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 »
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 »
Mar 21, 2016
At drupa 2012 Xeikon made a splash by showcasing a new liquid toner technology under the Trillium brand name. Although it was quite apparent that Xeikon was banking the future of its digital imaging business on Trillium, it has not said much about the technology recently, and then the anticipated delivery to French direct mail printer TagG Informatique in 2015 was missed.
On March 17th 2016 Xeikon finally gave a detailed update on Trillium. The first product will be commercialised under the Trillium One name, as originally announced with a 60 meter per minute (200 fpm) speed, 1,200 dpi imaging resolution and 50 cm (20”) web width. Imaging speed is laid out for 120 m/min, so a future speed upgrade should be possible.
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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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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 »
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 9, 2014
On Oct. 3rd 2014 this years censhare Community Day was held in Munich, Germany. censhare AG (censhare) is a provider of software for digital publishing and marketing automation. The company invited its partners and industry analysts to share best practices and insights on its latest developments as well as trends in digital publishing and marketing. Several case studies showed how censhare helps marketers and enterprises with the challenges of managing content, associated workflows and distribution processes. In addition, censhare revealed the key highlights of its new software version that will be released in Oct. 2014: censhare 5.0.
Stefan Ruthner, EMEA sales manager at censhare, opening the censhare Community Days 2014
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Apr 15, 2014
Recently, Barb Pellow and I participated in a Canon-sponsored Book Business/Printing Impressions webinar on the topic of books and inkjet. (The replay is available at this link if you are interested.) As is typical of most webinars, listeners were encouraged to submit questions, and in this case we received a lot of them. This blog is comprised of those questions and my brief response to each. While not intended to be comprehensive, I believe these questions and answers are a reflection of what is on the minds of the publishing community in regard to inkjet and books today.
Question and Answer
Q: What would be the cost per book difference to print offset vs. ink jet based upon specs such as Read more »
Feb 3, 2014
As we look back on the new product announcements from 2013, I have to admit that the year was largely overshadowed by drupa 2012 and the many new and exciting technologies shown there. We were especially eager to see the new B2 products enter the market in 2013, but it has proven to be a rather slow process. As analysts with many years in the industry, we experienced that launch schedules are overly optimistic side and that the actual product launches often seem to drag on forever. But the announcements from drupa 2012 seem to have taken these delays to a new dimension.
It seems that the duration from the first tech demo toÂ the beta test phase and then to final product is getting longer and longer. Admittedly the line between an early product demonstration and a technology demo is blurred. Many vendors take a cautious approach and label the new announcements as technology demonstrations. Also technology demoes may never end in a product at all. Still, prospective users want to know when they can expect a launch date of a new product or at least know when limited availability will start for early users. Read more »
Nov 14, 2013
Dscoop (Digital Solutions Cooperative) is an independent global community of graphic arts business owners and technical professionals who use HP Indigo, Scitex or HP web press equipment. Dscoop was founded in 2005 and after establishing a strong presence in North America it is broadening its reach with the second conference for the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, Africa). More than 700 digital print professionals from 36 different countries gathered at the second annual Dscoop EMEA conference. Among them were 400 print service providers, a substantial increase from 200 in the year before. The event titled “Print Grand Prix” ran November 6th to 8th at the Rome Marriott Park Hotel, Italy.
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