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European Commentary & Analysis

RadTech Europe Evaluates UV/EB Ink Curing for Food-Safe Packaging

Radiation-curable inks and coatings represent a world market that is forecast to grow at a healthy CAGR of 4.1% to 2019, with cartons and labels claiming the largest share. But, making sure that curable fluids are safe for food packages remains a prime concern for the entire packaging supply chain.


Highlights: 2016 AWA Global Release Liner Industry Conference & Exhibition

Release liners and specialty tapes may not be the highest-profile segments of labeling, but their applications span a surprisingly wide range of commercial and industrial end-uses. A recent conference in Vienna underscored their role and importance.


Think 3D Printing is Not for You? Think Again!

3D printing was one of six focused areas at drupa 2016. Most printing operations are probably wondering how this can apply to their businesses. Senior Editor Cary Sherburne has some ideas to share that will shed light on the subject.


drupa 2016: A Watershed Event

In this article, David Zwang gives a recap of some of the interesting exhibits, products, and some important trends that came out of drupa 2016.


Emmy-Worthy Press Conferences at drupa 2016

For journalists, drupa means a press conference marathon. Most of these conferences have great content, and it is important to be able to ask questions of executives during these sessions to be able to bring the most accurate and important news to our readers. In this post, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne highlights four press conferences that are deserving of special recognition.


Mixed Signals, Chaos, and Bureaucracy (Premium Content)

Last week, the polls were wrong and Brexit rattled the markets. But the people most worried were central planning bureaucrats who wonder how to make sure it never happens again. The number of business establishments and microbusinesses are still growing. Durable goods orders send another recession signal. It’s another week of mixed and mixed up signals, something economists like because it makes them look busy.


Key Themes at drupa 2016 Bring Industry 4.0 to the Forefront

By all accounts, drupa 2016 was an amazing show for both exhibitors and attendees. In this article, Senior Editor Cary Sherburne highlights some of the important trends coming out of the show, including drivers bringing Industry 4.0 – the fourth industrial revolution – to print.


drupa 2016: the Package Tour (Part 2)

The business of printing labels and packaging is changing with almost unnerving speed. Made reassuringly clear at drupa was the fact that new technologies for label and packaging production can give printers the capabilities they must have.


Heidelberg: Delivering on the Digital Promise at drupa 2016 (Premium Content)

Heidelberg is already a champion of offset press manufacturing, but the firm demonstrated that it was equally serious about helping its customers make the transition to digital at this year’s drupa event. This article explores how Heidelberg is promoting itself as a solutions-oriented service provider that can productively and efficiently support customers in the digitization of their business models.


drupa 2016: the Package Tour (Part 1)

drupa 2016 wasn’t exclusively a packaging show, but for label- and packaging-minded visitors, it might as well have been—there was that much to see and be impressed by.


Wide-Format at Drupa—Wrapping It Up

Week two of drupa brought few major announcements, but wide-format offerings were hardly inconspicuous.


drupa 2016: About Adding Value to Print!

Many printing companies attended drupa 2016 to understand the latest industry innovations that would increase business and improve profitability. The vendors that participated in this year’s event were focused on demonstrating applications that expanded margins and helped service providers identify new markets and opportunities. This article explores just some of the ways that the industry continues to bring new value to print.


Global Graphics Fundamentals Offering Set to Help Production Inkjet Press Manufacturers Increase Functionality and Speed Time to Market

As production inkjet continues to expand its horizons, it can be a challenge for inkjet press manufacturers to have all of the skills internally to take their products to the next level. Global Graphics’ announcement of their Fundamentals service for manufacturers of inkjet presses can help manufacturers overcome some of those hurdles.


Inkjet drupa 2016 – Continuing the Story – Fujifilm

In this article, David looks at the state of Fujifilm imaging, its successful reintroduction of the J Press 720S, the J Press 540W, and a new technology demonstration at drupa, as well as some of its other current technologies.


Ink Ado: Frank Visits with Benny Landa

Benny Landa drives fast. I think he is in a hurry to reach the future. We had been on a whirlwind visit to the several Landa facilities in Tel Aviv, Israel and we were heading to a secret lab buried in the bowels of a non-descript industrial building.


At Last, Nano Is Now as Landa Nanographic Printing Presses Line up for Market Entry (Premium Content)

The wait has been long, and the anticipation has been intense. But, Landa Digital Printing believes it can amply reward both with what it will debut at drupa 2016.


Inkjet drupa 2016 – Continuing the Story – HP Indigo

In this article, David looks at HP Indigo, the technology, and what we can expect from them at drupa 2016. Even though Indigo is not inkjet, there will be a number of new products at drupa and it is worth covering in these series.


ESKO: Driving Change in Flexo

At a pre-drupa briefing last month, duomedia hosted a large crowd of press and analysts from around the world to hear from eight different companies about their drupa plans and general strategies. This article includes links to other WhatTheyThink reporting on these announcements as well as a focus on the announcements made by the Danaher family of companies including Esko, Enfocus, X-Rite and Pantone. This included a flexo platemaking breakthrough announced by Esko that is set to create a shift in that market.


Inkjet drupa 2016 – Continuing the Story – HP PageWide, Corrugated, and PageWide HD

In this article, David looks at HP, and its drupa 2016 introductions of the PageWide Corrugated and HD production inkjet presses.


HP Previews Extensive Catalog of Print Innovations for drupa 2016

If you are planning to attend drupa 2016, make sure your agenda gives you plenty of time to review what HP will be bringing to Hall 17. There is going to be a great deal to see.


How Labels and Packaging Can “Touch the Future”: an Interview with drupa’s Sabine Geldermann

A decision to attend drupa 2016 represents a major investment of time and travel expense. The director of the global event talks about why label and packaging producers are among those who should most seriously consider making it.


The Dscoop Community Tradition Continues: Dscoop Open in Dublin, Ireland

At the Dscoop Open event (June 3-5 at the Convention Center in Dublin, Ireland), solutions partners shared their perspectives on how to make a “hole in one” with digital printing. This article provides a brief overview of the event’s highlights.


Paper Chase: Mcor Pursues 3D Printing Market with Ingredients That Every Printer Knows

Put ink on paper, and you have a print. Do the same thing as part of a process known as selective deposition lamination, and you can have a three-dimensional object in full, ICC-compliant color.


A Renewed Focus on Core Print Services and a Slowing PSP-to-MSP Migration (Premium Content)

The transition from a Print Service Provider to a Marketing Service Provider has been a topic of discussion for several years now. Although some businesses are making this shift, others are placing a renewed focus on their core competencies. This article cites InfoTrends’ research and explores the challenges that can arise when attempting to make the transition to an MSP.


The Custom Print Software Project

When you need a custom software solution, think about assembling a puzzle rather than building from scratch. The software landscape is full of integrate-able pieces that can give you ‘expected’ functionality so you can focus your custom development on what makes you ‘unique’.


Two Paper Makers Forge Alliance for High-End Packaging (Premium Content)

Trust, a handshake, and an eye on luxury packaging are behind the newly formed partnership between Mohawk and Arjowiggins Creative Papers.


Cordoba Printing Brings Print On Demand to Israeli Publishers with Kodak PROSPER 1000

Adding production inkjet to its book printing operation is enabling Cordoba Printing & Binding of Israel to adjust to drastic changes in the Israeli book market as well as to pursue new business opportunities. Learn more in this article sponsored by Kodak.


Xerox iGen 4 for Folding Cartons: An Update from Europe (Premium Content)

If you don’t think of Xerox’s iGen4 as a packaging press, think again. In Europe, the platform is showing off what it can do in folding cartons for consumer-product and pharmaceutical applications.


Symeta: Selling Inkjet, Delivering Value

In what is perceived as a commodity-oriented marketplace, print sales reps struggle to maintain a proper balance between features and benefits. This article explores how Symeta (Brussels, Belgium) has transformed its business with strong sales and marketing and a value-based approach to communications.


Is Your Print MIS Your Trusted System of Record?

Whether you have recently acquired a new Print MIS system or you’ve been using the same one for a decade, we recommend you assess it as the “trusted system of record” for your print business. This assessment is critical in our increasingly data-driven world.


Data-Driven: Thriving Print Business in 2020

A data-driven print business starts with a trusted system of record and then as selected meaningful metrics that influence your business decisions and your staff’s daily behavior.


Know Your Wide Format Inks! (Premium Content)

Herein a basic primer on today’s ink options for wide-format printing, from solvent and eco-solvent to UV, from latex to dye-sublimation.


Production Inkjet—The Next Wave: It’s not a wave; it’s an explosion!

In this article, David reviews how four companies are using the technologies he has been reviewing to their advantage. Wilen Direct, K&H Integrated Print Solutions, Hansaprint and Documation have implemented current generation inkjet presses from Kodak, Canon Océ, HP and Ricoh, respectively


Thriving Print Business in 2020: Diversified, Online, and Data-Driven

Expand your thinking in many directions, beyond the four walls of your manufacturing operations, beyond your business into your customer’s business, and beyond print to the other communication methods that are complimentary to print.


Hunkeler InnovationDays: 22 Years of Collaborative Success

While many other trade events are struggling to survive in a dynamically changing environment, Hunkeler Innovationdays, which has taken place in Lucerne, Switzerland, every other year for the past 22 years (11th event this year!) has continued to grow in both size and vitality. Here’s an overview of the 2015 event.


HP and KBA Take Aim at Corrugated Packaging Market with HP’s T1100 Simplex Color Inkjet Web Press (Premium Content)

High, wide, and in its own way, handsome: that’s the kind of machine HP and KBA are out to build in HP’s T1100 Simplex Color Inkjet Web Press, a solution meant to introduce digital printing to top liners for corrugated packaging.


Production Inkjet—The Next Wave: Canon Océ VarioPrint i300 Sheetfed Inkjet Press and More

This articles looks at the new Océ VarioPrint i300 sheetfed Production Inkjet press. Additionally, we will take a quick look at the newly announced Océ ImageStream 2400 and the ColorStream 3000Z rollfed presses.


Production Inkjet—The Next Wave: Xerox Rialto 900 Inkjet Press

The last time we took a good look at Impika inkjet offerings was prior to drupa 2012 and the Xerox acquisition. Since that last article, Xerox has integrated the Impika organization into the Xerox organization, its former offerings into the Xerox portfolio and now into the Xerox master brand. With the announcement of the Xerox Rialto 900 Inkjet Press, Xerox is releasing the first true collaborative effort following the acquisition.


“Radius” of Label and Packaging Capability Grows Longer Within New EFI Enterprise Packaging Suite

Radius software for MIS/ERP has been at work in label and packaging printing plants for many years. Now part of EFI, Radius will significantly expand its toolkit within a new framework called EFI Enterprise Packaging Suite.


Production Inkjet—The Next Wave: HP High Definition Nozzle Architecture

As expected, but still exciting to see, another Next Wave production inkjet print technology has been introduced. This one is from HP, and it continues to show that they haven’t been sitting idle in the time since we last took a good look at their production inkjet offerings.


Trends to Watch in 2015: Delivering an Interactive Customer Experience (Premium Content)

At the heart of nearly differentiation strategy are techniques for enhancing the overall customer experience. By improving the customer experience, organizations hope to increase customer satisfaction and boost loyalty. This article is part of a series exploring trends worth watching in the printing industry.


From Across the Atlantic, Lessons to Be Learned About Sustainable Packaging (Premium Content)

A review of recent news about sustainable packaging initiatives in the U.K. and Europe raises confidence that global strategies for managing packaging’s impact on the environment can be developed.


Focus on Solutions in Print Software

Frustration happens, especially with print software projects like Print MIS and web-to-print. When frustration happens do you flex, adjust, look for a solution or do you stay in that frustrated state? Find evidence of the behavior you want more of and reward that behavior, in your people, in your vendors, in your partners – that will accomplish more than yelling, escalating, and threatening will ever do.


Trends to Watch in 2015: Data Analytics and Micro-Targeting

To thrive in today’s environment, service providers must connect strategy, capabilities, technology, and specific initiatives. Print and marketing service providers who are willing to embrace change can drive profitable business growth. This article is the first in a series exploring trends worth watching in the printing industry.


Production Inkjet—The Next Wave: Super Web Digital with Memjet Aspen

In a continuation of the Next Wave of new production inkjet presses and technology series, we cover Super Web Digital, a ‘Made in America’ press manufacturer, which has introduced two new web press platforms based on new Memjet inkjet imaging technology. What makes this interesting is that both Super Web and Memjet have introduced new technology in these products, bringing both of their offerings to a new level.


Looking Toward Hunkeler Innovationdays

2015 is already shaping up to be a busy year, and one of the highlights is Hunkeler Innovationdays scheduled for February 23-26 in Lucerne, Switzerland. Cary Sherburne speaks with Standard Finishing President Steven Reny to learn what we might expect at this year’s event.


Print MIS Product Spotlight: PrintVis

The PrintVis MIS solution has a phenomenal product span, meaning the ability to “flex” in both directions, respond to growth and decline. In this Product Spotlight, Jen Matt reviews the PrintVis MIS solution.


In Eastern Europe, HP Flexes Packaging Muscles It Wants the Whole World to See

With the help of partners in Germany and the Czech Republic, HP aimed to show printers and converters everywhere how digital strategies for packaging production can be attuned to changing demand and “future proof” at the same time.


How Heidelberg Is Realigning Its Product Offerings to the New Realities of the Label and Packaging Market (Premium Content)

Heidelberg's profile as an equipment manufacturer is not the same as it once was, but its interest in label and packaging production is as keen as ever. This report comes from a high-level briefing that WhatTheyThink received on the company's current ambitions in the L&P equipment market.


Landa Digital Printing Provides Update, Outlook to drupa 2016

We haven’t heard much from Benny Landa lately. But the team has been at work perfecting the first press, the S10, and lining up customers. A blog post from Landa and a link to a video tour of the press and the factory are highlights of this post.


Rotolito Establishes Digital Production Unit to Meet Changing Demands for Book Printing

Rotolito, one of the largest printing companies in Europe, has built a €10 million business in digital book printing since the inception of its digital operation in 2010. Read what Rotolito’s Gabriella Moretti has to say about the changing dynamics of its book printing business in this article, sponsored by HP.


Flexographic Printing: Five Critical Steps Forward

The good news is that flexographic printing for labels and packaging has resisted economic downturns and competition from digital while becoming a higher-quality, more efficient production method in its own right. The better news is that continuing technical improvements are carrying flexo toward still higher levels of performance.


Collaborative Commerce: The Necessary Evolution of Web-to-Print (Premium Content)

Web-to-print technology and the customer facing resources working in print today need to evolve together so we can support online “collaborative commerce”: a procurement process that requires collaboration between the buyer and the seller.


Transforming and Automating Workflows: Packaging Workflow Standards and Futures Part 2

David Zwang looks at process transformation and automation, and the background and steps you need to understand to be successful. He also looks at some of the current product offerings and how they are being used by service providers, to give you ideas about how you can transform your business and strengthen your customer relationships.


Xerox’s European Premier Partners Jump on the Innovation Bandwagon

There’s a quiet revolution happening in the printing industry. In an effort to jump-start innovation, printing companies are collaborating with vendors to apply new strategies, digital tools, and technologies. Xerox’s Premier Partner Congress in Madrid, Spain explored how market innovations continue to enhance print’s value as part of the overall communications mix.


Every Print Job Doesn’t Deserve an Estimate (Premium Content)

Efficiency requires the segmentation of your workflow into at least three different workflows: self-service, light-service, and full-service. Each workflow applies the appropriate amount of labor and technology to deliver on the promise to the customer in the most efficient manner possible.


iBeacons: This Year’s QR Codes?

Over the past twelve months or so it seems that iBeacons, a new-ish piece of mobile tech, has pretty much every B2C marketer or technologist so excited that they’re jumping up and down like a 3 year-old with ADHD.


Production Inkjet—The Next Wave: Ricoh Pro VC60000

Many of the production inkjet vendors are beginning to introduce new offerings, David Zwang continues to look at many of these new products as they are introduced in the context of what was learned in the original series. In this article David looks at the Ricoh Pro VC60000.


Production Inkjet—The Next Wave: Océ ImageStream 3500 from Canon (Premium Content)

Now that time has passed, and many of the production inkjet vendors are beginning to introduce new offerings, David will look at many of these new products in the context of what was learned in the original series as they are introduced.


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