Coronavirus Resets the drupa Countdown Clock to April 2021

German Sacristan
 Mar 13, 2020

For the past few weeks, the business and financial worlds have been reacting to fears surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19) by implementing measures that will increase public safety and slow down the spread of the disease. As a result, numerous trade shows have been cancelled or rescheduled. The much-anticipated drupa 2020 event was the latest victim of this trend, and has now been rescheduled to April 20 – 30, 2021. This marks only the second time that a 5-year gap has occurred between two drupa events; the first was between 1995 and 2000. To help compensate for this gap, print equipment manufacturers have been proactively organizing virtual events to help keep the market informed about upcoming technologies and solutions.

In addition to the printing and packaging industries, drupa attracts a variety of other vertical markets like consumer goods, luxury goods, cosmetics, banks, and safety technology. According to the drupa website, half of the event’s visitors come to the show with specific investment plans. Of course, these plans are likely to change; in addition to delaying the drupa event, the virus will have an impact on the market as a whole.

As we navigate through the COVID-19 epidemic, many business-related questions will emerge. For example:

  • How will the cancellation of major events like drupa affect trade show vendors?
  • How many more people will make temporary adjustments to their life- and work-related activities to keep themselves safe?
  • Will this change the way we might work in the future?
  • Will there be any permanent shifts in applications and/or communication strategies?
  • How will ongoing industry trends change as a result, and how will these changes affect the printing industry as a whole?

The analysts at Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends are working vigilantly to better understand how COVID-19 will impact the printing market. Armed with new insights, we hope to be able to help our customers and the general market make better strategic decisions that lower their risks in the near future. We will provide more updates as they become available!

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HP Unveils Extensive Updates and Introductions for drupa 2020

German Sacristan
 Mar 10, 2020

In anticipation of the drupa event that is scheduled to take place in Dusseldorf, Germany this June, HP kicked off its media event with a raft of announcements. These announcements include new additions to HP’s portfolio of commercial digital printing and labels & packaging solutions. With this newest range of updates, HP is clearly focusing on increasing overall productivity with significant improvements to the entire ecosystem, including inks and chemistry, substrates, workflow, finishing, and industry partnerships. These improvements will enable printers to meet current and future customer demands while also bringing value to their customers’ supply chains.

In what was perhaps the most significant announcement because it reveals HP Indigo’s future direction, the company introduced a new platform 6 V12 Digital Press with LEP Architecture. The HP Indigo V12 marks the first time that the firm has launched a new platform series that is not based on its common impression cylinder technology. Instead, this new technology is based on inline imaging systems using a transfer belt for intermediate image transfer. This 340 mm wide printer is targeted toward label applications and designed for mid- to high-volume converters. The new linear architecture for imaging unlocks faster print speeds of up to 120 meters per minute (400 ft/min).

Figure 1: HP Indigo’s V12 Digital Press with LEP Architecture

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The Ecosystem Might Be Digital, but the Print Volume Share Isn’t Even Close!

German Sacristan
 Aug 7, 2019

Can a company consider itself digitally transformed simply because it manufactures digital printers or uses them to put ink on paper? If that was the case, how is the digital printing page share only in the single digits?

We have been entrenched in the digital revolution for a few decades now and, in that respect, printing is actually ahead of the game in relation to some other industries. At the same time, however, there is still much to be done to fully align the reality of digitally printed pages to its full potential.

What Type of Commitment is Needed to Grow the Digital Market?

Regardless of whether you’re a digital print equipment manufacturer, vendor, or purchaser of the product – true commitment requires more than just initial investments in a technology, as the technology itself can never guarantee success. The printing industry must undergo a fundamental change in its DNA to grow, which will involve becoming completely immersed in the full value of digital, not just from a technical perspective but — more importantly — from a strategic printed product perspective.

We all know the printing industry is driven by communication, and digital technology can help empower the human communication skill of establishing personal contacts. Digitally printed communications can’t overtake the printing industry and obtain a greater share of the overall communication market without becoming a greater contributor to the personal interaction or the 1:1 space. Print is still very relevant to the overall communication market – bringing incredible value year after year. It would be a shame not to use this channel to its true potential.

Although we’re not saying anything new, it’s clear that something isn’t working—otherwise, digital printing would have a larger share by now. Read more »

Landa’s S10P Analyst and Press Launch at Mercury Print Productions

German Sacristan
 Jul 15, 2019

On June 27, 2019, Landa introduced its first installation of an S10P Nanographic Printing Press with a perfector to a group of analyst and media professionals at Mercury Print Productions (Rochester, NY). The media event included presentations from Nachum Korman (Vice President and General Manager of Landa Americas) and John Place (CEO of Mercury), a product demonstration, a tour of the factory, and a Q&A session. The S10P offers two-sided B1 printing, and is suited to general commercial printing, publishing, and related applications.

Nachum Korman kicked off the analyst briefing by stating that the S10, which is engineered for packaging and converting, has officially launched after first being unveiled at Drupa 2016. Korman provided details on the first four installations of the Landa Nanographic presses —one in Israel, two in Europe, and one in the United States. The installation at Mercury in Rochester marks the first North American installation of an S10P that focuses on commercial printing. He also talked about several additional S10s, S10Ps, and W10 installations that will be coming in the near future, including an S10P in China, an S10 in Mexico, and a W10 in Germany

Korman also discussed one of Landa’s greatest differentiators—Nanography Technology. He elaborated, “The Landa presses use fewer pigments than offset to create inks while producing a comparable image quality at half the thickness and amount of ink on the paper (0.5 microns vs. 1 micron for offset). The Landa Nanographic printing process does not require substrates to be pretreated or primed, and any type of offset media (coated or uncoated) can be fed through the press at rated speed. What is especially interesting is how Landa deals with the constant challenge of drying the printed image on the paper. Landa’s technology does this by building the image into a heated blanket that evaporates most of the water, leaving the image ready to be transferred to the paper. Additional hot air drying systems are applied.

Figure 1: Landa’s S10P Product Demonstration

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Reflections on Ricoh Interact 2019

German Sacristan
 Jul 3, 2019

The Ricoh Interact 2019 event took placed early June in Denver CO.  The three-day educational event enabled print service providers (PSPs) to connect with industry experts, fellow print professionals, and Ricoh leadership and product developers to help grow their business. Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends (InfoTrends) analysts were on hand to attend the show. Topics at Ricoh Interact varied, with focuses on support software, wide format, inkjet, and toner. All of these topics were being addressed by category – Ricoh had divided the event into Business Development, Operational Excellence, Print Solutions, and a Ricoh ProcessDirector User Group.

Ricoh Interact 2019 Banner

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Xerox Announces Launch of Baltoro HF Inkjet Press

German Sacristan
 Jun 26, 2019

On Wednesday, June 26, 2019, Xerox announced the launch of its new Baltoro HF Inkjet Press. This fully Xerox engineered cut-sheet production press uses what is basically an iGen platform, and it enables clients to print high-volume transactional work and direct mail/catalogs on a single press. A new High Fusion (13.76 inches) print engine with Xerox W-Series inkjet heads provides true high definition 1,200 x 1,200 dpi resolution. This enables the creation of a range of applications on a variety of offset coated media types like matte, silk, and satin with High Fusion ink.

The Baltoro HF features Xerox High Fusion ink that is similar to what is used in the Trivor HF Press, so there is no need for paper priming or pretreating. Elimination of the priming solution reduces press size, power consumption, and total cost of ownership. The device offers a 4.5 picoliter drop size and infrared drying systems. It is capable of producing 300 ipm in duplex mode, accommodates a maximum sheet size of 14.33” x 20.5” (364 mm x 520 mm), and outputs up to 18,000 images per hour. It also has a unique option to cap cyan, magenta, and yellow heads when printing in black & white. Powered by Automated Intelligence to optimize and maintain color and image quality and also self-correct in real time, production on the Baltoro HF press is simplified with the FreeFlow Print Server’s Cost Quality Optimization (CQO) tools.

Xerox will begin taking orders for its new Baltoro HF press today. Because the Baltoro device is capable of handling everything that the Xerox Brenva machine can produce and more, the company will stop taking orders for Brenva devices effective immediately. Of course, Xerox will continue to provide service and supplies for Brenva devices.

Although details are spotty at this time, Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends will provide updated information as it unfolds. To view a demonstration of the Baltoro HF press, click here. For additional product information, click here.

Western Europe: Applications in Digital On Demand Printing

German Sacristan
 

Extracted from a recent InfoTrends Market Report on Print Applications:

Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends (InfoTrends) recently questioned respondents in the United States and Western Europe about the digital and analog print applications they offered for sale. The responses for both sides of the Atlantic Ocean are outlined in the charts below.

Respondents in the United States as well as Western Europe cited an array of printed marketing applications, including business cards, brochures/flyers, catalogs, and direct mail. Although the top two applications for U.S. and Western European respondents were business cards and brochures, there were some differences as well. For example, whereas respondents in the United States were more focused on direct mail, those in Western Europe were Read more »

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