There’s no mistaking it: inkjet’s impact on the printing market is not slowing down and it continues to have an impact on all aspects of the industry. We can see inkjet heads jetting onto traditional substrates—such as paper and plastics—but it also has been moving into other areas—from foil to wood and ceramics.
Production inkjet devices, however, have helped to accelerate the analog-to-digital transition for many in the commercial print market. Because of this, we see equipment and supplies manufacturers making huge investments in the creation of variable data and ink/substrate range compatibility expansion. Take, for instance, the recent announcement by Canon Solutions America (CSA) of its new Inkjet Media catalog and media lab. CSA invited its media partners to help develop a global, vendor-neutral inkjet media catalog. Each participating mill submitted media that best represent their capability with inkjet platforms.
The new catalog was available to customers and mills in February. To allow for one-to-one comparison, each printed sample uses the same artwork—a collage of images that demonstrates print quality across shadows, facial tones, logo colors, text, reverse print and more—which highlights the performance and unique value proposition of each sheet.
Additionally, the new media lab in Boca Raton, FL, provides CSA the ability to work with more mills to test more sheets with more inks much more quickly. Product teams now can test several different types of ink and media, optimizing product performance and helping media partners bring products to market faster.
In this issue of Inkjet’s Age, you will be able to see how other manufacturers are continuing to invest in the production inkjet market—from equipment to supplies—and how print service providers are implementing it into their businesses and reaping increased growth and revenues. IT Strategies’ Marco Boer also provides an update on the production inkjet market, detailing some of the trends and opportunities for 2014 (see page 26).
And be sure to check out the newly updated “Digital and Inkjet” channel on MyPRINTResource.com for continuing updates on the digital print and production inkjet markets throughout the year.