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WhatTheyThink

Articles by Ralf Schlozer

Ralf Schlözer is a technology analyst for print with 30 years’ experience in the industry and a passion for discovering new technologies and print applications. 

He is available for consulting and speaking engagements. Contact Ralf at [email protected]


Displaying 1-53 of 53 articles

European Print Industry Snapshot: Norway

Published September 21, 2021

In this bimonthly series, WhatTheyThink is presenting the state of the printing industry in different European countries based on the latest monthly production numbers. This week, we take a look at the printing industry in Norway.

How Print Applications Fared in 2020

Published September 20, 2021

Ever since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were lots of discussions on how print would be impacted and which print applications would be more or less successful. The German print industry association has not only published 2020 revenues, but has included a breakdown by main applications. European section editor Ralf Schlözer looks at real revenue data that shows how print applications fared in 2020.

Paper Shortages and Price Increases Cause Turmoil in Germany, Europe, and Elsewhere

Published September 14, 2021

WhatTheyThink European section editor Ralf Schlözer reports on a recent call organized by the German Printing Industry Association (BVDM) to address paper shortages and price increases. While the issues discussed were specific to the German market, the dynamics are similar throughout Europe—and likely all developed economies as well. Find out what this may mean for paper availability and pricing as we head toward 2022.

European Print Industry Snapshot: Finland

Published September 7, 2021

In this bimonthly series, WhatTheyThink is presenting the state of the printing industry in different European countries based on the latest monthly production numbers. This week, we take a look at the printing industry in Finland.

European Print Industry Snapshot: Denmark

Published August 16, 2021

In this bimonthly series, WhatTheyThink is presenting the state of the printing industry in different European countries based on the latest monthly production numbers. This week, we take a look at the printing industry in Denmark.

From Fuji Xerox to Fujifilm

Published August 2, 2021

2021 marked the year that Fuji Xerox become FUJIFILM Business Innovation and started launching their own product range. While still supplying most print engines to Xerox, FUJIFILM Business Innovation is set to become a major digital printing player on its own. Get ready for an emerging major player in digital print.

European Print Industry Snapshot: Sweden

Published July 27, 2021

In this bimonthly series, WhatTheyThink is presenting the state of the printing industry in different European countries based on the latest monthly production numbers. This week, we take a look at the printing industry in Sweden.

European Print Industry Snapshot: Czech Republic

Published July 13, 2021

In this bimonthly series, WhatTheyThink is presenting the state of the printing industry in different European countries based on the latest monthly production numbers. This week, we take a look at the printing industry in the Czech Republic.

Shaped by the Pandemic: Online Print in Germany

Published June 29, 2021

Online print made rapid progress in the last few years, and the country with the most advanced market for online printers is probably Germany. Needless the to say, that the pandemic did affect online print greatly as well. This article by European section editor Ralf Schlözer offers some insight on the effects and outlook.

Heidelberg CX 104 Aiming for Outstanding Price/Performance Ratio

Published June 28, 2021

It’s not a new top-of-the-line model, but the Heidelberg CX 104—launched last week at China Print— is a well-rounded, multi-purpose press with a good price/performance ratio. European section editor Ralf Schlözer identifies what sets the new B2 press apart from the other presses.

European Print Industry Snapshot: Poland

Published June 22, 2021

In this bimonthly series, WhatTheyThink is presenting the state of the printing industry in different European countries based on the latest monthly production numbers. This week, we take a look at the printing industry in Poland.

European Print Industry Snapshot: Belgium

Published June 8, 2021

In this bimonthly series, WhatTheyThink is presenting the state of the printing industry in different European countries based on the latest monthly production numbers. This week, we take a look at the printing industry in Belgium

Executive Q&A: Rainer Hundsdörfer, CEO of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, and Cedric Muenzing, Head of Service of Heidelberg North America

Published June 2, 2021

European section editor Ralf Schlözer talks to Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer and Heidelberg North America Head of Service Cedric Muenzing about the impact of the pandemic on Heidelberg, the company’s trade event plans, the state of the Gallus business, and an update on the Zaikio platform.

One Year After Brexit—Evaluating the Impact on the UK and EU Print Industries

Published June 1, 2021

One year after UK exited the European Union, European section editor Ralf Schlözer looks at the impact of Brexit on the printing industry in both the UK and the EU—an evaluation complicated by the simultaneously occurring COVID-19 pandemic.  

European Print Industry Snapshot: Netherlands

Published May 18, 2021

In this bimonthly series, WhatTheyThink is presenting the state of the printing industry in different European countries based on the latest monthly production numbers. This week, we take a look at the printing industry in the Netherlands

One Year Later: The Status of the European Printing Industry After COVID-19

Published May 17, 2021

Ralf Schlözer quantifies the impact the pandemic has had on print production in Europe. There are still only pieces of data available, but they already provide an overview on how the market and some segments fared in 2020.

Digital & Inkjet on the Upward Curve Again

Published May 12, 2021

As part of our preview of next week’s Technology Outlook Week, Ralf Schlözer takes a look at the state of toner and inkjet digital printing during a pandemic drupa year.

European Print Industry Snapshot: Portugal

Published May 4, 2021

In this bimonthly series, WhatTheyThink is presenting the state of the printing industry in different European countries based on the latest monthly production numbers. This week, we take a look at the printing industry in Portugal.

Report from virtual.drupa 2021: Well-Attended Sessions, but Few Product Introductions

Published April 26, 2021

Drupa 2020 never happened, and drupa 2021 fell victim to the pandemic as well—but was transformed into a virtual drupa for 2021. European section editor Ralf Schlözer attended and provides an overview, some highlights, and overall impressions from virtual.drupa 2021.

European Print Industry Snapshot: Spain

Published April 20, 2021

In this bimonthly series, WhatTheyThink is presenting the state of the printing industry in different European countries based on the latest monthly production numbers. This week, we take a look at the printing industry in Spain.

European Printing Industry Employment

Published April 13, 2021

With 1.3 million employees in printing and papermaking in Europe, print and related industries are no small industry. This article looks at employment trends, revenue per employee, and offers an outlook on employment numbers.

Executive Q&A: Kilian Renschler, CEO of Koenig & Bauer US/CA

Published April 12, 2021

WhatTheyThink European section editor Ralf Schlözer talks with Kilian Renschler, the new CEO and president of Koenig & Bauer US/CA. Previously, Renschler was executive vice president of sales of Koenig & Bauer US/CA.

European Print Industry Snapshot: France

Published April 5, 2021

In this bimonthly series, WhatTheyThink is presenting the state of the printing industry in different European countries based on the latest monthly production numbers. This week, we take a look at the printing industry in France.

European Print Industry Snapshot: Italy

Published March 23, 2021

In this bimonthly series, WhatTheyThink is presenting the state of the printing industry in different European countries based on the latest monthly production numbers. This week, we take a look at the printing industry in Italy.

Book Printing and Publishing in Europe

Published March 15, 2021

One of the oldest pastimes gained in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic: reading books. This is good news for the printing industry as book printing contributes a considerable share to the total print production. Revenues in Europe stood at €7.1 billion in 2019. WhatTheyThink European section editor Ralf Schlözer looks at historical developments and at the trends shaping book printing now.

European Print Industry Snapshot: United Kingdom

Published March 2, 2021

In this bimonthly series, WhatTheyThink is presenting the state of the printing industry in different European countries based on the latest monthly production numbers. This week, we take a look at the printing industry in the United Kingdom.

European Environmental Legislation for Print

Published February 22, 2021

Environmental considerations are becoming more and more important factors in buying decisions of consumers and businesses, and this is supported by environmental legislation. This article by European section editor Ralf Schlözer looks at the latest developments in environmental legislation for print in Europe.  

European Print Industry Snapshot: Germany

Published February 15, 2021

In this bimonthly series, WhatTheyThink is presenting the state of the printing industry in different European countries based on the latest monthly production numbers. This week, we take a look at the printing industry in Germany.

Sizing the European Printing Industry: The Nordic Countries

Published February 8, 2021

This is the sixth part of a series of articles on the size of and trends in the printing industry in key countries in Europe. The Nordic countries in Europe include Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Together, they account for €4.7 billion in revenues in the graphic arts industry and more than 25,000 employees. Combined, the Nordic region would constitute the sixth largest printing industry in Europe, closely followed by Spain. There are additional print segments, as well, adding to a total print market of close to €7.5 billion

European Print Industry Snapshot: Lithuania

Published February 1, 2021

In this bimonthly series, WhatTheyThink is presenting the state of the printing industry in different European countries based on the latest monthly production numbers. This week, we take a look at the printing industry in Lithuania and the Baltic states.

European Printing Outlook 2021

Published January 25, 2021

2020 showed that we can’t prepare for everything. But still it pays to try. This article covers five trends that will be important for the printing industry in Europe (and beyond) in 2021.

European Print Industry Snapshot: Hungary

Published January 18, 2021

In this bimonthly series, WhatTheyThink is presenting the state of the printing industry in different European countries based on the latest monthly production numbers. This year kicks off with a look at the printing industry in Hungary.

Sizing the European Printing Industry: The Netherlands

Published January 11, 2021

With €3.1 billion in revenues and more than 17,000 employees, the graphic arts industry in the Netherlands is among the largest in Europe. But there are additional print segments as well, adding to a total print market of close to €6 billion. This is the fifth part of a series of articles on the size of and trends in the printing industry in key countries in Europe.

Looking Back at 2020 in Europe

Published December 17, 2020

2020 was not the year we expected it to be. WhatTheyThink European section editor Ralf Schlözer reviews some of the key developments that shaped the printing and communication industry in 2020 in Europe—and most likely in the years to come.

European Print Industry Snapshot: Turkey

Published December 15, 2020

In this bimonthly series, WhatTheyThink is presenting the state of the printing industry in different European countries based on the latest monthly production numbers. This last installment for 2020 features a look at the printing industry in Turkey.

Sizing the European Printing Industry: France

Published December 14, 2020

With €7.6 billion in revenue and more than 50,000 employees, the graphic arts industry in France is sizeable and the fourth biggest in Europe. But there are additional print segments as well adding to a total print market of close to €16.1 billion. This is the fourth installment of a series of articles on the size of and trends in the printing industry in key countries in Europe.

European Print Industry Snapshot: Portugal

Published December 2, 2020

In this bimonthly series, WhatTheyThink is presenting the state of the printing industry in different European countries based on the latest monthly production numbers. This week features a look at the printing industry in Portugal.

European Print Imports and Exports

Published December 1, 2020

Billions of euros’ worth of printed products are exported and imported across borders in Europe, although the amounts traded and trade balance differ a lot from country to country. European section editor Ralf Schlözer takes a look at the five biggest print markets in Europe and their print trade numbers.

Two Years On: Evaluating Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation

Published November 30, 2020

More than two years have passed since Europe’s privacy regulation—the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)—went into effect. WhatTheyThink European section editor Ralf Schlözer takes a look at what its impact has been, what its effects on print have been, and why printers and marketers even outside the EU should care about it.

European Print Industry Snapshot: Austria

Published November 17, 2020

In this bimonthly series, WhatTheyThink is presenting the state of the printing industry in different European countries based on the latest monthly production numbers. This week features a look at the printing industry in Austria.

Sizing the European Printing Industry: Italy

Published November 16, 2020

With €10.6 billion in revenue and more than 62,000 employees, the graphic arts industry in Italy is sizeable and the third biggest in Europe. But there are additional print segments as well adding to a total print market of close to €19 billion. This is the third part of a series of articles on the size of and trends in the printing industry in key countries in Europe.

European Print Industry Snapshot: Spain

Published November 3, 2020

In this bimonthly series, WhatTheyThink is presenting the state of the printing industry in different European countries based on the latest monthly production numbers. This week features a look at the printing industry in Spain.

Sizing the European Printing Industry: UK

Published November 2, 2020

With £14 billion in revenue and about 112,000 employees, the graphic arts industry in the UK is fifth largest worldwide and the second largest in Europe. Revenues have been surprisingly stable in recent years, but COVID made a big dent in 2020 production volumes. This is the second part of a series of articles on the size of and trends in the printing industry in key countries in Europe.

European Print Industry Snapshot: Belgium

Published October 20, 2020

According to the Eurostat production index, the printing industry in Belgium did fairly well in 2019 and even during the COVID-19 crisis in 2020, despite the country being hit hard by the virus. Although production volumes in 2019 were down compared to 2015, Belgium did better than the European Union average in the production index for printing and recorded media.

Heidelberg Swaps drupa for Innovation Week

Published October 19, 2020

A small group of trade journalists was invited to get a first-hand look at products and services which were originally scheduled to launch at drupa 2020. For many journalists, this was the first on site event since the COVID-19 outbreak. The general audience will be able to experience the drupa 2020 news as part of the Heidelberg Innovation Week. WhatTheyThink European section editor Ralf Schlözer was there.

Sizing the European Printing Industry: Germany

Published October 12, 2020

With €19.9 bn in revenue and more than 120,000 employees, the graphic arts industry in Germany is large—and the largest in Europe. But there are additional print segments as well, adding to a total print market of €35bn. This is the first of a series of articles on the size of and trends in the printing industry in key countries in Europe.

The Online Print Market in Europe Varies by Country, but Growth Is Universal

Published September 28, 2020

Online print in Europe offers a fairly mixed picture with some countries achieving considerable volumes generated via online ordering, while others are lagging behind. Still, volumes were on the rise everywhere—at least until the coronavirus crisis hit the industry. In this article, WhatTheyThink European section editor Ralf Schlözer looks at some revenue numbers, leading countries, major players, and growth rates.

The Potential Impact of Brexit on the Printing Industry

Published September 10, 2020

The clock is ticking for the Brexit negotiations and the future relations between the UK and EU are still unclear. Print will be impacted as well; not only print products that are exported and imported, but also raw materials and machinery. This article by WhatTheyThink European section editor Ralf Schlözer looks at some trade volumes and implications of the Brexit for the printing industry.

The Impact of COVID-19 on the European Print Industry

Published August 3, 2020

WhatTheyThink European section editor Ralf Schlözer looks at May 2020 production index data released by the European statistical office. Unsurprisingly, the data showed a big dip due to coronavirus restrictions with a low reached in April and some recovery starting in May—although there are some country-by-country differences. Roughly speaking, the European print industry lost about 30% of its output volume in April.

Leaving Labels—Heidelberg Selling Gallus

Published July 24, 2020

WhatTheyThink European section editor Ralf Schlözer takes a close look at today’s announcement that Heidelberg is selling its Gallus label press business, as well as what the future may hold for Heidelberg.

Sizing the European Printing Industry

Published July 20, 2020

Even as revenues are down in the printing industry thanks to the COVID pandemic, the graphic arts industry is a large industry, not only in the US, but also in Europe. Unfortunately, European data is a bit more difficult to come by. WhatTheyThink European section editor Ralf Schlözer dives into numbers and definitions to kick off a round of European industry sizing data.

Heidelberg’s Digital Strategy After Discontinuing Primefire

Published May 27, 2020

WhatTheyThink European Section Editor Ralf Schlözer talks to Heidelberg CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer about the company’s decision to discontinue the Primefire inkjet folding carton press, as well as the company’s overall strategy.

Print Applications in Times of COVID-19

Published April 6, 2020

WhatTheyThink European Section Editor Ralf Schlözer looks at how the COVID-19 crisis will impact various kinds of print products—both in the short term and the long term.