Category: Production

Mimaki’s Mantras at Virtual FESPA Press Launch: Bigger is Better, Collaboration is Key, and Flexibility is Favourable

Catherine Cresswell
Apr 2, 2020

In light of the postponement of FESPA 2020, Mimaki Europe responded quickly by announcing its planned product launches via a webinar. Ronald van den Broek (General Sales Manager, EMEA) provided an overview of the product announcements, Bert Benckhuysen (Senior Product Manager, EMEA) went into more detail on the products, and Danna Drion (Senior Marketing Manager) outlined Mimaki’s upcoming series of virtual meetings and customer/press communications as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s strategic objectives for this year include continued investments in innovation, efficiency, and competitiveness for all business units. The actual FESPA event, which is now scheduled for October 2020, is expected to bring further announcements. The primary sign & graphics and textile printing announcements from the webinar are outlined below.

The 3DGD-1800 Modelling Printer

The 3DGD-1800, a new gel dispensing 3D modelling printer with UV LED curing, is bigger than any other 3D device in Mimaki’s portfolio. It is capable of printing 3D objects up to 1.8m H x 1.45m W x 1.11m D. By using two interchangeable printheads at 1.8mm and 2.6mm, the device can also print two objects in a single print run or two halves of the same object with different printheads.

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Canon Launches varioPRINT iX-Series of Sheetfed Presses

India Tatro
Apr 1, 2020

On April 1, 2020, Canon announced the latest update to its varioPRINT series of digital printers. Designed with commercial printers in mind, the varioPRINT iX-Series offers a wide variety of capabilities to improve automation, productivity, and media handling. Following on the success of the original varioPRINT platform that was introduced in 2015, this announcement demonstrates Canon’s continued efforts to combine digital capabilities with the quality and productivity of offset.

Canon’s varioPRINT iX-Series

The varioPRINT iX-Series is capable of producing over 9,000 SRA3 images per hour (320 A4 pages per minute) with over 90% average uptime and no need for daily calibration or maintenance. This makes it particularly suitable for customers whose print volumes exceed one million A4 pages per month. The press also features an extended media range with compatibility from 60 to 350 gsm, making it compatible with a wide variety of commercial applications.

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The Softer Side of Innovation: Kornit Announces Neopigment Robusto Softener Solution

Catherine Cresswell
Mar 27, 2020

Kornit, an Israeli manufacturer of direct-to-garment (DTG) and roll-to-roll digital printers, was scheduled to hold an in-person press conference at FESPA to launch its new NeoPigment™ Robusto Softener Solution. FESPA has been postponed due to the coronavirus, and the company instead invited press members to an impromptu webinar. During the webinar, Kornit provided its perspective on industry trends that drive the adoption of digital fabric printing, including the growing requirement for individualism, the increase in e-commerce, and the demand for greater sustainability (i.e., less water consumption and textile waste). In response to these trends, the company has completely overhauled its DTG and roll-to-roll digital textile printer portfolios over the past two years with new devices, a new workflow platform, and new inks and consumables.

With its NeoPigment Robusto Softener Solution, Kornit hopes to address major retail fashion brands’ demand for quality printed fabrics that require a rich colour gamut. The solution has proven successful in beta testing. According to Omer Kulka, Kornit’s Chief Marketing Officer, the softener enables printed fabrics to feel as soft as they do in their unprinted states. This improved hand closes an important gap in the ability of roll-to-roll digital pigment inks for high-end clothing applications, particularly womenswear. It can be used on most natural and synthetic fabrics, including cotton, silk, polyester, and even nylon. The softener complements the NeoPigment Robusto ink and Fixation on Fly (FOF) agent used in Kornit’s new Presto roll-to-roll direct-to-fabric printer range, which was launched at ITMA 2019. This product line brings increased permanency as well as the wash- and rub- fastness standards that are required in the fashion industry.

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How Will COVID-19 Affect My Business? bliQ Subscribers Speak Out

Eve Padula
Mar 24, 2020

The global coronavirus pandemic is affecting all of us in a variety of ways. Many employees are being advised to work from home to help slow the spread of the virus, businesses are attempting to manage their remote workforces, people are practicing social distancing, non-essential businesses in many communities are temporarily shutting down, and virtually everyone is wondering how long this will last and how it will impact our personal and professional lives.

The big question is, how will COVID-19 affect our industry? Keypoint Intelligence very recently conducted a survey of its bliQ subscribers to determine how dealers, vendors, salespeople, and others are responding to the outbreak. People were asked to provide their thoughts on the coronavirus and how they expected it to affect their businesses, and they were given the option to publish their comments anonymously or publicly (i.e., disclosing their names and companies). Many of the responses were quite candid and eye-opening, and a synopsis of subscriber comments is provided below.

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How Virtual Reality Can Keep Workplace Collaboration on Track during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Colin McMahon
Mar 19, 2020

To subscribe to our COVID-19 feed, click here and sign up!

Every day brings more troubling news of the coronavirus. What at first seemed like a distant problem has quickly turned into a global event affecting nearly every aspect of business and personal life. As many adjust to a new routine of social distancing, many executives and decision makers are left wondering what they can do to ensure productivity while simultaneously keeping employees in good spirits.

Enter virtual reality—a relatively new tool that has experienced enormous breakthroughs over the last several years. While VR has yet to catch on commercially, it has found success in multiple business verticals. The coronavirus has given businesses a new perspective on VR and its capabilities, which is in turn helping businesses to shift into the digital economy and allow employees to work from home more efficiently.

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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!

If you’d like to subscribe to the COVID-19 feed and have the latest content sent directly to your e-mail, sign up here.

Are You Touched by CCPA?

Pat McGrew
Jan 2, 2020

You might be surprised at how much data is flowing through your company. Accounting data, bank accounts, EDI accounts, names and addresses are all data. In the eyes of the State of California that data is now subject to the California Consumer Privacy Act  (CCPA) and it poses some challenges companies doing business in California, but also companies who do business with constituents in California.

Let’s start with the baseline. CCPA only applies to companies that earn more than $25 million in gross revenue. The other hurdle is that it applies to companies who have data on more than 50,000 people or who earn more than 50 percent of their revenue from selling (or bartering or exchanging for advertising) consumer data. For every company that meets these criteria there are myriad paths to compliance. In fact, because the law is so new, there is some disagreement on who has to comply and how.

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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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