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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Modeling COVID-19’s Impact on Office Print Volume

John Shane

Keypoint Intelligence is actively measuring the potential impact of COVID-19 on US office print volume. By looking at the various vertical industry sectors and their contribution to office printing, we have estimated best case and worst-case impacts on print. The two main variables which we regard as critical to estimating print reductions are:  job losses by vertical and print loss from working at home. The model currently assumes a two-month impact which may prove to be optimistic.

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China Ramp-Up, Facility Diversity Easing Manufacturing Impact in Office Hardware Market

George Mikolay

Vendors Speak out on the Ongoing Pandemic

The virus known as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc in the United States and drag the economy to a screeching halt. I talked with several of the major OEMs in the office hardware space about the impact the coronavirus has had on their manufacturing to this point, here in the US.

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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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Now More than Ever, Take Home Network Security Seriously

Jamie Bsales and David Sweetnam
Mar 26, 2020

Your Home Printer and Network Equipment Could Be Putting Corporate Data at Risk

With so many areas across the world now operating under “stay at home” orders, millions of traditionally office-based employees are adapting to life working from home for the first time. The challenges of finding sufficient work space, blocking out the noise from TVs blaring, children playing, dogs barking, online meetings crashing due to the lack of home bandwidth, and other distractions are already becoming all too commonplace. However, there is another, invisible and silent challenge that employers should be very conscious of: data security.

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Konica Minolta’s GenARate Attracts New Audience in Marketing/Advertising

Colin McMahon
Mar 25, 2020

Konica Minolta’s flagship augmented reality (AR) software platform, genARate, launched back in November 2018, but the company has been supporting, developing, and expanding its usage ever since. For those who may not be familiar, genARate is best described as a content creation tool for the AR space. Like many solutions, it has a mobile component – which currently includes an app that users can download (as well as a web solution…more on that later), and it also has a backend content creation studio that helps clients create intriguing and engaging AR experiences.

Ashley McConnell, Konica Minolta’s International Business Development Manager, recently sat down for a podcast interview with us at Keypoint Intelligence to discuss all the ways he and his company have been working to support genARate, as well as new improvements to the product. One of the big takeaways: While genARate was created with print service providers in mind, the product is seeing success in a new field – marketing and advertising.

Konica Minolta Augmented Reality Print

Image Source: Konica Minolta

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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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The Office Scanner Industry Responds to the COVID-19 Outbreak

Lee Davis
Mar 23, 2020

Demand Is Steady, Supply Chains Are Mostly Intact, and Everybody Is Working from Home

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

I remember learning about the Bubonic Plague and the Spanish Influenza when I was in school. I was terrified, but also relieved: “At least with modern medicine and medical technology, I’ll never have to worry about dealing with that stuff.”

Boy was I wrong.

The COVID-19 outbreak is wreaking havoc in every measurable way that havoc can be wreaked. Everything is closed. I am running out of toilet paper. My cat is confused why I haven’t left the house in a week. And I haven’t been able to watch a hockey game in 10 days.

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Caught in COVID-19’s Crosshairs

Riley McNulty

Testimonials of Commercial Printers

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As the United States grapples with the coronavirus, all levels of government are moving franticly to stem its impact. Social distancing is now the norm. People are curtailing travel and movement, whether it be international or local. Trade shows, conferences, concerts, sporting events, and school activities are cancelled. Homes are transformed into schools and offices. Even trips to local markets are taken with trepidation. Because of all this, people have far fewer occasions peruse programs, see signs, read promotional materials and brochures, or use course packets. This has led to a decline in printing of materials required to inform, educate, sell, amuse, and decorate. Like all companies in services, travel, and entertainment, commercial printers are experiencing the immediate impact COVID-19.

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Looking at COVID-19 Visually, By the Numbers

Randy Dazo
Mar 20, 2020

Presenting Our Interactive Map of the Ongoing Pandemic

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As the cases of COVID-19 increase, it can be hard to keep track of all the numbers and the effects occurring in our communities. Through DOMO—the visual data analytics tool that we here at Keypoint Intelligence use— and the data John Hopkins University is aggregating from various sources, we have developed an easy-to-use and interactive map to help you follow the changes and understand the impact of the spread of the coronavirus. Refreshes to the map happen in near real-time as JHU updates its numbers.

CAPTION: Our COVID-19 map is here to help you make better sense of what is truly going on.

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