Category Archives: Digital printing

drupa sure does look different

This is my fourth drupa and, reflecting back to my first show in 2000, I’m impressed at how much things have changed with Fujifilm. In 2000, the Luxel Saber P-9600 green (YAG) platesetter was one of the booth highlights. Compare that to today, when one of the most impressive aspects of the booth is the amount of packaging-related products and solutions.

When you take into consideration the various products and samples on display, approximately 30% of the booth falls into the packaging category. It’s significant to note, especially when you consider that at drupa 2008, when Fujifilm featured the J Press 720, packaging wasn’t even in our product line-up.

The J Press F (provisional name with “F” standing for Folding Carton) is the first product attendees see when walking into Hall 8b, and it’s the entry into the Package Print Zone. Based on the J Press 720, the J Press F features FUJIFILM Dimatix SAMBA™ 1,200 x 1,200 dpi, single-pass inkjet print heads and also prints at a speed of 2,700 sheets per hour. The device utilizes newly developed water-based Fujifilm UV ink, has a maximum sheet size of 750 x 530mm (29.5” x 20.8”), and can accommodate stock up to 24 pt. board. The J Press F will be released in FY’13.

The FLENEX DLE system and Acuity LED 1600 are also in the Package Print Zone. The DLE (direct laser Imageengraving) system includes FUJIFILM Workflow XMF (that will connect to any workflow), the platesetter and rinse unit, which are displayed on the main aisle and attracting a lot of attention. DLE is a simple two-step process system: laser imaging and rinsing, especially compared to the conventional seven-step LAM (laser ablation mask) process. As a result, DLE reduces hours of platemaking labor as well as equipment (UV exposure frame, processor and dryer) and the end results are substantial cost savings and superior print quality. The FLENEX DLE was launched at drupa, and will be featured at Label Expo in Chicago this September.

There are two Acuity LED 1600 devices running live in the booth, with one in the Package Print Zone. ImageFeaturing print samples for packaging applications, the LED 1600 is a Fujifilm-driven technology. The key components of the device are the Fujifilm ink, the print heads and the LED curing system. Customers visiting the Acuity LED 1600, section of the Package Print Zone are impressed with the packaging application and it’s creating a lot of interest.

– Peter Vanderlaan

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Filed under Digital printing, Flexo, Fujifilm, J Press 720

A new breed of printer?

Last week we talked about how digital printing is changing the face of our industry; how its growth is being fueled by the changes in the demands for print.

It’s becoming more and more common to hear rallying cries like “Save Print” and “Print Lives;” we’re even seeing hashtags such as #HelpPrintThrive and #PrintChat trend on Twitter.

But, I wonder, is print really dying or is it just changing? Morphing into something else? We’ve heard a lot about page counts and run lengths decreasing, but we also hear about end over end growth of wide format and higher price tags for personalized pieces.

So then, are we simply seeing a new generation – or even species – of printer? One that has its DNA rooted in digital printing? At last week’s PODi AppForum in Las Vegas, about 400 of these new breeds gathered and discussed everything from integrating cross-media services and email marketing best practices to building an online print business and (gasp) implementing social media. These are not the topics that we hear traditional printers talk about, and it’s indicative of where our industry is headed.

It used to be that to define oneself as a printer typically meant having a 40” 5-color press in your shop. And then we saw these printers begin to carve out niches – one might add digital printing, another may get into wide format, and still another may do both. As the industry evolves, though, is the definition of a traditional printer going to change? Are those long-run jobs on a 40” press going to become the niche rather than the norm?

What do you think?

– Peter

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Filed under Digital printing

Nice to meet you.

Hi…and welcome to Pixels, Dots & Spots. Here we’ll share our thoughts and opinions on the ever-changing graphic arts industry as well as let you in on the latest news and information from Fujifilm. Our goal with Pixels, Dots & Spots is simple: a conversation. We’d like to know what you’re thinking, to hear about challenges you’re experiencing in your business, and to celebrate your successes. So, bookmark this blog, email it to friends and colleagues or add your RSS feed, and let’s talk.

You’ll also see customers in the spotlight from time to time and we’ll highlight challenging print jobs, share real world best practices, and talk about social media’s impact, both in our personal and business lives.

It’s a fortunate coincidence that we’re launching our blog now, as we’re currently attending and sponsoring PODi AppForum , a conference dedicated solely to digital printing. This year’s conference promises to deliver the inside scoop on how printers are successfully incorporating digital printing in their shops and aims to share real-world stories and advice.

As we all know, digital printing – and specifically inkjet printing – is triggering some of the largest changes this industry has witnessed in decades. The technology has made incredible strides in recent years, both in terms of quality and speed. And, for a growing portion of the work, it’s proving to be a more cost-effective option than traditional offset printing.

Let’s have a look at the marketplace as it is today:

  • 35% of print jobs today consist of 250 pieces or less
  • Between 40-70% of B2 jobs are less than 2,000 sheets
  • Value-added services (such as variable data printing) are more profitable than originally predicted
  • By 2014, the number of pages printed digitally is predicted to increase by 11% each year

This is a change we anticipated some time ago and it’s driven a large part of our company’s R&D over the last several years. It prompted our acquisition of both FUJIFILM Dimatix and FUJIFILM Imaging Colorants, and brought about the development of the FUJIFILM Digital Inkjet J Press 720. Introduced in the U.S. at Graph Expo in October 2010, the J Press 720 is, we believe, the future of commercial printing and is a solution for an area of the market where most printers struggle to compete and where a majority of print jobs reside.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not implying that inkjet printing will replace offset completely, but we are entering a phase where print runs are getting shorter and printers need a more cost-effective way to manage the jobs – both short and long run – that come through their shops.

During PODi AppForum, we’re anxious to hear more about how printers are using digital printing technologies now and how they anticipate it affecting their operations in the future. So, whether you attended the conference or not, let us know what you think and what type of impact you see these two technologies having on our industry.

Until next time….

Todd


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Filed under Digital printing, J Press 720