Published April 1, 2020
Canon has announced the next generation in its VarioPrint line of sheetfed inkjet presses. The varioPRINT iX series is built on a new platform, based on the experiences from the current i-series platform, and is designed for commercial print applications.
Published March 30, 2020
Kevin Shimamoto, CMO for Memjet, talks to David Zwang about how Memjet’s inkjet technology platforms and OEM partners are expanding single-pass inkjet into the mainstream printing market and beyond, into new and different applications.
Published March 30, 2020
Xeikon isn’t waiting until drupa 2021 to introduce new products they have been working on. The SX30000, Cheetah 2.0, and an upgraded X-800 are designed to reduce operating costs and increase competitiveness compared with other EP press manufacturers and entry level inkjet solutions like the Canon VarioPrint i300, and Xerox’s Rialto and Baltoro.
Published March 24, 2020
As the articles in our series on the cannabis packaging market have shown, this is a high-growth area—but various pitfalls abound. David Zwang talks to several companies producing packaging for the cannabis market and highlights the opportunities they've found and the challenges they faced.
Published March 12, 2020
On the heels of the HP PageWide announcement last week, HP Indigo has now announced some significant technology and product advancements which seem to reaffirm industry shifts, but more importantly highlight the company’s direction going forward.
Published March 10, 2020
HP likes to combine technology innovation with the release of a new press. In this case, the new innovation is HP Brilliant InkTMand the press is the new HP PageWide Web Press T250 HD. Targeted at commercial and publishing markets, initially Brilliant InkTMadds compatibility with offset coated and uncoated media through the selective use of a new HP Optimizer. This brings HP PageWide to the level of media handling capabilities of the competing Canon ProStream and Ricoh VC70000.
Published March 10, 2020
Carles Farre of HP talks to David Zwang about the just-announced HP PageWide Web Press T250 HD with Brilliant Ink. Brilliant Ink expands the range of applications users can produce, as it makes the HP PageWide T250 HD press compatible with offset coated stock.
Published March 9, 2020
Kevin Shimamoto is the CMO of Memjet, a company that is positioned to provide the tools for the next generation of printing applications. His background, and the Memjet mission, is a great story that brings energy and innovation to print.
Published March 3, 2020
On the 20th anniversary of Enfocus PitStop Server, one of the earliest of the automated workflow tools, there is a broader movement to bring automation tools to the next level in order to support the new business and production requirements of today and tomorrow.
Published March 2, 2020
Gavin Jordan-Smith, Senior VP, Commercial and Industrial Print, for Ricoh, looks ahead to drupa 2020, and anticipates the extent to which elements of “Industry 4.0” will play more significant and tangible roles in emerging new products. Artificial Intelligence (AI), for example, will be increasingly integrated—not just for predictive maintenance, but also to intelligently control workflows.
Published February 13, 2020
Curtis Metz talks to David Zwang about Signs of Success, a company that contracts with sign shops to do installations of major sign projects—analog and dynamic digital—and how the company is growing its digital business. The company also has a side business in embroidery and custom heat-transfer T-shirts.
Published February 11, 2020
Greg Salzman, President of Aleyant Systems, talks to David Zwang about the value that a web-to-print/online ordering portal beings to a print business. Not only does it make it convenient for customers to place orders at any time, it also frees up resources within the print business, as it doesn’t require the involvement of sales or customer service reps, or even estimators.
Published February 4, 2020
High color corrugated packaging is growing and will continue to grow. The run sizes are getting smaller to adapt to the new market requirements, and the opportunities for print service providers to jump on this moving train abound. In Part 3 of this series, I focus on the available preprint solutions with some limited product mentions. Selecting which method is better is really based on a lot of factors, including your market opportunities, capital investment, production costs, and internal skills. Although making that determination also involves board and run size as well. Both analog and digital presses are and will continue to be in the mix and grow. It’s a pretty exciting time with some great opportunities.
Published January 28, 2020
In Part 2 of this series, I focus on the available digital post-print solutions with some limited product mentions. Leading up to drupa, I will cover some of the offerings in greater depth. All of the solutions discussed here are “single pass” printers, where the printheads are stationary and only the media moves. They include complete corrugating equipment with built in printing, to a tabletop printer with lots of other options in between. Equipment pricing ranges from in excess of $4MM to as low as $19K. In summary: Lots of Choices!
Published January 21, 2020
There are “two primary” corrugated print manufacturing processes for high graphics: a multi-process method of printing on a top sheet (liner) which is then laminated to the corrugated material, or, alternatively, a single process method of printing directly on the corrugated material, sometimes called “post-print.” In this article, we will look at the award-winning Bobst THQ (Très Haute Qualité) FlexoCloud technology focused on corrugated post-print production, and perhaps some alternative methods.
Published January 14, 2020
One of the more active growth areas for print service providers and of digital printing equipment development is corrugated, and for good reason. Estimates of corrugated shipments in North America are in excess of 420 billion square feet and growing. Estimates for three or more color “high graphics” corrugated production is growing as well with actual output for 2019 anticipated to have 20%–30% share of the overall corrugated volume. Overall, this is an exciting market with a lot of growth potential.
Published January 9, 2020
Wim Fransen, General Manager of Enfocus, talks to David Zwang about some of the major trends he has been seeing as we head toward drupa, including the emergence of faster technologies, the need to handle shorter job runs with faster turnaround times, and new front-end solutions that bridge the gap between job entry, MIS, and prepress.
drupa 2020 Packaging Preview: Actega EcoLeaf (aka Nano Metallography) Digital Metallization Ready for Prime Time
Published January 7, 2020
At drupa 2016, Landa Labs introduced Nano Metallography, a new metallization technology to replace foils for embellishments. This process is designed to produce zero waste at less than half the cost of foil. In February of 2017, Actega Metal Print, a division of Altana AG, acquired the technology and rebranded it EcoLeaf. The solution is now going into beta and will be fully commercialized in time for drupa 2020.
Published December 19, 2019
Trish Witkowski, Chief Fold Fanatic for Fold Factory, talks to David Zwang about “embellishments”—people love them, but are often scared of them. There is a perception that “special effects” are only for special projects, and embellishment examples are often highly elaborate and aspirational. As a result, printers don’t often see how embellishments can be scaled down and used for more day-to-day print applications.
Published December 10, 2019
Uteco and Kodak have just announced that they sold the first UTECO Sapphire EVO W product production inkjet press designed for flexible packaging. The “W” refers to “Wide” since this press has a 1250 mm (49 in.) width. The EVO W is the first press to be powered by the Kodak ULTRASTREAM technology. The press supports a higher resolution of 600 x 1800 dpi at up to 150 mpm (492 fpm). Overall productivity can be 4X over existing digital solutions.
Published December 4, 2019
Elie Khoury, President of Alwan Color Expertise, talks to David Zwang about extended color gamuts. The idea of expanding the color gamut of a press goes back decades, but the tools for its effective implementation were often lacking. Alwan Color Expertise is working to develop standards to help make extended gamut printing consistent and reliable.
Published December 3, 2019
Wim Fransen, Managing Director of Enfocus, talks to David Zwang about the proliferation of niche printing markets—commercial, labels, textiles, wide format, vehicle graphics, etc.—and how they all share many of the same underlying challenges. Enfocus has been seeking to develop specific configurations of its flagship PitStop software to address the individual needs of these vertical markets.
Published December 3, 2019
Patti Smith, Kodak’s VP, WW Business Development & Marketing, Digital Inkjet Printing, talks to David Zwang about the major trends that Kodak has been seeing in the lead-up to drupa 2020. The biggest among them is packaging, especially digital packaging, the demand for which is being driven by the brands.
Published November 26, 2019
David Zwang talks to Ernie Crawford, CEO of Crawford Technologies, a software company that focuses on the transactional printing market, helping organizations improve the ways that they deliver documents to customers, in print or omnichannel. The company just launched its new SmartSetup, designed for rapidly onboarding applications into workflow automation and ADF systems.
Published November 25, 2019
David Zwang talks to Federico D’Annunzio, Senior Innovation Advisor for the Bobst Group, about some of the new innovations surrounding digital label printing, and how the same automation process can be applied to digital inkjet, flexo, offset, or hybrid label printing equipment.