Posts tagged: Production

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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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

 

 

ITMA 2019: a Massive Showcase for Digital Printing

Ron Gilboa
 Jul 9, 2019

Every four years the textile production community gathers to learn about what is new in weaving, knitting, accessorizing, printing and production management. In 2019, it was Barcelona’s turn to host ITMA – a premier garment and textile tradeshow event. With over 1,717 exhibitors in 8 halls and over 105,000 visitors from 137 countries, the event was buzzing. While we surveyed the entirety of the display showcase, our focus on digital printing kept us in halls 3 and 8.

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Memjet DuraLink and MGI AlphaJet

Ralf Schlozer
 

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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Western Europe: Applications in Digital On Demand Printing

German Sacristan
 Jun 26, 2019

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 »

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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What’s Next for Production Print DFEs?

Marc Mascara
 Feb 6, 2019

A Trip Way Back in Time

On demand production print digital front ends (DFEs) began their competitive march in the late 1990s when Scitex Corporation announced its entry into the print on demand (POD) space by launching the Spontane printing system. The solution was an OEM version of the Fuji Xerox Docucolor 40. During that same timeframe, Scitex also developed a DFE version of its Brisque Prepress system and adapted it for the on-demand market. This announcement started a high-end competitive DFE battle between EFI, Scitex, and to some extent ColorBus.

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Fuji Xerox: Carving a Path for Production Inkjet

Marc Mascara
 Jan 23, 2019

On January 22, Fuji Xerox announced its entry into the Digital High-Speed Roll-Fed Inkjet arena with the 11000 Inkjet Press. This device, which is targeted toward commercial printers, will be released to the Japanese market in February. The Fuji Xerox 11000 Inkjet Press will address the ongoing challenges that print provides face with inkjet production devices, namely the ability to run at high speeds on media that is typically used for applications like direct mail, marketing collateral, and catalogs. The new device is reportedly capable of producing up to 1,448 A4 pages per minute at near-offset quality.

FUJI XEROX 11000 Inkjet Press

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