community. Targeted at production users, PROKOM is part of a Konica Minolta customer-centric strategy intended to drive the move from analog to digital print processes. With the focus, at least at first, on users of cut-sheet light to mid-production color and black & white digital print, the opportunity for PROKOM is unlike many other user groups, which tend to focus on higher levels of production.

PROKOM logo

The journey toward PROKOM began over a decade ago when Konica Minolta began actively targeting users in production environments. A key date for this was drupa in 2004, Read more »

Google Photos Gets More Intelligent

Alan Bullock
 May 19, 2017

Google Photos IconOver the last few years, Google has launched a number of mobile products and services that included various degrees of intelligence. At the Google I/O tech-fest, which kicked off on May 17 in Mountain View, CA, the company signaled a significant shift toward intelligent products and services, many of which happen to be mobile. Included in the many announcements were three new features for Google Photos, the company’s photo storage and organization service that was launched two years ago. Read more »

Dealers Seeking Growth Opportunities at ITEX

Steve Pearl
 Apr 20, 2017

A number of Keypoint Intelligence analysts are covering ITEX 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada this week. Here’s a mid-event account from Steve Pearl, Associate Director, Solutions & Services:

The pioneers traveled westward to find their future; the same is true for many dealers attending ITEX 2017 in Las Vegas. Dealers here can connect with leaders in the industry on the topic of managed IT services, cloud solutions, managed print, supplies management, service automation, financing, data analytics, search engine optimization (SEO), and much more.

Nearly 300 people attended the keynote session, and dealers visiting the exhibits are eager to learn how to expand their businesses. Unlike the original pioneers, though, dealers don’t have to take arrows in the process of securing their future. They can simply take advantage of all the expertise around them. More to come…

The interest is palpable. Attendees were eager to learn during Jeff Hayes' keynote

The interest is palpable. Attendees were eager to learn during Jeff Hayes’ keynote.

Reasons for growing revenue was on everyone's minds. That's why they are here.

Revenue growth is on everyone’s mind.

Jeff covering top dealer challenges

Jeff covering top dealer challenges

HP is very prominent at this show.

HP is very prominent at this show.

B2 digital: less hype – but a lot more placements

Ralf Schlozer
 Apr 11, 2017

Visiting drupa 2012 the new breed of B2-format digital presses for commercial printing seemed to outshine everything else. Despite all the ensuing hype, placements remained low and hopes for growth were dashed in the years that followed. At drupa 2016 B2 digital was already eclipsed in the headlines by other technologies, namely B1 digital, industry 4.0, and packaging/industrial print. It started to look like B2 digital would be a disappointment.

And so it comes as a bit of a surprise that B2 digital really delivered in 2016 – with a steep increase in placements, surpassing our forecast noticeably. According to our recently published 2013-2016 U.S. Production Printing Placements report, U.S. placements jumped from 25 units in 2015 to 80 in 2016. Western Europe did very well too as installations almost doubled according to our 2013-2016 W. European Production Printing Placements report. And all these numbers exclude packaging and label presses, which had a record year as well.

US & WE B2 placements

Read more »

Next Up for Vendor Shows: Xeikon Café in Belgium

Bob Leahey
 Mar 8, 2017

At this time of year vendors and users of digital print technology have a spate of events that qualify as vendor-specific tradeshows, ones hosted or sponsored by individual equipment suppliers. Among the best known are two that just took place, namely Hunkeler Innovation Days (February 20-23 in Lucerne) and Dscoop (March 1-4 in Phoenix, Arizona, for HP users). A third event, coming soon, is a pure play in digitally printed packaging and well worth visiting—the Xeikon Café that will take place in Belgium on March 27-30.

Read more »

Canon targeting commercial print with the Océ ProStream

Ralf Schlozer
 Feb 21, 2017

Continuous feed colour inkjet has put its mark onto digital print for a number of years now, but it has been slow to escape the confines of transactional printing, despite some success in direct mail and book printing. While transaction print is set to decline, the much more attractive market would be moving into commercial print and converting portions of the immense offset print volume to digital. That is easier said than done however, with the demands for print quality and paper range being much higher in commercial print, compared to transaction print. Several devices have been launched to target this market, but success so far has been limited.

With its latest announcement on the 17th of February Canon plans to take advantage of this opportunity with a new product called Océ ProStream. The ProStream supports a print width of 540 mm, a maximum speed of 80 metres per minute, and a duty cycle of 35 million A4 pages per month. The printer is targeted to offer high print quality on a large range of substrates. Canon cites four major reasons why the ProStream should finally be able to gain a larger portion of the commercial print market:

– New 1,200 nozzle per inch Kyocera piezo drop-on-demand inkjet heads

– A new high-density polymer-based ink system – including ColorGrip primer

– A new, non-contact “flotation air” drying system

– A new usability concept supporting native PDF and PDF/VT Read more »

Epson entering the light production arena

Ralf Schlozer
 Feb 7, 2017

On February the 3rd Epson launched two new colour inkjet MFPs: the LX-10000 (with a 100 ppm speed) and the LX-7000 (with a 75 ppm speed). The launch is interesting from several points of view. It is the first venture of a major inkjet office device vendor into the 100 ppm colour speed class. It also demonstrates Epson’s strategy to replace toner with inkjet in high end office printing. The most significant announcement is however that Epson plans to target the device not only at office, but also at the light production market. Epson does have a foot-hold in production print via its label printers (SurePress Series) and some large format printers are used for poster or proofing as well, but so far has not targeted the mainstream production print market yet. Read more »

What’s Next for Graph Expo?

Jim Hamilton
 Oct 13, 2016

Graph Expo’s first visit to Orlando can be considered a qualified success, in part based on the low expectations that most exhibitors had for the show. It followed drupa, and a drupa year will always be a challenge for Graph Expo. What the future holds for this venerable show is up for discussion.

Let’s first consider attendance in Orlando. Thayer Long, the Graphic Arts Show Company (GASC) president, said in a WhatTheyThink interview that the number of visitors (including booth staff) exceeded 13,000. This is down significantly from Graph Expo 2015 in Chicago, but is more or less in line with a reduced show that had at least 30% less exhibit space than in 2015.

Another factor is cost. Chicago is a great city, but Read more »

HP Inc. Unleashes Next Generation A3 MFPs to Disrupt $55B Copier Market

Barbara Richards
 Sep 28, 2016

On September 12th in conjunction with HP Inc.’s announced acquisition of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.’s Printer Business the company also announced an extensive line of A3 Laser and PageWide MFPs and services aimed at disrupting the $55B copier market. According to HP,  As part of its strategy to reinvent business printing these new products enable their partners to sell and service more cost effectively while delivering customers affordable color, reliable performance and industry-leading security.

The new portfolios of MFPs include three PageWide and 13 LaserJet platforms available in 54 different sku numbers with a variety of finishing options, including an in-cave stapler stacker, hole-punch and high capacity staple/booklet maker.

Figure 1: New HP A3 MFP Portfolio

NewHPProductLineup

HP PageWide Enterprise and Pro

According to HP, the new PageWide Enterprise and Pro series will offer best in class print speeds and lower energy consumptions than similar priced lasers in their class such as:

  • A 55% reduction in carbon footprint of printing
  • Utilize 73% less energy usage than laser printers
  • Generate up to 95% less supplies and packaging waste than comparable lasers

The new HP PageWide products are designed for A3 output and will range in print speeds from 40ppm up to 60ppm. Some of the new features include correct order face down output, easy to replace supplies and built in servicing and diagnostic system as well as the new finishing accessories listed above. Product availability for the PageWide Pro is scheduled for spring 2017 while the HP PageWide Enteprise devices will be available fall 2017.

Figure 2: New HP PageWide A3 MFP

HPPageWideA3MFPpic

HP LaserJet A3 MFPs

The new LaserJet A3 MFPs will be available in both color and monochrome with printing speeds ranging from 25ppm to 60ppm. In addition, HP states the new LaserJet’s will have some of the longest life components and fastest repair times among A3 laser devices in the industry, thanks to fewer parts and field replaceable units (single components that allow for a quick change at a customer site, rather than replacing multiple individual parts, as is the norm for traditional A3 models). Availability is scheduled for fall 2017.

Figure 3: New HP LaserJet A3 MFP 

HPLJA3MFPic

Smart Devices & Security

In addition to the A3 MFP announcements, HP also highlighted their Smart Device Services; a set of cloud tools and device-based sensing capabilities designed to integrate with third party device monitoring and service management tools. The Smart Devices Services (SDS) are compatible with any HP printer and MFPs which include FutureSmart firmware introduced in 2012 and later. HP believes SDS will enhance service efficiency for their partners’ fleet and improve up-times by providing predictive service alerts to dealers, allowing them to know the current issue, as well as those that may arise soon, before deploying service personnel, thus reducing the incidence of repeat visits. The new services will be available to qualified HP channel partners as no additional cost for all contractual devices using HP original supplies.

Read more »

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