Fujifilm has seen education-related inkjet applications as well, including “short runs of college textbooks for a specific year and professor,” says Peter Vanderlaan, marketing director for Commercial Graphics. Its new JPress 540 W (web) model—featuring a 21.3-inch print width, 328 fpm speeds, and soon-to-be 1200x1200 dpi resolution—can be seen at the PRINT 13 show in Chicago this September. “We’ll have 11,000 square feet, the second booth in from the entrance,” he notes.
Vanderlaan reports that some 20 units of Fujifilm’s half-size JPress 720 now are in production worldwide since its introduction at drupa 2008. Sensing inkjet’s eminent growth, the OEM had bolstered its equipment offerings with three acquisitions: UK ink manufacturer Sericol Group in early 2005 and printhead manufacturer Dimatix in mid-2006. Also, Fujifilm Imaging Colorants was created when Avecia Inkjet, a spin-off from ICI in Scotland, was purchased in early 2006.
Xerox, too, has been buying—early this year it gobbled up inkjet press manufacturer Impika to complement its CMYK CiPress piezo drop-on-demand, waterless solution. Xerox has been selling the French firm’s aqueous systems in Europe for two years, so it is familiar with the technology for maintenance and support purposes. Impika’s product line includes iPrint continuous-feed production printers that boast speeds up to 1,230 fpm and iPress high-quality systems, which can print at up to 2400x1200 dpi.
But it was an acquisition 13 years ago that really set the inkjet table for Xerox, when it bought Tektronix’s color printing and imaging division and its ColorStix solid ink inkjet technology. (Remember the Phaser?)
At drupa last year, there was strong interest in the CiPress 500 with German printer CW Niemeyer Druck purchasing the system to produce individualized magazines, direct mail pieces, and catalogs. “Since the CiPress prints on the same substrates as our offset presses, we…no longer need to use expensive coated substrates,” says the firm’s director Joachim Glowalla. The digital press uses water-free ink based on a granular polymer resin, which is melted in the printhead and then applied in liquid form onto the paper. Through this technology, untreated, low-cost substrates can be printed, according to Xerox. “It allows us to put down a lot of ink on a page without distorting the sheet,” explains Graupman, VP and GM of Xerox’s inkjet business team. In 2013, CiPress 500 and 325 models became available as a single-engine duplex device.
Print-to-One, CW Niemeyer’s variable data/imaging subsidiary, has been producing direct mail and other marketing pieces on its CiPress 500 since last July that mimic the look and feel of offset print on uncoated, matte stock. Reportedly, for an international ad agency client, Print-to-One is producing direct-to-mail catalogs featuring six-page covers with foldouts that have up to 64 different customizable fields. After it is aqueous coated, the cover wraps around offset-printed body pages. Quantities range from the high hundreds of thousands to the low millions.
“Another European customer is producing hundreds of thousands of stand-alone direct mail co-marketing with distributors for branding [purposes],” Graupman notes, adding that the three-panel roll-folds feature 60 to 70 variable elements. Research has proven, he said, that variable applications can garner 400 to 500 percent higher response rates versus static campaigns.
Changing the Rules of Advertising
Marketers large and small can learn valuable lessons about inkjet’s potential from an open-minded magazine publisher which initially bought into the magalog concept three years ago. It was partly the vision of Dale Williams, operations VP at print service provider Strategic Content Imaging (SCI), Secaucus, NJ. Williams was not convinced by the doom-and-gloom predictions people were making about the future of print media. The other out-of-the-box thinker is Jim Cioban, CEO of data-driven marketing partner Cierant Corp., Danbury, CT, who wasn’t drinking the Kool-Aid either.
Why not leverage data from hundreds of thousands of subscribers to create high-value, low-cost personalized magazine advertisements, they asked? Why not use customization to drive subscribers to online content tailored specifically for them? Why not use these tools to create more effective and measurable marketing campaigns? The two men put their heads together and began to change the rules of print advertising.