Blogs

2020: It’s Time to Embrace Change

Successful print service providers understand that change is mandatory and embrace it. As 2020 approaches, developing strategies that incorporate market changes will be vital to print providers’ success. Here are the top trends that will yield the most influence for service providers of all types and sizes.

Who Are the Largest Commercial Printers?

Printing Impressions' annual compilation of the 400 largest printing companies, as ranked by annual sales volume, serves as a microcosm of the key trends and market dynamics that are impacting the graphic arts industry.

Are Your Digital Presses and Print Servers a Security Risk for Cybercrime?

EFI and its digital press partners will continue to advance internal security features and to provide tools and services to help digital printer users set and maintain the appropriate printing cybercrime security levels for their operations.

Other Staff Bloggers
Business Management

Successful print service providers understand that change is mandatory and embrace it. As 2020 approaches, developing strategies that incorporate market changes will be vital to print providers’ success. Here are the top trends that will yield the most influence for service providers of all types and sizes.

Printing Impressions' annual compilation of the 400 largest printing companies, as ranked by annual sales volume, serves as a microcosm of the key trends and market dynamics that are impacting the graphic arts industry.

Finding and hiring staff is an ongoing challenge for in-plants and other print service providers. New research indicates that creative methods of retention, such as in-house training programs, are critical to attracting and retaining skilled workers.

Production Inkjet

Offering print providers the ability to create surprising, innovative printed products, the new PX3000 UV inkjet press increases “wow" factor and speeds delivery, while at the same time controlling costs, even as customer SKUs increase. PRINTING United Booth 10564 and 9344.

We asked in-plants which new products and services would be fueling their growth over the next few years. The responses were surprising.

Kemal Carr, president of Madison Advisors, recaps the excitement of the sixth annual Inkjet Summit that took place in April. He also gives some insight into the decision process with three things to consider before making an inkjet investment.

Workflow/Web-to-Print

Offering increased RIP speeds of up to 400% and aiding the image quality on numerous substrates and products including printed textiles, the recently released ONYX 19 sets a new standard in wide-format print production. PRINTING United Booth 6816.

Assisting with marketing efforts can mean expanding outside of printing and into email, websites and social media. New software from MindFire enables printing operations to escape the boundaries of print while doing so through single-product integration. PRINTING United Booth 10337.

The revised Alchem-e™ software platform supports high-volume production of customer communications..

Consumables

A new laminate film from Drytac, branded as Polar Chrome, provides an eye-catching, silvery finish for graphics projects. The 3 mm PET product is compatible with numerous ink systems, including solvent, latex and UV cured. PRINTING United Booth 6224.

At the beginning of next year, magazine publishers will be paying about 25% more for paper than they did just 18 months earlier.

Corporations should realize that digital is not welcomed by many customers. Print and paper have key benefits.

Wide-Format Printing

Roland’s new VersaEXPRESS RF-640 8-Color Printer utilizes an eco-solvent ink set and prints at a maximum of 64 inches.

Two new machines — both using Mutoh’s new MS41 Eco-Solvent inks — provide increased ease of use, high-quality printing and high productivity. Both systems offer a maximum print width of 64 inches, and are available in four- and seven-head configurations. PRINTING United Booth 4404.

While the system offers high-quality dye-sublimation printing for numerous graphics applications, the Epson SureColor won for dye sublimation onto metal. Examples include plaques, high-end photo prints and eye-catching signage. PRINTING United Booth 5410, 5610.

Digital Printing

The imagePRESS C850 offers print speeds of up to 85 letter-size images per minute, duplex, long-sheet printing, and can handle heavier, coated or textured stock. The imagePRESS C850 also features in-line finishing options including creasing and trimming. PRINTING United Booth 7016.

The grapevine has been ripe the past weeks, but now the news is finally out. Fujifilm has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the majority holding of Xerox Corporation and will merge Fuji Xerox with Xerox.

In-plants do much more than “just” print. Many provide variable data, text messaging, email and social media services. If customers don’t know this, they may be bringing the print component of campaigns to your in-plant and handing off the other deliverables, to other departments/outside resources. That approach fragments messaging, compromising color consistency and campaign effectiveness.

Sustainability

A new film from LINTEC is applied wet and provides an excellent, print-protecting solution for companies in the graphic, in-plant, and visual communication segments. Made with 80% recycled PET materials, it offers a sustainable option. PRINTING United Booth 5104.

By integrating Two Sides materials into the school's curriculum, the faculty educates Digital Media students on the importance of the paper and print industry and the unique sustainable features of paper products.

Large companies are turning to paper as an alternative to plastic packaging and more packaging suppliers are investing in research to make paper as practical as plastic. Here are some reasons why paper fits into the circular economy model.

In-plant Justification

Every year that I moderate an ideal panel session at the In-plant Printing and Mailing Association conference I get some great ideas from the panelists. This year, the session was called "Winning In-plant Ideas” and featured three healthcare in-plant leaders.

Although the business of higher education continues to be revolutionized by digital technology, print and mail are still very much a part of day-to-day operations. Who should be responsible for producing this print collateral, an in-plant or an outside firm?

I recently moderated a panel discussion by in-plant managers who shared their thoughts about why they are front runners and how they showcase their wins.

Mailing/Postal

The Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, which represents the printing and mailing industries, wants Congress to retain the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act that determines and sets price caps on the Postal Regulatory Commission’s rate-setting process for the U.S Postal Service.

Consumers are so used to the ability to receive paper-based documents that we can’t imagine being deprived of our “right” to have it – but the entitlement isn’t as well grounded as we think.

The USPS has brought back promotions for 2019. Do you have a planned strategy to not only save money on postage, but really stand out?

Binding & Finishing

Broadside accordion folds, or single sheet accordion folds on cover stock, each require scoring in the first section before the right angle fold.

Even the simplest bindery department can be a complicated operation with a mix of post-press machinery, procedures and materials. No matter how well-trained an operator or manager, it's easy to miss something that leads to a mistake. A checklist can prevent mistakes with surprising results.

Nearly all of the successful marketing strategies were inspired by ideas from outside the printing industry.

Sheetfed Offset Printing

This is the time of year when organizations evaluate their current position and start thinking about things that they need to change.

IPG blogger Dwayne Magee takes a trip down printing’s memory lane by sharing an amusing collection of tips for printers.