Mar 27, 2014
My first IPEX was in 1971. I was the marcom manager and in charge of the Compugraphic exhibit. The show was at Olympia and Earl’s Court. I will always remember (until senility sets in) entering the Victorian glass-domed Olympia and seeing the vast array of new printing technology. Phototypesetting was just coming into widespread use. I was in awe. Read more »
Mar 24, 2014
Today IPEX 2014 opened its doors. IPEX has a four-year cycle and is timed to fall in the period between two drupa trade shows. IPEX made its name as a show where prospects could check the status of new products that had been “pre-announced” at drupa. It has ranked as one of the largest graphic artsÂ trade shows in the world. After many years in Birmingham, 2014 is the show’s first year at the London Excel exhibition grounds. The move to the new location in London was significant, but that fact was overshadowed by the very well-publicized withdrawal of most of the major printing equipment manufacturers. In fact, over the past year there has been much discussion about whether IPEX would even take place at all. Well, it is taking place, but at a much smaller scale.
InfoTrends has already written about the move by many vendors to shun trade shows 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 »
Jul 10, 2013
In 2012 Xeikon announced that it had acquired a research company active in liquid toner electrophotography. Its intellectual property provided the foundation upon which Xeikon is developing a liquid toner based printer. The technology was presented publicly for the first time at drupa 2012 with a single station unit shown behind glass printing at 60 meters per minute as a technology demonstration, but without showing or handing out print samples.
Cross-section view of Xeikon Trillium print towers
Though interesting, this technology demonstration did not fully convey the potential of the technology. Now Xeikon has made public some more details on the technology and its planned first product implementation, which show how the company intends to challenge inkjet technologies at higher volumes.
According to Xeikon, Trillium is targeted at high quality print applications, similar to the current 8000 Series dry toner printers, but designed for higher print volumes and with an improved cost structure that will challenge not only inkjet, but also provide an improved break-even point versus offset. In short, Trillium is an extension of the Xeikon product portfolio of document printers. The company plans to position the technology for demanding high coverage colour applications that inkjet cannot reach from a quality or cost perspective.
Read more »
May 28, 2013
In 2008, InfoTrends published a blog entitled, Beyond Process Color Digital Printing: Approaches to Additional Colors, Special Effects, and MICR, discussing vendors that offered one or more imaging units
in addition to the four traditional process colors (CMYK). Today, we have seen leaders in the high-end electrophotographic market, such as HP, Kodak, and Xeikon, expanding the capabilities of their devices to provide additional efforts to accommodate five or more print stations also known as, “5+” colors, during production. There has also been some activity in off-line digital devices that provide the ability to add value to a printed page through the application, typically via inkjet heads, of a gloss coating or some other effect. New entrants to the offline market such as, Scodix and MGI, are a few of these offline companies entering this market.
Read more »
Feb 18, 2013
This month InfoTrends’ on-line research will include an important addition – the Ultimate Guide to color digital label and packaging (CDLP) presses. The Ultimate Guide Online is a series of databases utilized by print and marketing service providers, as well as industry suppliers, to compare hardware and software solutions. The new Ultimate Guide to CDLP joins the established Ultimate Guides for Roll-Fed Devices, Cut-Sheet Devices, and various software guides, such as Enterprise TransPromo, Multi-Channel Communications, Variable Data Publishing, Web-to-Print solutions, and Print MIS.
Read more »
Oct 4, 2012
These are the three devices that replicate paper-based documents in quantity: copier, printer, and press.
The difference between a copier and a printer is that the copier requires a hard copy original and the printer requires an electronic file. My guess is that very few, if any, copiers are manufactured any more. The light lens system has been replaced with a scanning system connected to a printer. A Multi Function Printer (MFP) is called that because it can copy, scan, print, and fax. Old habits die hard so they are still called copiers; although, most are really MFPs.
Printers evolved from Read more »
May 11, 2012
Drupa is the largest print-related exhibition in the world. It is a cross between a world’s fair and the storming of the Bastille. It is the place where new printing technology is introduced. And much of that technology is years away.
The first thing that hits you is the sheer size of it all. It takes almost an hour to walk from one side of the messe (fairgrounds) to the other (well, at my age it does). There are the equivalent of 20 buildings filled with every kind of printing and related device on earth. And there were 170,000 people from all over the world by the mid-point of the show.
The day before the formal opening is when Heidelberg (HEI) has their traditional press conference. But they were usurped by Landa, a company that revealed a new nano graphic printing technology. In fact, HEI is partnering with Landa on a future printing device.
The Landa news became Read more »
Mar 21, 2012
InfoTrends has had two similar inquiries about the February 29 announcement of Xeikon’s 2011 results, each from a company that is not in the label press market but that is interested in it. The question has been about the possibility that the published Xeikon 2011 results are a proxy for the market for color digital in label and packaging. Xeikon N.V. (Eede, The Netherlands), a major supplier of presses for label and packaging, as well as for document printing, reported that 2011 sales fell by 7% compared with 2010, to EUR 129.8 million from EUR 139.3 million for the earlier year. The net profit, though, was EUR 7.0 million, compared with a net profit of EUR 4.7 million in 2010, an increase the company attributed to greater efficiency.
The simplest response is that no, in fact on the label and packaging side of Xeikon had a great year in 2011, and the published results are not clear on that. Meanwhile, one other note is that 2010 was a year for Xeikon, so the fact that 2011 came close to 2010 was overall not bad. For the sake of perspective, we’ll comment further here on what Xeikon reported and on what we believe the overall view is. Read more »
Mar 9, 2012
It is no secret that inkjet will be BIG at drupa 2012 and the most likely label for the 2012 iteration of the world’s largest graphic arts trade show will be inkjet drupa (again). But it is far too early to count out tonerbased technology and apart from many important, but incremental improvements we expect to see, there is still potential for ground-breaking improvements in toner technology.
At the pre-drupa press conference on the 7th of March in Lisbon, Xeikon hinted at such improvements with what it calls Quantum technology. According to Xeikon it offers far lower running costs at significantly improved speeds compared to its current toner offerings, while maintaining the quality level of current Xeikon toner offerings. It is the latter which it believes will set Quantum apart from inkjet, while in speed and running cost it should be similar. Read more »