Interviews with Industry Executives, Commentary & Analysis from WhatTheyThink Contributors and other video features.
Published: August 2, 2019
Frank tours the National Playing Card Museum in Turnhout, Belgium, located on the site of an 18th-century printing plant that produced the original playing cards for Europe and other parts of the world, such as China. The museum’s collection includes commercial and private brand cards, as well as antique presses from the plant’s history as it moved from letterpress, to lithography, and eventually film. The production process required special finishing equipment (to add rounded corners to the cards) and the company even produced its own packaging.
Published: August 1, 2019
Howie Fenton talks about a trio of white papers he recently completed for the In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA). Specifically, his white paper on the topic of the “customer experience” found that web-to-print is still one of the most important issues for in-plants, as in-plant customers want that “Amazon experience.” Other white papers looked at predictive analytics and integrated services.
Published: July 31, 2019
Parashar Kacha, Business Head for India-based Conceptive Colors, a manufacturer of reactive and acid dye colorants for both conventional and digital textile printing, explains how the company has ensured highly purified dye colorants while guaranteeing the necessary properties of these dye colorants following two years of intensive research and development.
Published: July 30, 2019
Kevin Currier, Product Manager for Software in North America for Durst, talks about the Durst Professional Services strategy, announced in 2018. He also explains the value of Durst Lift ERP, focused on large-format operations and the specific requirements these businesses have. He notes that Lift ERP is device-agnostic and can apply to the textiles and commercial print markets as well.
Published: July 29, 2019
CloudLab, an ecommerce provider, has an online store offering that integrates with other components in the workflow, including production and business applications, for an automated environment. Steven Antoni, President of CloudLab Americas, explains how.
Published: July 26, 2019
Frank bemoans the loss of ebook access by Microsoft users who were told that “The books will stop working.”
Published: July 25, 2019
Reto Simmen, Chief Business Officer at Mouvent, a Bobst company, talks about full commercial availability of its digital textile printers (including a new model introduced at ITMA, printing at 400 square meters per hour) with reactive or acid dye inks. He also explains the unique compact, lightweight printhead cluster technology these printers use.
Published: July 24, 2019
Spencer Cramer, CEO of ei3 Corporation, talks about how the company, founded in 1999, leverages the Internet to monitor, manage, and analyze machines. ei3 has partnered with Bobst to serve the package printing and converting industry and now has more than 5,000 machines connected in 100 countries around the world. The next step is develop predictive algorithms to identify potential machine issues before they occur.
Published: July 23, 2019
Mike Scrutton, Director of Print Technology and Strategy for Adobe, talks about how Adobe Textile Designer enables brands to bring their defined color libraries into the world of digital textile printing. This helps ensure color consistency in a hybrid analog/digital production environment.
Published: July 22, 2019
Liz Logue, Director of New Business Development for EFI, talks about how ecommerce is changing the way brands and consumers think about the buying experience. She gives examples of how combining the capabilities of digital textile printing with digital direct-to-corrugated experience can offer an exciting unboxing experience for the consumer—for example, for high fashion or product-of-the-month subscriptions.
Published: July 19, 2019
Frank discusses a batch of miscellaneous items: the time we spend on mobile devices vs. TV, the new Pantone color in memory of rock star Prince, and the sale of the Barnes & Noble bookstore chain. As you would expect, he has opinions on all these items—and would even like his own Pantone color.
Published: July 19, 2019
Rich Lowe of Franchise Services talks to Kelley Holmes at this week’s Franchise Services Convention about current trends in the marketplace affecting print franchises and their customers. Specifically, franchises have had to learn how to really be a marketing services provider, how to work with data, and have had to understand the sign business.
Published: July 18, 2019
Durst Textile Segment Manager Martin Winkler explains how digital textile printing is being adopted both by traditional analog businesses and new online businesses. He also stresses the importance of an end-to-end workflow to address the shorter runs and faster cycle times occurring in textiles and apparel today. Durst also focuses on making these technologies more sustainable.
Published: July 17, 2019
Jack Noonan, Marketing Manager at MGI Digital Technology, talks about embellishment of print as the next phase in the evolution of digital print for packaging. Digital special effects can add value to packaging, raise brand awareness, and foster customer engagement. Find out how.
Published: July 16, 2019
Robin East, Group Director for CMYUK, a UK-based graphic arts distributor, suggests that print service providers should be exploring digital textile printing as a new business avenue that offers higher growth rates than commercial print. He points out that digital print providers have many transferable skills that could serve them well in the textiles market, especially home decor.
Published: July 15, 2019
Chuck Slingerland, Vice President of Sales and Digital Operations at Abbott-Action, discusses how the company has addressed the need to streamline the file-to-production workflow. Partners include Conductor Systems, an MIS provider, and Esko Graphics for its Automation Engine and Kongsberg cutting solutions, gaining 5 to 10 times more productivity.
Published: July 12, 2019
Many newspapers are seeing more digital subscribers than print subscribers. Frank bemoans the fact that printed publications are archived in digital form and the printed versions may be discarded.
Published: July 11, 2019
X-Rite/Pantone's Iain Pike talks about some of the changes the company has made to its offerings to simplify color selection and management for textile designers and others in the textile and apparel supply chain. New features include easier to use swatches, the i1Pro 3, and a partnership with Adobe at color.adobe.com for palette creation.
Published: July 10, 2019
H2O Melon CEO Savvas Tsoukalas talks with Senior Editor Cary Sherburne about how digital direct-to-corrugated printing has helped him better promote his watermelon business, customizing packaging to the particular regions the company serves.
Published: July 9, 2019
At the end of 2018, Durst Phototechnik and Koenig & Bauer announced a 50/50 joint venture to develop a single-pass digital printing system for the folding carton and corrugated fiberboard industries. Initially, the joint venture portfolio will comprise the Koenig & Bauer CorruJET 170 and the Durst SPC 130—including all associated services and the ink business—with a top priority to develop the VariJET 106, which was originally announced at drupa 2016 with a different partner. After learning that Robert Stabler would be managing this joint venture, WhatTheyThink was able to speak with him about his role and his thoughts about the future of the initiative.