Very Exciting Times
This article is written by Mark Bohan, Vice President, Technology and Research at Printing Industries of America.
As has been true for some time, the printing industry is in the throes of changes. The business models are changing with transition of content between different media, while technology innovations are positively impacting the manner in which printed material is produced. It is critical to be aware of these technology changes and the ways in which they will impact your business. Here are my top picks on what technologies you need to be aware of: (watch for this year’s InterTechTM Technology Awards to highlight advances in these areas)
Automated workflows are going through a new renaissance with the introduction of new specifications so files can handle complex variable data and then process them through the facility in the most efficient manner possible. This applies irrespective of the printing process. Increasingly, companies will try to “touch” a file as few times as possible.
Production inkjet technology
This technology is taking inkjet printing to a whole new marketplace, and we are seeing new capabilities monthly, if not weekly. Because this is so new, there will be many business and technical questions and challenges in its implementation.
Wide format inkjet
Wide format inkjet printing continues to expand in use, and is gradually eroding the use of screen printing for signage, point-of-purchase displays, and other uses. Single-pass ink jet is the most exciting development in this area, promising to revolutionize the speed and cost of producing wide-format graphics.
Marketing dollars are continually being challenged, and there is push to show value for the spend that occurs. To help with this there are many new technologies that can link print to other media, such as Web or mobile, including technologies such as QR codes and augmented reality. These can then be used to engage the consumer and provide hard analytics back about the effectiveness and touch points in campaigns.