Nov 24, 2015
On Friday the 20th of November the news broke that the Flint Group has bought Xeikon from previous venture capital owner Bencis, almost two and half years after they bought the digital print and platesetter business from Punch International.
Xeikon will continue to operate in its existing lines of business and will now become a new division known as Flint Group Digital Printing Solutions. Even in terms of personnel, continuity is sought, with Xeikon CEO Wim Maes staying as president of the division. The deal needs the approval of European competition authorities, which is expected by end of 2015 as there should not be any concerns about the transaction.
In some ways the acquisition marks a U-turn for Flint after it sold its nascent Jetrion inkjet division to EFI in 2006. EFI paid around $40 million as its first investment in inkjet printing, in the process starting a new line of business, while digital activities pretty much stopped at Flint. Now Flint Group feels it is ready to throw their hat again into the digital arena, possibly seeing the success the Jetrion business is having today. A bigger driver is likely the changed ownership that Flint Group itself is now experiencing. Since 2014 Flint has been essentially an equity capital owned business, owned by Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division in partnership with Koch Equity Development. Prior to that, Flint had grown by acquisition and merger into a leading position in litho and packaging inks. To this day, Flint continues to acquire other ink businesses to consolidate its position.
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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 16, 2015
Jim Hamilton received an Indigo-printed calendar covering 12 women who changed the world. One of them was Ada Lovelace, who was the world’s first “programmer” for the Babbage computing engine. At the same time, I was at the EDSF fundraising event at Graph Expo where the Women of Distinction awards were bestowed by Julie and Andy Plata. There is also the Girls Who Print recognition. Jim’s question was “Who is the Ada Lovelace of the printing industry?”
Ada Lovelace (from the HP Indigo One of a Kind calendar of women who changed the world)
It just so happens that I had done a short article for the Museum of Printing newsletter on someone who is worthy of consideration. Who is she? Read on.
Mary Katherine Goddard is famous for printing the first Read more »
Aug 6, 2015
As part of its investor presentation earlier this week, R.R. Donnelley announced plans to split into three publicly traded companies, each with a different focus. These companies will be Customized Multi-Channel Communications (CMCo), Financial Communications Services (FinancialCo), and Publishing & Retail-Centric Print (PRSCo). Describing the move as a “transformative separation,” R.R. Donnelley positions this as the next stage in the company’s evolution from a print & ship model to a multi-channel communication services model that leverages data analytics, content optimization, and multi-channel marketing. The transaction will take the form of a tax-free spin-off of the financial and publishing/retail components and is expected to be completed by the end of 2016. The customized multi-channel media communications component will retain R.R. Donnelley’s outstanding notes/debt and will receive cash proceeds from the sales of the two other components. Existing R.R. Donnelley shareholders will end up owning shares in all three companies. No specifics were provided in regard to the management teams for each component. That will come later.
Source: R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Investor Presentation, August 4, 2015
R.R. Donnelley has net sales of about eleven and a half billion dollars. The three planned companies break out as follows: 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 »
Jul 8, 2015
Dig deep into any printing company, beyond the presses and paper storage, beyond the shredder and bundler, and somewhere in a dark corner you will probably find a junkyard of old computers, copiers, printers, and other machines. It is like a mothballed fleet that will never fly again.
Since the dawn of the electronic era, technology change has been rapid and relentless. Accelerated depreciation is now a fact of life. Yet, for hundreds of years, the technology of printing rarely changed. The other day I had a pack of cub scouts printing on an 1888 letterpress hand press. No electronics and no battery.
That brings me to preserving the past of the printing industry.
The Smithsonian replaced its printing exhibit with Julia Child’s kitchen, which left only three museums of printing in America: Carson, CA, Houston, TX, and The Museum of Printing in Haverhill, MA. The latter will soon move from North Andover, MA to its own building.
Haverill, MA: Future site of the Museum of Printing (Spring 2016)
For 37 years, The Friends of the Museum of Printing has Read more »
Jul 2, 2015
The 14th Edition of the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival (XRIJF) wrapped up on Saturday, June 27 after nine days of 320+ shows, including 90+ free concerts at 19 venues with 1,500+ artists. In addition to listening to some great music, the in-plant executives in attendance had the opportunity to attend a Xerox educational session where they could learn how to “Amp Up their In-Plant.”
The session opened with a keynote speech from Barb Pellow, Group Director at InfoTrends. She shared her perspective on what it will take to reinvent in-plant operations in today’s environment. Pellow stated, “Nearly every industry is undergoing a major transformation that is being driven by new and emerging technologies. None has been more heavily impacted than the printing industry, and this is only exacerbating the challenges that in-plant managers face today. The key is to disrupt the status quo long before there is a need to do so.” According to Pellow, successful in-plants must build a vision, retool their services, reinvent their customer bases, expand their sphere of influence, properly position their new offerings, invest in operational excellence, and instill a culture of innovation. Read more »
May 13, 2015
Interprint one of the world’s most prominent manufacturers of décor paper for the laminate industry has gone digital. In a press release dated May 5th 2015, the company stated their strategy to use digital printing technology to address the growing demand for shorter runs of décor paper used in the manufacturing process of decorative laminates used for furniture, cabinetry, kitchen counters, doors, and other woodworking applications. Interprint is using the marketing slogan “Hello World!” to introduce its clients to this investment in digital innovation, a KBA RotaJET with a print width of 1.68 meters capable of speed up to 150 meters per minute. This CMYK device is capable of producing over 3.7 million square meters per month (based on a speed of 150 meters per minute, a 1.68 meter width, 2 shifts a day, and 22 days a month operating at 70% productivity).
Interprint is using the slogan “Hello world!” to promote its new capabilities (Source: Interprint)
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Mar 11, 2015
Last week, like many others I braved snow, sleet, and freezing rain to get to DscoopX in Washington DC. While the weather outside was less than desirable, there was tremendous spirit and enthusiasm for the industry and digital technologies inside the Gaylord Convention Center.
More than 2,000 print professionals from 41 countries and over 115 business partners participated to share perspectives on how to “Xpand Print”. According to show organizers that means that since inception more than 20,000 HP end users worldwide have participated in a Dscoop event. DscoopX had the largest Dscoop solutions showcase ever with over 45,000 square feet of exhibitions. It had the biggest HP presence in the solutions showcase in Dscoop history featuring an HP Indigo 30000, HP Indigo 20000, two HP Indigo 10000 units, and an array of large format technology all showcasing applications and opportunities for digital technology.
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Jan 26, 2015
In the past few years we have heard an awful lot about the printers adding additional services to stay competitive in their respective markets. So it was particularly interesting when Bridgeport National Bindery in Agawam, MA, a trade binder at heart, took the opposite course and added digital printing as a service. For most of the company’s history its sales representatives traveled throughout the Northeastern United States convincing print shops to send them their printed material for binding and distribution. This meant shipping and storing printed pages, having extra printed pages on hand in case of errors, and finally distributing completed work or shipping it back to the printer. It’s easy to see how that business process could be streamlined, and since 2005 Bridgeport National has been active in the print-on-demand market (POD). Their origins as a trade bindery, however, left them in an advantageous position when it comes to POD book printing due to the wide variety of applications and experience they have gained.
Last month Bridgeport National Bindery hosted an HP “Print your Future” event at Read more »