Key Trends in the Pressroom

What are some of the key trends in the printing arena? And how are leading vendors answering those trends?

The Show Daily checked in with several exhibitors at PRINT 13 to find out. Digital technology is at the hub of the trends impacting print production.

The commercial printing industry is undergoing a transformation, where the total number of printed pages is decreasing yet the number of individual print jobs is increasing, and as the amount of online content grows exponentially, notes Francois Martin, Worldwide Marketing Director, Graphics Solutions Business, HP (Booth 1241).

The trends within printed communication—print on-demand, reducing inventories with shorter print runs, and Web-to-print — are making printed content a flexible communication medium, says Martin. VDP allows for higher value printed pieces with personalization and versioning, making communication more meaningful when email is less effective.

“The commercial print industry is transitioning to digital solutions as PSPs seek to offer flexibility in a world where content is fluid,” says Martin.

The B2-format HP Indigo 10000 Digital Press, on display at PRINT 13 and available worldwide, maintains all the capabilities distinct to the HP Indigo portfolio in a wider format, while providing the flexibility and quality that customers need to produce any commercial job. Using the Enhanced Productivity Mode and liquid ElectroInk technology, the HP Indigo 10000 produces offset quality prints, even at top speeds.

One of the key trends for printers is finding ways to add value to print. MGI’s (Booth 3213) toner and inkjet product lines allow printers to offer capabilities that allow them to stand out from their peers and generate new profit potential.

Its Meteor digital presses print on a wide range of papers and synthetics plus envelopes, in sheet sizes up to 13x40" in production with no click charge. These capabilities make new applications like oversize book covers, eight-page brochures, posters, plastic cards, specialty items, and full color envelopes possible.

The JETvarnish 3D inkjet spot UV coater gives printers a dual set of digital tools to maximize profitability and differentiate from their peers—traditional spot UV coating and 3D raised effects. With a maximum sheet size of 20.5x42", the 100% digital JETvarnish 3D features spot UV coating as thin as three microns at speeds up to 3,000 20x29" sph, plus new 3D raised effects up to 100 microns in thickness.

From RISO’s (Booth 544) perspective, the most significant trend is an increasing demand for inkjet systems that print full color at lower costs, with accessories to meet an ever-increasing variety of demands, states Christine Tournas, Marketing Specialist.

Inkjet technology, such as RISO’s ComColor X1 series, piezoelectric, oil-based ink technology, is reliable when combined with RISO’s Heatless Imaging Technology, allowing for control over the imaging process at up to 150 ppm, and successfully yielding a low cost per print, says Tournas.

Since 80% of all printed output is mailed, with productivity as a key factor, the flat, cold, and dry output of the ComColor X1 series printers virtually eliminates misfeeds and jams in the mail production folding and inserting process. In addition, all its printed output is resistant to moisture, thereby maintaining the integrity of the print.

Because of the popularity of big data, marketers are now able to reach out to more customers, more frequently, and more personally than ever before, says Dawn Nye, Product Marketing Manager, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. (Booth 518).

“As a result of this marketing trend, more small businesses are taking advantage of custom packaging options,” says Nye. “Meeting our customers’ demands means ensuring that our digital printers are able to provide this capability. “

At PRINT 13, Konica Minolta is running Mohawk Paper’s Dimensional line of pre-converted packaging products on its bizhub PRESS C1070 and bizhub PRESS C8000 digital printers. Additionally, its newest color inkjet digital press, the KM-1/IS29, is highlighting several packaging examples.

Metafix (Booth 110) notes that printers will have to find a way to digitize a vital part of their process which has, until now, not yet been digitized: fountain solution.

The Metafix Fountain Solution Control System monitors and reports all key operating parameters for the fountain solution live, while intelligently adjusting its ratio to provide a consistent and repeatable conductivity and improved print quality. Digitizing the fountain solution allows this critical component of print quality to be measured, monitored, and managed.