Category: Production

Digital Flexible Packaging: ePac Orders 24 More HP Indigo 20000s

Bob Leahey
Nov 14, 2019

HP Indigo, the Israeli maker of production-level EP printers for flexible packaging, recently announced an order for 24 units of the HP Indigo 20000, the company’s 30” EP web for that application. The deal is the biggest to date for the 20000 and, same as last year, the buyer is the Israeli company’s best customer for the printer, ePac Flexible Packaging (Middleton, WI); ePac set the previous record by ordering 20 units in 2018. ePac currently operates 28 of the 20000s at 12 locations and expects to operate 52 at 20 locations after all the latest batch are installed next year. In money terms, the deal is also big: Pricing for one HP Indigo 20000 is unpublished but, even assuming a discount for buying 24, this latest purchase will likely total well over $20 million just for hardware; spending over time for toner, parts, and service will add substantially to that. Read more »

PRINT 19 Innovations Acknowledge Consumers’ Changing Preferences

Marc Mascara and Eve Padula
Nov 12, 2019

Introduction

Since the beginning of time, human beings have always striven to communicate with one another. The ways in which we communicate have changed with each new discovery or innovation, and the need to share information has only increased throughout history. As we progress through Industry 4.0 and make our way toward Industry 5.0, we are witnessing a time when the sheer number of communication channels has more than tripled. Citing recent research from Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends and news from PRINT 19, this article explores the ongoing shifts in customer communications.

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Getting Ready for Print 19: The Keypoint Intelligence Pre-show Guide

Pat McGrew
Sep 23, 2019

Each year the schedule of shows changes slightly. Some shows merge, others grow organically, and still others disappear from the calendar. This year Print 19 closes out is long run with more than 80 education sessions, the Red Hot Technology awards, TechTalk panels, TechWalk guided tours, and a keynote from Nick Thomson of WIRED Magazine that should be on everyone’s agenda. Once again, Keypoint Intelligence will host the InfoLunch at noon on Thursday, reviewing the most impactful insights you can use to guide your business. Four members of the Keypoint Intelligence staff will also be presenting in the education forums. Print19 promises three days of opportunity for print service providers, in-plant printers, marketing service providers, and the users of those services.

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Memjet Announces Third Generation Inkjet Technology: ‘DuraFlex’

Bob Leahey
Sep 12, 2019

Inkjet technology supplier Memjet recently announced a new category of inkjet heads, inks and supporting print modules called ‘DuraFlex.’ The news marks a major addition to the offerings of the San Diego company, which now supplies thermal inkjet heads and dye-based inks to about 40 makers of systems that print labels, mail, office documents, corrugated, and other applications. DuraFlex will differ from the longstanding ‘VersaPass’ technology inside most current Memjet-based printers because of two main features: the heads are long-lasting and the inks are pigmented, yielding durable print; DuraFlex shares these two features and the “Dura” prefix of Memjet DuraLink, the head technology announced last year for use in industrial print applications. DuraFlex thus is a third generation of Memjet technology, one that will occupy a space between VersaPass (mostly for benchtops, starting in 2010) and DuraLink (industrial printers, just now commercially available), and it will be marketed to OEMs accordingly.

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Should You Make a Purchase at the Next Print Show?

Colin McMahon
Aug 30, 2019

Are you an executive or decision-maker working for an organization that provides printing services? Do you have a plan in place to stay up to date with the ever-changing hardware and software landscape? Are you taking steps to ensure your continued profitability and revenue growth? Remember, your business plan is an on-going, live document that should be reviewed against these criteria on a regular cadence. Print is arguably a more competitive industry than most, as players aren’t just competing with each other but with online print aggregators and online marketing communication solutions. In response to this added competition, as well as continued consolidation of the market, many PSPs have turned to new products to help drive profits.

However, which new products are worthy of investment? And, what hardware will best enable these products? These are the questions that decision-makers must address as they look to the year ahead, on top of assessing maintenance levels, renewing lease agreements, and other factors that can impact the bottom line. With so many variables, updating the business plan for the coming year is an essential step for those at the executive level. Flying blind with no specific set of objectives removes a company’s ability to proactively control their future, leaving them reacting to events as they occur instead of laying the infrastructure to be prepared for market changes.

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The Rise of Digital B2

Ralf Schlozer
Aug 29, 2019

Personally, I always believed in the potential of B2 digital since it become mainstream at drupa 2012 with several vendors showing or previewing products. Of course, new product concepts often take longer in hitting the market than expected, accordingly it took some time for real placements to arrive at customer sites. In our research we already identified a number of benefits these presses bring, and therefore it was no surprise to see installations rise quickly for several years.

For 2018 we feared to see some slowdown, as the printers with investment interest should have already made their calculation by then whether there is a business case for a B2 digital press or not. But it seems there is quite a bit of continuing interest for the devices, and 2018 placements held up reasonably well, despite drupa 2020 looming large. There are ongoing improvements on the existing devices, but there will be a lot more choice in models at drupa 2020, including next generation improvements on existing ones. But it seems that even in the meantime companies interested in B2 still find new opportunities, business cases, or are still only beginning to explore the capabilities of existing devices.

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Sign of the times – SGIA Acquires NAPCO Media

Ron Gilboa
Aug 7, 2019

On August 6, 2019 the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) announced that it has acquired NAPCO Media. “Under the terms of the agreement, which has been unanimously approved by SGIA’s Board of Directors, NAPCO Media – owners of Printing Impressions, Packaging Impressions, Promo Marketing, In-Plant Impressions, Total Retail, Target Marketing, and Wide-Format Impressions – will become an LLC and will continue to operate as an independent entity. All NAPCO Media staff and business units will remain in place. SGIA offices and NAPCO Media offices will continue to reside in Fairfax, Va., and Philadelphia, Pa., respectively. “

Since the 2017 announcement of the strategic partnership between SGIA and NAPCO to create the Printing United show, both vendors and print service providers have been abuzz about what this new relationship will bring to the industry at large. As industry segments such as sign & display, commercial printing, and packaging are becoming attractive to different types of PSPs, they are all looking to add value to clients and invest in the supporting technologies. In past decades technology capital expenditures and labor costs were barriers PSPs had to overcome a transition from one segment to another. Today with advancements in internet-based communications, cloud computing, digital workflow, and the growth in digital printing equipment, many PSPs can now reach out to adjacent segments using these technologies for the benefit of their clients, meeting the demand for mass customization and timely production. Read more »

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

German Sacristan

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 »

OpenText Enterprise World: A Shift into the Information Era!

Marc Mascara
Jul 18, 2019

On July 9, OpenText kicked off Enterprise World 2019 in Toronto with a week’s worth of information exchange, learning opportunities, breakout sessions, and keynote speeches. Thousands of attendees joined the event to learn how to make the most of underutilized information and capitalize on the next wave of transformation in productivity and growth. Offering insights into the latest trends as well as stories on successful digital transformations, Enterprise World is designed to help attendees unlock their information advantage.

Figure 1: Open Text Enterprise World Entrance

This year’s event was located at the Metro Toronto Convention Center. Open Text Enterprise World is touted as the most expansive EIM (Enterprise Information Management) technology event in Canada and the world’s largest information conference. The most recent event included over 200 breakout sessions as well as 15+ LearnPath opportunities to educate attendees on digital transformation and productivity. Pre-conference training courses were also offered on July 7th and 8th, including over 25 accelerated sessions that spanned ten different industries.

This year’s event featured a number of keynotes from Mark Barrenechea (OpenText CEO & CTO), Muhi Majzoub (OpenText Executive Vice President of Engineering), Sir Tim Berners Lee, and special guest Peter Gabriel. Mark Barrenechea kicked things off with an insightful and compelling keynote that set the tone for the entire event. Mr. Barrenechea thanked all his customers and partners for their undivided trust in allowing OpenText’s platform to manage some of the world’s most trusted data, which was especially interesting and timely given that data security is such an important topic.

As the amount of information captured in the cloud continues to increase exponentially, the need for data security will only increase as time goes on. To that end, Barrenechea announced on stage that Google Cloud has selected OpenText as its preferred partner for Enterprise Information Management Services. Meanwhile, OpenText has named Google Cloud its preferred partner for enterprise cloud. In other cloud news, OpenText Release 16 will move to OpenText Cloud Editions (CE) in April 2020. Moving forward, all OpenText offerings will be cloud-first, but can be containerized and operate off-cloud. This means that with OpenText CE, customers will never have to upgrade again. OpenText is also confirming its commitment to content services by providing new and expanded products and capabilities to its platform.

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Print On Demand Forecast shows high growth in Colour Inkjet

Ralf Schlozer
Jul 16, 2019

Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends just launched their latest digital printing forecast for the POD market. For years we have been tracking and forecasting digital production printing markets, including placements, installed base, print volumes, equipment, service and supplies revenues. The data can be broken down by multiple device classes and features to allow for further insights. Our latest POD forecast has 2018 as base year and looks at developments until 2023.

It is always interesting to see how types of devices with a small number of placements can have a big effect on other metrics, such as print volumes. Continuous feed (CF) colour inkjet started to gain traction in 2008, and while sales crept up, the total number is barely reaching 291 units in the US and about 160 in Western Europe. This even includes counting these devices by engine, which means the number of installed print lines is about half. It pales against 12,000 (WE) to 16,000 (US) toner-based devices installed in 2018, even when excluding entry level devices.

Looking at print volumes we see how the small group of CF inkjet colour devices already has a big impact on colour volumes. By 2018 inkjet print volumes overtook colour toner volumes, mostly due to the impact of CF inkjet devices, which contribute about 95% to the colour inkjet print volume.

POD Digital Colour Print Volume Forecast

CF colour inkjet will be a major driver not only in the future growth of inkjet impressions, but for colour impressions in general. Although we expect the colour toner volumes to increase by 10 to 15% by 2023, the colour inkjet volumes are expected to grow by around 80% between 2018 and 2023. This is leading to an average annual growth in the range of 8 to 9% for all colour digital impressions. Not only because of the recent success in CF inkjet sales will the US remain the larger market, the US market has a larger potential in replacing black & white volumes as well. Converting digital black & white volumes into colour has been a big driver in the past, but offset conversion and application growth will drive this colour growth more and more.

The dominance of CF colour inkjet will wane somewhat in the future as more cut-sheet inkjet devices are launched and prove to be very productive. We expect drupa 2020 to be a major launch pad. Still, even by 2023 the vast majority of inkjet print volumes will be contributed by the continuous feed devices.

For more details on our latest US and Western Europe POD forecast and all the other digital print and imaging forecasts we produce please contact us at or check out our report store

 

 

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