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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May 12, 2015
The importance of workflow and the matching software ecosystem has been frequently publicised and although not every user might have realised it yet, all production printing hardware vendors are strengthening their offerings in workflow and solutions nowadays. The importance of workflow is however in stark contrast with the lack of approaches in making the benefits of workflow visible in an exhibition or open house environment. Software remains intangible and while the benefit of some features can be calculated in time and money, for other features like customer satisfaction, error reduction, new services offerings and overall process efficiency calculating the exact value for a single business case is much harder.
Canon-Océ already organised several Commercial Printing Business Days, but for the event that took place in April 2015 the software portfolio was targeted to take centre stage. Presentations, workshops and customer testimonials focussed on workflow solutions. Canon-Océ invited users and prospects with interest in workflow solutions and had a total attendance of 550 visitors from around the globe at the three days of the event.
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Apr 29, 2015
InfoTrends just published the 2014 production placement numbers for the U.S. and Western Europe. In both geographies we had some growth in placements. In general Europe showed a much better growth driven by a stabilizing economy in 2014, while growth in the U.S. was marginal, based on the fears of a slowing economy. Of course growth rates differ not only by geography, but also by product segment. One of the fastest growing segments in 2014 were mid-volume color devices, the type of devices typically used at high-end print rooms or quick printers and small to mid-size commercial printers. Installations grew by 29% in the U.S. and 33% in Europe in 2014. This is no mean feat in print market under pressure.
2008 to 2014 Mid-production Placements
For a meaningful tracking of growth or decline in a market, as well as market share overviews, we try to define market segments containing products that compete against each other with similar features, price points and user profiles. Segmenting products can be a tough task however.
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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
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Mar 18, 2015
On February 26, the European Business Document Associated (EBDA) organized a seminar to discuss the future of print and customer communications. This event took place as a parallel event to the Hunkeler Innovationdays 2015 in Lucerne, Switzerland. Such parallel events are a perfect opportunity for people to participate in as they easily can combine it with a visit to the Hunkeler Innovationdays. InfoTrends was invited as being one of the main speakers at this seminar together with three other industry experts. This blog highlights the key takeaways of the main discussions at the EBDA seminar.
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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 »
Jan 16, 2015
On December 11-12, 2014, Ricoh Europe invited European industry analysts to a summit in Lisbon, Portugal, to provide an update on its corporate strategy and goals of its 18th mid-term plan (MTP) starting in 2015. This event follows a global industry analyst summit held in Japan, earlier this year. David Mills, CEO of Ricoh Europe Plc. and Corporate Vice President of Ricoh Company Ltd., together with his executive management team presented their growth plans for its Imaging & Solutions business. Ricoh’s new strategy can be summarized by an acceleration of a transition to services, a rekindled effort to grow through geographical expansion, a focus on new market opportunities.
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Dec 16, 2014
Without much fanfare a new continuous feed inkjet printing line has appeared on the market. The new system is called PageMaster, and it was introduced at an open house in the middle of November at Bielomatik’s facility in Neuffen in Southern Germany. PageMaster is an integrated inkjet printing and converting line for booklets or notepads that is being marketed by a new organization called Bielomatti, as part of a joint venture between Bielomatik and Matti. Bielomatik has a 60% stake in the joint venture and therefore will have a larger role in marketing and driving the product. So far the joint venture has no permanent staff and draws resources from both companies as needed. Once the demand takes off, the company will add staff accordingly.
Matti has a lot of experience designing paper transport and print towers for a range of vendors including Kodak, Xerox, and Xerox Impika. The company also markets printing solutions directly to end customers. These are typically custom solutions integrating paper transport and inkjet heads.
Bielomatik is the by far larger partner with 900 employees worldwide (Matti has about 25 employees). Bielomatik focusses on paper processing and plastic welding equipment. In the paper processing the company manufactures complete lines for a somewhat diverse range of applications: the production of copybooks/notepads (the types used in schools), lines for converting bank notes, attaching RFID tags, and wrapping of cut-sheet papers. Apart from basic flexo units that print lines or grids into the copybooks no printing equipment is offered. Accordingly the company’s expertise is in folding, sheeting, collating, and binding in high volume 24/7 environments. Not surprisingly a decline in the established copybook markets is driving the company to seek other opportunities. Read more »
Oct 1, 2014
Heidelberg and Canon/Ocè both reemphasized their push into the digital packaging printing market at their customer events last week. Each company gave a detailed update on the progress it has made.
As promised back in April at a digital sneak peek event, Heidelberg showed their first digital label printer at the Gallus “Innovation Days” from the 23rd to 25 of September in St Gallen, Switzerland. The event, which is not to be confused with the Hunkeler innovationdays) served well as a platform to reemphasize the changes in the ownership structure; this summer Gallus became part of the Heidelberger group, the upshot of a share swap that increased Heidelberg’s ownership of Gallus from 30% to 100% and with the former owner of Gallus becoming the biggest individual shareholder in Heidelberg.
Center stage, however, was the digital label press with the somewhat less catchy name of Gallus DCS 340. The press, which comes with in-line finishing, is the result of development cooperation between Gallus, Heidelberg and Fujifilm. The press base is supplied by Gallus and is derived from the well-established ECS 340 label press, hence the web width is set at 340 mm (13.4”) and a range of flexo, screen and offset modules can be added. The press has a solid granite base and is equipped with an unwind and a die cutting/stripping module. Only the speed of the DCS had be limited to 50 m/min (150 ft/min) compared to 165 m/min (492 ft/min) of the conventional press. The integrated finishing is somewhat misleadingly named “ digital converting system”, since the ECS C finishing part contains no digital components at all. Its core is a semi-rotary die cutter, which is at least format variable, but still requires a conventional die.
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