Posts tagged: drupa

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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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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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

 

 

Memjet DuraLink and MGI AlphaJet

Ralf Schlozer
 Jul 9, 2019

Memjet invited recently several European analysts and journalists to a press event into their San Diego HQ – in a move to make the Memjet brand more well known in Europe. Memjet is the R&D company behind a set of highly compact inkjet heads and assemblies that are integrated by small to large size OEM partners into their printing equipment. Memjet’s approach especially enables small companies or custom integrators to bring their business ideas to life, which could never afford their own inkjet head development. Memjet markets their heads to OEMs, not to end users. Still Memjet supports marketing printers that are using their inkjet heads and has coined the tag line “Memjet inside “. This works well, if the company behind is well known enough and accordingly Memjet is stepping up their market visibility to drive further growth.

From an early days R&D lab in Australia with a bunch of patents Memjet grow into a 350+ employee company. The company started out with a model of page-wide inkjet heads, now termed VersaPass, mainly for office products. The company expanded its reach via integrators in the production print space, these in turn, helped diversify the offerings into wide format, high volume press engines and components sets.

With the next generation DuraLink the company made a big step into high volume production print. The DuraLink line of heads has been launched in 2017, which has been covered in another blog already (https://blog.infotrends.com/bright-new-horizons-for-memjet-duralink-integrators/). Memjet quotes a head life of 50 litres of ink with 2.2pl droplets (compared to 1.5 pl of the VersaPass) and the use of pigment ink, while preserving the 1,600 dpi spatial resolution of the VersaPass head. Printing resolution in the direction of the paper transport depends on the speed and ranges from 1585 dpi at 75.5 m/min to 580 at 203.6 m/min.

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Landa moving towards commercialisation

Ralf Schlozer
 May 23, 2019

No other company captured the attention and imagination of drupa 2012 and 2016 like Landa Digital Printing. Some time later there was a launch event in September 2017 for the first Landa press installed at Graphica Bezalel in Israel including announcements of more presses to be shipped soon.

Since then, news about Landa has been pretty quiet, and even the more patient observers have wondered where the company is heading. That is until the 22nd of June, when Landa invited press and prospective customers to Edelmann, a folding carton printer in Germany, to have a look at the second S10 installed.

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Print China 2019 – Second Biggest Print Trade Show

Ralf Schlozer
 May 2, 2019

Print China, Asia’s largest printing industry exhibition, has been held every 4 years since 2007. The 4th iteration of the show took place from April 9th to 13th at the Guangdong Modern International Exhibition Center. The trade show alternates with China Print in Beijing, which is also held every four years and caters to the general printing industry as well. Since the Chinese market is so vast, both shows have a unique regional appeal—Print China focuses on Southern China while China Print caters to the Northern China printing industry. Both shows have the same organizers and are sponsored by the Printing and Printing Equipment Industries Association of China (PEIAC). Both shows are large enough to attract local as well as international visitors, primarily from the Asia Pacific region – the organizers claim visitors from more than 100 countries. Language can sometimes still be a barrier, and not all vendors are well-prepared for a discussion in English.

A final post-show statement for 2019 is not yet available, however Print China 2015 already set an historical record with a total trade volume of nearly 6 billion RMB (about US $1 billion, intended transactions included). This represented an increase of about 20% in relation to Print China 2011. In addition, Print China 2015 surpassed the 8th Beijing International Printing Technology Exhibition (China Print 2013) to become the largest exhibition in Asia and the second-largest in the world (Drupa in Germany captured the first place spot). About 206,000 visitors attended Print China in 2015, up 20% over 2011. The preliminary count for 2019 amounted to just over 200,000 visitors—in line with what was seen four years ago. The 2019 event attracted 1,200 exhibitors from 28 countries. Print China covered several halls of the Dongguan Exhibition Centre, with many halls having two floors. While the ground level floors were packed with exhibitors and visitors, the upper level was decidedly less busy. Print China 2019 accommodated 140,00 sq. meters of space, only slightly smaller than Drupa 2016 (158,237 sq. meters).

Print China Entrance

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Hunkeler innovationdays 2019 – a hardware view

Ralf Schlozer
 Mar 5, 2019

The Hunkeler innovationdays started out as a humble open house event of a Swiss finishing manufacturing company. Indicating a forward-thinking company, the innovationdays morphed over the years into the most important global event for continuous feed production document printing – as finishing equipment is naturally best demonstrated in conjunction with a printing system. Visitors love the idea of seeing printing lines from all major vendors sitting side-by-side and feeding the finishing lines for converted products. The 2019 iteration improved again on the number of exhibitors and visitors with about 100 exhibitors and 6,500 visitors expected for the show.

The theme of this year’s event was “success with automation”. There is no doubt that automation is getting increasingly important as a means to reduce labour cost, counter the shortage of skilled staff, avoid production mistakes, and speed up the device setup. This is especially critical the shorter the runs become. Hunkeler presented some fine examples of automation, notably a prototype of a sheeter and stacker that is able to automatically change formats from within seconds. Other new launches with focus on automation included a non-stop roll splicer for continuous feed printers, folders, perforators and web inspection modules.

Hunkeler Automated Cut & Stack line

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IPEX 2017 – feeling the pulse

Ralf Schlozer
 Nov 2, 2017

Many print industry pundits will still eagerly remember IPEX as the second most important trade show for the graphic arts industry. Held at mid-term between two drupa trade shows, IPEX was the show to kick the tyres of new products that just reached the market after being previewed at drupa as technology demo.

That held true until IPEX 2014, when the show essentially imploded. Most major exhibitors pulled out leading to a much smaller footprint with 15,000 m², down from 50,000 m² in 2010. Declining margins in the printing industry did take their toll, with exhibitors questioning the return for a costly trade show presence. The show’s move to London did not help IPEX either. The hope of addressing new overseas visitors failed, and UK printers shunned the travel into central London. Although plans for IPEX 2018 to take place from 19 to 24 March 2018 at the Excel, London were announced, everybody expected this to be the end of IPEX.

As a bit of a surprise came the announcement of IPEX 2017, back again in Birmingham. The timing for autumn 2017 was set as the drupa organisers were still aiming for a three-year cycle, so that IPEX would again fall in the middle between two drupa shows. Certainly, the return of IPEX was not on the big scale it once had. IPEX 2017 occupied just parts of one hall of the NEC exhibition centre, instead of 11 of them in 2010, with ample space left to squeeze in more booths. Most equipment vendors did not join the IPEX bandwagon in 2017 either, with Ricoh being the only major digital print equipment manufacturer exhibiting. Other vendors were present via dealers or driving finishing equipment in the booths of finishing equipment vendors. It is noteworthy that finishing vendors did contribute most to the footprint of the show, complemented by software and supplies vendors.

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Happy Birthday KBA (now rebranded to Koenig & Bauer)

Ralf Schlozer
 Sep 27, 2017

The oldest press manufacturer celebrated its 200th anniversary on the 21st of September 2017 at the founding site in Würzburg, Germany.

In November 1814, the first newspaper was printed utilising machine power, using a steam-powered press invented by Friedrich Koenig for The London Times. Not willing to grant exclusivity rights for the printing press to The Times, Koenig relocated to Germany and found a new factory site in a disused monastery in the Bavarian town of Würzburg. In 1817 the company was finally founded by Koenig, as the world’s first printing press factory. To this day the company is partially family owned and is headed by Claus Bolza-Schünemann. He assumed a leadership role in the company in 1989, as the sixth generation of the family to lead the company.

In contrast to the other major German offset press manufacturers, Koenig & Bauer stayed profitable in most years since 2000. Through organic growth and acquisitions a revenue high of around €1.7 billion was reached in 2006 and 2007. In the aftermath of the financial crisis and within two years revenues dropped by 40% and hovered just above the €1 billion mark since, with a slight upward trend recently. More consequently than other press manufacturers, Koenig & Bauer exited unprofitable markets and focussed on new areas. For example, the once leading web offset press business has been scaled down a lot as demand and prices (and profits) plummeted. Koenig & Bauer is also active in many niches that larger offset press companies were not able to address profitably. This includes presses for currency printing (almost all are Koenig & Bauer built), presses for metal print, glass and container print as well as the largest format sheet-fed offset presses.

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