Mark Smith

Mark Smith
drupa 2012 : Inkjet and B2 Digital Trend

Characterizing drupa 2012 as another inkjet show is too limiting to capture the broader digital printing focus of the developments announced. Nanographic Printing, liquid-toner presses and hybrid offset-inkjet configurations where every bit as prominent, and the B2 format dominated the product introductions.

Commercial Printing Outlook : New Year, Similar Outlook

Looking ahead to 2012, it seems as 
 if the commercial printing industry, the country as a whole and even the global economy have been cast in a sequel to the Bill Murray movie that nobody wanted to see made—Groundhog Year. The first draft of the script for the coming year reads much like it did for the past two years.

Graph Expo Review: Digital Printing & Workflow - Inkjet Is the New Heavy Iron

Wide- and grand-format printers really stood out around the show floor, with the size of some devices giving them the impression of being the new “heavy iron” in the industry. Even the new crop of inkjet presses for high-volume page production was overshadowed a bit by their wider brethren, as fewer vendors elected to bring machines to Chicago.

On Demand In Transition

The On Demand Conference and Exposition in Washington, DC, felt more like a conference with an exhibit hall, rather than a trade show with an education track. Much of the show floor had the feel of the tabletop displays at Seybold Conferences.

Getting a Head in the Game

Differences in the inkjet imaging systems now being employed can have an impact—to varying 
degrees and relative to each other—on head cost, failure rate and cleaning/maintenance requirements; substrate flexibility; print resolution; color saturation; print width; and more. It doesn't quite rise to the level of an apples to 
oranges comparison, but the technology has very distinct flavors.

Hybrid Production : Mix and Match Printing

Hybrid print production, or the integration of digital and offset printing, can take multiple forms and be defined in different ways. Examples include digital imprinting of preprinted offset shells, running inkjet heads in-line with a web offset press or binding line, and building a common workflow for processing files output to a digital press and computer-to-plate system. (Includes Web-only sidebar and bonus video content.)

Commercial Printing Outlook : Healing Light Cast on 2011

With the dawning of 2011 on the horizon, the business outlook had already turned brighter, even before the outcome of the November elections buoyed the spirits of the business community. "The bias of the U.S. economy is that it wants to grow," observes Ron Davis, Ph.D., and Printing Industries of America's (PIA) chief economist and vice president.

Graph Expo 2010: Digital Printing & Workflow - Joining the Jet Set Crowd

Drupa 2008 has claim to the label, but calling this the Inkjet Graph Expo was even more apt because the technology accounted for much of the printing equipment running on the show floor. That's, of course, factoring in the large number of wide- and superwide/grand-format inkjet printers on display.

Getting Production to Flow

JDF's potential is yet to be realized, but there is another pathway for integrating MIS and production—shop floor data collection and direct machine interfaces (DMIs).

Driven to Succeed Online

Mimeo.com went from being a business model on paper to an online print provider with more than 450 employees and nearly 300,000 square feet of manufacturing space spread across three strategically located production facilities.

Forecasting a U-turn

In the vernacular of economists, the outlook is for the United States to continue seeing a "U"-shaped recovery from the Great Recession. While the economy has bottomed out and the decline stopped, there will be a wide and slow up-slope to the recovery, such as it is.

Seeking Workflow Oneness

The workflow concept is being extended even further to achieve a continuum of production capabilities that can span from digital (toner and ink-jet, including wide-format) through sheetfed and web offset printing. This means having an integrated workflow that can feed all of the printing platforms, as well as implementing color management and having substrates available to “match” the printed results across the board.

Exhibitors Cop an App-itude

In the digital arena, putting
 greater emphasis on applica-
 tions and business development tools has been a growing trend among trade show exhibitors for some time. PRINT 09 kicked it up more than a notch, as the current business climate had exhibitors reducing their outlay by displaying less equipment and responding to the greater focus at printing operations on cutting costs and building sales.

Media Days — Get Ready to PRINT

NORMALLY, THE point of comparison for PRINT 09 would be the 2005 show and maybe Drupa 08, but attendees will find the show floor more akin to Graph Expo 08 in terms of the number of exhibitors and the makeup of their booths. The Graphic Arts Show Co. (GASC) has taken an unprecedented step to maximize the amount of equipment on hand by offering exhibitors a stimulus program to offset most of their setup costs.

Transpromo Printing — The Message Is the Medium

The printing industry seems to keep looping back a year when it comes to certain major developments. This is particularly true for digital printing, come variable data, which was the “next big thing” in the industry for about a decade before the adoption rate even started to approach the robust expectations.