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Industrial Printing Moving to Digital

Industrial printing is a massive industry, serving vertical markets from aerospace to electronics, and from medical to interior design. What makes industrial printing (for the most part) unique (and mostly hidden from view) is that most industrial printing companies are not “print for pay” enterprises.

By Dan Marx
Published: April 9, 2014


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Dan Marx is the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association's Vice President-Markets & Technologies. With SGIA, he works to raise awareness of the specialty graphics industry, and helps printers and their customers identify and adopt new technologies and access lucrative market areas. In his more than 20 years at SGIA, he has authored numerous articles for industry publications worldwide, presented at a variety of industry events, and served as an enthusiastic ambassador for innovative imaging technologies. He can be reached at dan@sgia.org.



By Andy McCourt on Apr 09, 2014

Very well articulated Dan, and very true. Accessing Industrial markets is the challenge; they don't 'buy print' as you say - they add value to their core products. This may be more of an advantage to the marking and decorating equipment manufacturers rather than print businesses per se; so maybe a consultative approach is the answer? There exist inkjet UV printers for decorating floor and wall composite panels capable of up to 1,800 square metres an hour - from Diefenbacher and Barberan, but who has heard of those outside the MDF & Ply panel market? And what do they know about colour management, file pre-flighting etc that the print community could help them with? We just need to find the keys to those thick industrial print doors.


By Eddy Hagen on Apr 16, 2014

Interesting article.

Last week I attended the InPrint show in Hannover, Germany. One of the presentations was from PAS (Providing Appliance Solutions). The introduction video on their homepage (http://www.pas-net.biz/index.php?article_id=1&clang=1) gives a good idea of the world in which 'industrial printing' lives. The printing is just a very small part of their offerings.

Another interesting example is the German engineering company Hymmen. Most people in the printing industry probably have never heared of them, but they build 'industrial printing' digital presses: 210cm (83 inches) wide single pass inkjet. One of the installations is 70m (230 feet) long... You can read about it in this article: http://www.hymmen.com/fileadmin/hymmen/pdf/70m_Length_Convince_Of_Digital_Printing_At_Industrial_Level_WIN_No._1__March_2013__S._32.pdf

And also a hot topic was 'direct to bottle' inkjet printing. Which might be disruptive for the label printing industry...

Interesting things happening in that space... But it's very different from 'print for pay' as you already mentioned.


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Richard Romano

Richard Romano, Section Editor/Senior Analyst
Richard has written about communication, graphics hardware and software trends for the past 15 years.

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