David Zwang travels around the globe helping companies increase their productivity, margins and market reach. He specializes in production optimization, strategic business planning, market analysis, and related services to companies in the vertical media communications market. Clients have included printers, manufacturers, retailers, publishers, premedia and US Government agencies. He can be reached at [email protected].
There has been a running joke amongst some analysts and media that it takes at least two drupas—or about 8–10 years—before an initially shown product is ready for production. Granted, some of what is “envisioned” as new product technologies may never make it, but many products do successfully make it to market, ready for reliable production.
Paul Hudson explains his transition through a variety of digital and analog technologies to strenghthen and grow his business offerings. His recent purchase of a secnd Landa S10P digital B1 press rounds it out.
David Zwang talks to David Stevenson, Product Manager, Global Graphics, about how, by using its vast experience in RIPs and rendering, Hybrid Software has been able to create a high-performance framework for print inspection systems.
Press speeds, resolutions, and the use of variable data is growing, and with it the need to inspect the print for defects before it comes off the press and goes into finishing and converting is essential. Global Graphics Smart QI is a solution targeted at that increasing and demanding requirement.
David Zwang talks to Golan Landsberg, R&D Director and Head of Product Development for the HP Indigo V12 Label Press. This groundbreaking label press is a combination of an evolution and revolution in design and application. Take a behind-the-scenes look at its development.
Xeikon Café, held at the company’s headquarters, was full of great information, partners, and products, including some new ones. The takeaway was that Xeikon is positioned for good future growth with the confidence of their customers and a lot of new products.
David Zwang talks to Keren Yakolev, Head of Product & Business Development at HP Indigo, about how HP Indigo has been a leader in changing markets and market behavior in print and packaging. It’s not magic, its a process.
Agfa is in the process of acquiring two very synergistic operating units from SCREEN. These acquisitions could provide Agfa with the necessary technologies and strength to reinvigorate this distinguished company and provide the platform for future growth in packaging and industrial print.
David Zwang talks to Eli Mahal, Head of Marketing, Labels & Packaging, for
HP Indigo. HP Indigo and its customers have not been idle during the pandemic—growth has been significant for Indigo and for their customers in all segments.
HP Indigo held a VIP event at their facilities in Israel, the first one since February 2019. While a lot has changed for everyone since that last event, both the company and their customers have been knowingly or unknowingly preparing themselves and the market for these changes since 1993.
David Zwang talks to Andrew Mansfield, New Business Development for Harkwell Labels. The UK-based Harkwell has developed a great application that promotes a circular economy—and it can put a smile on your face.
Automated workflows are discussed a lot, yet the vast majority of print service providers still don’t have a comprehensive job preparation and prepress automation workflow in their operation. Fiery JobFlow is an easy to install and easy to use solution.
There are lots of moving parts in print manufacturing, and lots of new technologies and applications. David Zwang talks to Dr. John Anderson, Director of Advanced Print Applications for Miraclon, about some of the issues and advancements that will provide the new growth.
Increasingly, printing technology is changing to accommodate many new applications, from legacy printing and packaging to industrial print. David Zwang
talks to Kevin Bourquin, VP Operations, CyberGraphics, to see how CyberGraphics has figured out the way to keep up.
At Labelexpo in 2019, there was a smattering of hybrid presses, but since then the market for hybrid presses has grown with a proliferation of hybrid presses from many manufacturers. At that event, Bobst showed the Master DM5, their first take at a digital/flexo hybrid, which they identified as an “All in One” press. Over the years, they have enhanced the design and interface based on early customer feedback. The result is the just-released updated Digital Master 340 and Digital Master 510.
David Zwang talks to Dianne Kennedy of PQX Initiative about PQX and PRX, which now provide a "standardized" way to communicate print quality between the brand or consumer and producer for all forms of print and packaging using all types of equipment and ink.
David Zwang takes a look at the personnel shortage in the printing industry, and some ways of overcoming it. Market outreach and education is an important requirement, and it is the shared responsibility of the manufacturers, print service providers, suppliers, and industry associations.
Shifts in consumer purchasing, will continue to have an impact on packaging growth due to disruptions in the supply chain, shifts in consumer purchasing, and labor availability forcing consumer packaging groups (CPGs) to think about how they can be more efficient at what they do. Automation and even robots are a big part of the answer.
After three years, the Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) was able to host a very successful forum and exhibition. Joe Tuccitto, FTA's Director of Education, takes us behind the scenes on creating this event.
David Zwang talks to Chris Raney, VP Postpress Product Management, Heidelberg US, about Heidelberg's updated and expanded postpress offerings. These include introducing push-to-stop folding, more automated cutting for commercial print, and die-cutting and folder gluers for folding carton production.
After three years, “there is a lot of catching up to do.” That was the mood at the FTA event in Ft. Worth. About 1,000 very energized people were there to meet colleagues, see new developments, and hear about how they can optimize their production systems.
David Zwang talks to Alon Bar-Shany Chairman of Highcon, Executive Chairman of Redefine Meat Ltd., Chairman and CEO of Twine Solutions, and former General Manager of HP Indigo about the digital transformation of graphic arts, printing, and packaging.
There is a wave of innovation in print and packaging equipment and workflow systems that are beginning to implement artificial intelligence, not just within an individual system but across complete supply chains between different systems, processes, and even extending to semi-autonomous labor. David Zwang rounds up the current state of the art.
As Heidelberg continues to broaden their press and postpress offerings, keeping up with the constantly changing Print Media Center is challenging and fun. David Zwang catches up with Jeff Powalisz, Director of Demo Room Operations, Heidelberg US, from the Demo Room.
As Rainer Hundsdörfer prepares to close out his successful tenure as Chairman of Heidelberg, he discusses the inherent company strengths and expertise along with a plan that will ensure Heidelberg will continue to grow in addition to and beyond print.
Rainer Hundsdörfer took the helm of Heidelberg in 2016 when things were not looking great. In his five-year tenure, they have been able to turn the company around financially and develop a roadmap for the future. Printing plays a big role in that future, but their strengths and opportunities extend beyond.
David Zwang talks to Dan Maurer, VP Product Management, Digital Print at Heidelberg US. Heidelberg has been selling digital presses for more than 11 years, and they are expanding their efforts and offerings.
David Zwang speaks with Alon Bar-Shany who has been on the front line of digital print and packaging transformation for more than 25 years. At HP, ultimately rising to the GM of HP Indigo, he was one of the leaders in the transformation of the printing industry to digital printing, and now is taking what he has learned and transforming other industries.
There is no doubt that digital packaging is a huge growth area for production inkjet, and SCREEN seems to be targeting the high growth areas. They have been developing a range of digital packaging presses including their currently available prime label presses, and the new flexible packaging press and a folding carton press.
The roots of SCREEN are in imaging, dating back to its founding in 1868. The company has leveraged that expertise to create a significant imaging powerhouse which includes industry leading equipment for the production of displays, printed circuit boards, and semiconductors. They also continue to maintain a significant role in the production of printing equipment including high performance inkjet presses for commercial and packaging.
David Zwang talks with Dawn Lindsey, Director of Product Management and Implementation for Heidelberg US Prinect, about how the Heidelberg Prinect solution suite has evolved beyond prepress workflow to include connectivity to all of the equipment Heidelberg offers as well as business intelligence.
There may not have been many live events this year to showcase the latest trends in label and packaging, but hardware manufacturers and software developers have been busy, and the industry has been humming along. All of this under the backdrop of shifting consumer preferences and supply chain challenges. David Zwang takes a look.
As the print market has evolved, Heidelberg, like all other analog and digital press manufacturers, has had to pivot to address the new market demands. For a while, their transition had been a bit rocky, but they seem to have stabilized and are now growing with an impressive line of products with more to come.
Heidelberg is known for their offset presses, but David Zwang talks to Clarence Penge, EVP Product Management at Heidelberg US, about how the company’s press, postpress, and software solution offerings have expanded to cover commercial print, labels, and folding carton.
David Zwang talks to Ken Ingram, President of SCREEN USA, about the latest market trends as well as new products the the company has introduced—and plans to introduce. SCREEN has been focused on high-speed inkjet across all markets, specializing in direct mail and transaction, but post-pandemic, the company has seen more activity in the commercial space.
Printing and packaging companies are always looking for unique ways to expand and grow their businesses. While printers may have historically had a reputation for “tipping a few beers,” not every printer can be a brewer. However, this one is!
In 2021, for commercial print applications, production inkjet volumes held their own, and some applications saw modest growth. While production inkjet can displace toner printed pages, and has been for well over a decade, the lion’s share of the growth opportunity is offset pages, and that will continue for the foreseeable future. David Zwang looks back at recent press introductions, many of which are targeted at that volume.
A company the size and breadth of the Bobst Group plays a big role in setting the direction of the packaging industry in the future. Their core values of People, Technology, and Financial, with a strong desire to create a more sustainable future, bode well for the many changes ahead.
Compu-Mail is a direct marketing services and solutions company located in Grand Island, N.Y., that provides database marketing for pharmaceutical companies, statements for medical insurance and even membership cards for automobile clubs. They have built their business around the variable data printing model: “Relevant information to the right person at the right time.”
Over the years, many different methods have been used to decorate glass including painting, silk screen, sandblasting, etching, and decals and cling films—and of late inkjet technology has been increasingly used. David Zwang surveys the current state of direct-to-glass printing.
Label and packaging procurement reached new heights during the pandemic, and as a result, while there may not have been many live events this year to showcase the latest trends in label and packaging, hardware manufacturers and software developers have been busy—and the industry has been humming along.
With most of the flagship equipment shows of 2020 and 2021 being postponed or cancelled, many in the industry were looking forward to Hunkeler Innovationdays in February of 2022. Unfortunately, this too has been postponed to February 2023. David Zwang talks to Stefan Hunkeler, President of Hunkeler AG, about this decision.
At last week’s thINK Forum, David Zwang spoke to Chris Kropac, owner and president of PCI Group, a family-owned business specializing in mission-critical transactional communications, with an emphasis on security compliance in health care, collections, financial, and insurance markets.
David Zwang talks to Canon Solutions America EVP Francis McMahon, recapping last week’s thINK Forum, and talking about company culture, how it plays into a company’s brand, how it gives a company a competitive advantage, and how businesses can retain their employees by making them feel like they are part of something and feel empowered.
At last week’s thINK Forum, David Zwang talked to Shelley Hyde, Partner at PrintMailPro and the newest member of the thINK Board, about the value of networking events like the thINK Forum, as well as the other resources thINK makes available for producers of inkjet printing.
At this week’s thINK Forum, David Zwang talks to Jennifer McSweeney, VP of Sales for the Goodway Group, about the company’s adoption of production inkjet and the opportunities it has opened with clients.
Kodak has been successfully operating a transformation strategy that has shored up the company while investing in innovation in their core strengths of print (with an emphasis on digital), advanced materials, and chemicals. With the introduction of an EP press designed for folding carton, packaging, and retail POP, Kodak expands their existing packaging portfolio options to a wider audience.
David Zwang talks with Gershon Alon, Head of Solutions at HP Indigo, about the post-pandemic workflow changes in packaging and commercial print that will be needed to keep up with dynamic market shifts.
While Label Congress was a relatively small event, it appeared to be a very successful one. With a comprehensive educational conference schedule and a small but active expo hall, it delivered what was promised to the exhibitors and, more importantly, to the attendees.
Mike Rottenborn, CEO of Global Graphics, sits down with David Zwang at Label Congress to discuss the synergies in Global Graphics' acquisitions and growth, as well as their new corporate name and identity.
Digital technologies in print and finishing are in a continuing race against market shifts—and vice versa. David Zwang explains how both hybrid and bespoke print solutions will play an increasing role, and why we are in for some interesting times.
Nick Benkovich, EFI VP Product Management, discusses how market dynamics are changing for PSPs across all segments, and looks at the challenges, opportunities, tools, and cultural shifts that are going to be required.
David Zwang talks with Carsten Bruhn, the newly appointed president and CEO of Ricoh North America, about how the pandemic has affected Ricoh and its customers, as well as where the printing industry is going as we emerge from the year of COVID.
Todd Roth, VP of Core Publishing Solutions for Thomson Reuters and President of the thINK Board of Directors, provides a preview of the upcoming thINK Forum, to be held October 11-15 at the Boca Beach Club in Boca Raton, Fla. To keep attendees safe and comfortable, the event is being held in two “waves,” the first from Oct. 11-13, and the second from Oct. 13-15. Each wave is limited to ~150 attendees, and the content is identical.
Francis McMahon, Executive Vice President at Canon Solutions America, and Eric Hawkinson, Chairman of thINK, discuss the upcoming thINK Forum, to be held October 11-15 at the Boca Beach Club in Boca Raton, Fla. To keep attendees safe and comfortable, the event is being held in two “waves,” the first from Oct. 11-13 13, and the second from Oct. 13-15. Each wave is limited to ~150 attendees, and the content is identical.
Feeding envelopes through a printer is not necessarily an easy task, especially since there are so many sizes, configurations, and variations in thickness—even batch to batch. Yet Printlink has found an exceptional bespoke press solution that highlights what can be accomplished with production inkjet.
David Zwang talks to Tasha Ventimiglia, Americas Event Director for Labelexpo Americas, about the challenges of the pandemic for an event company and the much-anticipated return to in-person events with the upcoming Label Congress in Chicago at the end of September.
Canon has the leading market share in production inkjet and has the widest range of production inkjet presses available. With the introduction of the ColorStream 8000, they are expanding their commercial production inkjet product line to further capture both toner and existing offset produced pages.
David Zwang talks to Josef Coetsee, CTO of EFI’s Fiery Division, about EFI’s unique approach to digital front ends (DFEs). Much more than a RIP, a DFE is a set of services—hardware and software—that enable print shops to execute their workflows, manage their operations, and drive their presses.
Telemedicine grew more than 6,000% during the pandemic. With that rate of growth, and no preparation, how were healthcare providers expected to provide the care needed remotely for seniors and others who were on extreme lockdown?
In this fifth article of this series, we continue to look at Industry 4.0, not as a marketing term, but in an actionable way so that you can begin or continue to prepare your company and participate in the many benefits today and tomorrow. In this article, we look at a solution that provides some process connection points, data collection and analysis.
In this fourth article in this series, we continue to look at Industry 4.0, not as a marketing term, but in an actionable way so that you can begin or continue to prepare your company and participate in the many benefits today and tomorrow. In this article, we pause the background education and take a look at some currently available solutions and a peek into futures.
David Zwang talks to Eric Worrall, VP of Products and Services for
Global Graphics Software, about digital front ends (DFEs), the elements that comprise a DFE, and Global Graphics’ recent introduction of its SmartDFE.
David Zwang talks to Jim Continenza, Chairman and CEO of Eastman Kodak, about he and his team winning a Maverick Award for Business Achievement, and how Kodak remains on schedule with its five-year plan that had been developed several years ago.
David Zwang talks with Carsten Bruhn, newly appointed President and CEO of Ricoh North America. Bruhn has been with Ricoh for more than 30 years, and he talks about his journey in the industry and in Ricoh, as well as how he sees Ricoh doing business as we emerge from the pandemic.
In this third article of this series, we continue to look at Industry 4.0, not as a marketing term, but in an actionable way that you can begin or continue to prepare your company and participate in the many benefits. In this article, we take a look at content production software.
The print label market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.2% from 2021 to 2026, and last year had a significant impact on consumer purchasing habits—as a result, it also had an impact on labels and packaging in general. David Zwang runs through some of the trends that have started shifting at an increased rate, facilitated by new technologies.
The Ghent Workgroup (GWG) is an international organization made up of graphic arts experts, users, hardware and software vendors as well as educational members building best practices for print and packaging workflows. David Zwang highlights the accomplishments the organization has achieved over the past 20 years, expanding beyond its initial goals.
In this new series we look at Industry 4.0—not as a marketing term, but in an actionable way so that you can begin or continue to prepare your company and participate in the many benefits. In this second article in the series, we take a look at internal hardware systems.
In this new series, we look at Industry 4.0. Not as a marketing term, but in an actionable way so that you can begin or continue to prepare your company and participate in the many benefits. In this first article of the series, we start at the beginning and look at the state of readiness.
In this Thought Leadership Series video sponsored by HP, David Zwang talks to Jason Raye, VP of Executive Label Inc. The company began with flexo presses and moved into digital printing in 2012 with an HP Indigo 6800. The company is on its third digital press, having recently installed an HP Indigo 8000. The transition into digital completely changed Empire’s business.
Printing is a valuable and versatile platform that provides methods of communication, identification, even interaction. However, what happens when you need your printing secure or validated? David Zwang looks at today’s options.
Pharmaceutical packaging compliance, including safety and supply chain visibility, is an area that demands secure packaging and label identification. Many new compliance regulations are designed to verify the authenticity and origin of raw materials and ingredients, and to effectively, quickly, and accurately track and trace the products as they move across a global supply chain. David Zwang looks at these regulations, some of the new technologies in place to comply with them, and how print service providers can ensure they are in compliance.
Business processes and production workflows cannot be stagnant and need to evolve as the markets and technologies evolve. Understanding the need and creating an infrastructure that supports that is key. The good news is that the options are improving.
Like many other industries, pharmaceuticals is going through a transition, and as we have seen before, industries in transition offer opportunities for those who are willing to learn and engage. David Zwang provides an overview of the latest trends in pharma packaging, and how to identify and take advantage of the opportunities.
Over the years, Kodak has developed many groundbreaking products and, along the way, very strong bonds with their customers. Considering their long history supporting print service providers with consumables and digital process solutions, they have been able to enhance their clients’ business growth and create a great platform for Kodak’s business growth as well, it makes perfect sense.
David Zwang talks to Crit Driessen, Senior Advisor Commercial and Industrial Printing at Canon Production Printing, and Walter Vogelsberger, VP Digital Packaging Printing at Canon Production Printing. Crit shares some of the latest Canon Labelstream installations and other news and, as Walter transitions into this new position, what he envisions for digital packaging at Canon.
The print industry has been going through a major evolution since the introduction of digital technologies. Trying to identify and quantify this shift has been almost impossible since many of the definitions of print and printing technologies haven’t been properly updated in decades. An important new initiative is tasked with drafting an “open” standard taxonomy for the global printing industry to address the issues.
NIXKA may be the new kid on the block, or are they? They actually have 30 years of expertise in developing ink and material jetting solutions, with an impressive track record. More importantly, they have the right philosophy.
David Zwang talks to Louis DeJesus, CEO and Founder of CompanyBox, which specializes in digital, on-demand packaging. The company leverages digital platforms, automation, and order aggregation so that the cost of one package is "the same as the cost of a truckload.”
David Zwang talks to Ernie Crawford, President and CEO of Crawford Technologies, about the evolution of the company. Founded 25 years ago, the company at that time was focused on helping organizations with the transition to then-new architectures like PostScript and PDF. Today, Crawford helps companies optimize workflows for transactional, direct mail, and commercial print.
David Zwang talks to Bob Seay, VP Digital Print Solutions, for Georgia-Pacific Corrugated, which recently acquired an HP T1100 digital press. The Hummingbird business within Georgia-Pacific’s Digital Printing Solutions provides fast-turn digital preprint corrugated. The T1100 press offers Georgia-Pacific new capabilities.
Color Management is the critical part of any reproduction process, especially as it relates to brand identity. We have good tools today, but as print applications expand beyond conventional media—for example, to packaging and industrial applications—we are starting to outgrow them.
David Zwang talks to David Ashton, EVP/Partner at the DC-area's Linemark Printing. Linemark does general commercial printing and transactional work, direct mail, and has a growing e-commerce business. Customers have pulled Linemark into some unique area—in particular, packaging printing.
David Zwang talks to Kasper Tomshoj, CEO of PrintVis, about the company’s almost 25-year history as an MIS provider for the printing and packaging industry. PrintVis recently teamed up with Kodak as an implementation partner as part of PRINERGY On Demand Business Solutions.
Todd Bigger, VP of Software and Services for Kodak, talks to David Zwang about the new iteration of PRINERGY On Demand. Back in May, Kodak moved moved PRINERGY into the cloud with PRINERGY On Demand and this Fall, Kodak is launching PRINERGY On Demand Business Solutions, a fully integrated and managed end-to-end software platform for all printers of any size and any segment that aims to eliminate the need for multiple standalone software products from different suppliers.
Ricoh is not a newcomer to production inkjet. But as a late-comer to cut-sheet production inkjet, how do you compete with both the existing B2+ and A3 presses in the market at the same time? Apparently, they figured it out!
2020 was a transformative year, not so much for new and significant developments in label and packaging printing technologies—although there were some—but for triggering increased awareness of the value of digital packaging production. David Zwang looks back at the year’s label and packaging products and technologies.
Duggal Visual Solutions is a company that has been growing and transforming itself since its inception in 1963, and through it all has maintained their core values of high quality and service to their customers. They have proved that they can, and will, continue to innovate and transform to meet the changing needs of visual communications.
WhatTheyThink is the global printing industry's leading independent media organization with both print and digital offerings, including WhatTheyThink.com, PrintingNews.com and WhatTheyThink magazine versioned with a Printing News and Wide-Format & Signage edition. Our mission is to provide cogent news and analysis about trends, technologies, operations, and events in all the markets that comprise today’s printing and sign industries including commercial, in-plant, mailing, finishing, sign, display, textile, industrial, finishing, labels, packaging, marketing technology, software and workflow.