Over at the Onyx booth, I had the opportunity to sit down with Keven Murphy (new president, moving over from Oce) and Danielle Mattiussi (director of product marketing) to see what was new. Most of our discussion revolved around JDF and the new JDF standard that was under development with the CIP4 wide-format subgroup. It will be interesting to see this standard finally take hold in the wide-format market—a market that has traditionally not had any standards in regards to color management or workflow. For the commercial printers, the JDF standard is something they've been looking for since it has already been in place in the market there for many years. I see this as another step in the maturity of the wide-format industry as it moves from a craftsman mindset to one based on manufacturing (marked by the moves to automation and more efficient production). Look for more on this in the coming year.
Durst's VP of marketing Chris Howard took us on a brief—but very interesting discussion—about the Durst Rho 1000 and how Durst was positioning itself as a "boutique industrial printer"—building printers to order and providing digital solutions to industrial markets (i.e. ceramic, flooring, textile decoration). Through the use of digital print, Durst has really changed the way some of the manufacturing markets (i.e. ceramic tile) have some to market with some of the larger ceramic tile manufacturers replacing the older technology with the Gamma printer in-line.
The popularity of the Rho 500 and the Gamma (for ceramic tile printing) has also led to the expansion of one of their facilities. While some trends they are observing are more social (globalization and connectivity) there are five specific trends to the wide-format market that they feel has had a driving influence market development: green/sustainability, technical developments, price pressure vs. high-quality demand, new applications, and more efficient production process.
HP has several big announcements during the opening day of SGIA including the release of three new printers from the Scitex division. The new GM of Scitex, Xavier Garcia, opened the pres conference with some overviews of the signage market. According to Garcia, the signage market currently stands at 6.2B sqft of signage a year, but only 33 percent is currently produced via digital means—leaving quite a bit of opportunity for PSPs. He also reported that the signage market is also growing 11 percent CAGR (2010-2015). Of the many markets within this segment, retail signage shows some of the highest potential for growth. Decoration (digital interior market) and packaging were also two other market segments that show high potential for growth on the digital side.
Other trends: 67 percent of PSPs report shortening runs 3x the number of jobs for the same volume two years ago Jobs have decreased from 10,000 to 20,000 copies to 1,500 copies More than 40 percent of PSPs report an increased demand for QR codes and VDP.
The "Cloud" is changing the market and the way PSPs do business. It's not just about B2B anymore. It's not B2C. It's also about managing services from a variety of locations instead of one centralized hub. This is enabled through the "Cloud" as well.
New products: Scitex FB7600 (replacing the FB7500) features multi-sheet loader and new FB225 (replacing FB221) ink. Available after November 1. Scitex XP2500/XP5500 (replaces the XP2300/XP5300 respectively) The new ink (FB225) is GreenGuard certified, Fogra39 compliant, and can be used for Pantone color matching.