Variable Data & Digital printing

Konica Minolta’s AccurioPro offers endless operational benefits

With Print service providers (PSP) aggressively engaged in upgrading as well as adding new services and applications to cater to the next generation demands of customers, Workflow automation has become pivotal for seamless and streamlined business operations.

Furthermore printing businesses are also looking for more scalable solutions to meet the varied demands of customers with limited resources. Citing the prevailing scenario in the printing segment, Konica Minolta, the global leader in MFPs and industrial printing solutions has unveiled AccurioPro software platform, offering end to end production automation and integrating the best features of in house and cloud-based software.

The solution is specifically tailored to be modular (pay only for the components needed), flexible (integrates with other common graphic arts software), scalable (supports small-to-large operations), and comprehensive (features beyond prepress to incorporate colour management and finishing).

Workflow automation also helps businesses in better structuring their operations resulting in enhanced outputs and revenue generation.

The solution comprises of three key pillars: JDF interoperability for seamless compatibility with existing commercial workflows like Agfa Apogee, Kodak Prinergy, and Screen Equios; AccurioPro Conductor for centralised and intelligent output management; and AccurioPro Cloud Eye for remote management and administration of colour quality and standards.

Ricoh strengthens its print production workflow with acquisition of Avanti

Leading digital printing machinery manufacturer Ricoh has acquired Avanti Computer Systems Limited, a leading provider of Print MIS (Management Information System) targeted for the production print market. This acquisition enables Ricoh to further expand the value its production print workflow delivers to customers, as well as to help improve management efficiency and productivity of customers in the production printing market.

In July 2013, Ricoh made a strategic investment in Toronto-based Avanti, which established the foundation for this acquisition. Award winning Avanti Slingshot solution is one of the most advanced JDF-certified Print MIS available in the market today. JDF is the industry standard for process automation in pre-press, press and post-press.

This latest Ricoh acquisition continues Ricoh's dedication to providing customers with an unmatched, best-of-breed portfolio that addresses the needs of the production print market, today and tomorrow. Previously, Ricoh acquired MarcomCentral (formerly known as PTI Marketing Technologies Inc.), in December 2014. The acquisition has successfully enhanced the value of Ricoh's Web to Print, Marketing Asset Management, and Variable Data Printing offerings. With the addition of Avanti, the Ricoh portfolio is now able to cover the entire production workflow, including Print MIS. Ricoh is aiming to link the Avanti system not only with the RICOH Pro Series, but also with other company's products, for providing customers with wider solutions.

In addition to production workflow, Ricoh has started to offer marketing workflow services, aimed to further print shops’ value proposition to their end customers. By collaborating with its partner companies, Ricoh also aims to form an industry-leading ecosystem that will continuously provide customers with increased value-added services.

Konica Minolta looks at 2017 as year for further market expansion

Launching new workflow solutions at PRINTPACK India 2017
Despite some shortfalls due to demonetisation over a few months, the year 2016 was a good period for Konica Minolta with a lot of expectations being met and the company is looking ahead to further expand its market in 2017. In an exclusive talk to Print & Publishing, Kuldeep Malhotra, vice president, sales division, Konica Minolta Business Solutions India Pvt Ltd, points out some key areas of development in terms of new products and market expansion. The pinch of demonetisation has slowed down business in all parameters, affecting almost every single segment of the printing industry. Konica Minolta feels it too! “Among our clients being affected largely by the demonetisation are those copy shops as well as the commercial printers,” says Kuldeep Malhotra, adding that they have observed a record decline in volume of productions at these establishments. Root cause, according to him, was due to insufficient cash flow in the market during the festive seasons, such as Christmas and New Year.

When enquired about the current investment mood of their customers, Kuldeep explains that people in the industry are now keeping their investment plans on hold, but not totally withdrawn. “No doubt, they are waiting for the market to get settled down. Hopefully the government will recuperate the situation by Q4,” he perceives, monitoring the fact that the market is now recovering bit by bit.

Gaining new momentum

Kuldeep MalhotraKonica Minolta has recently penetrated into the industrial printing segment in a stronger manner with the introduction of new production machines, such as bizhub PRESS C71cf, a digital production label press. “When we look at the growth perceiving in this segment over the last nine months, it is found that Konica Minolta has achieved more than 15 percent market share,” mentions Kuldeep. He says the C Series production presses from the company have increasingly been adopted all over the country. “bizhub PRESS C71cf is now increasingly demanded in the photo album market, which is a segment where people still keep investing, despite the demonetisation.”

“The fact is that when we compare Konica Minolta production machines to their market competitors, our machines are comparatively low in investment; users easily get ROI just within 16-18 months. I think this is the best part of our machines and a big reason why people keep increasingly looking at our products,” remarks Kuldeep. He further says more than a dozen of leading label printers in India have been impressed by the unique features of the recently introduced bizhub PRESS C71cf.

Fresh impetus in 2017

bizhub PRESS C71cf Apart from the company’s robust presence in metros, Konica Minolta is gearing up for a market expansion, eyeing fresh footprints in tier II and III cities. “Our internal team in coordination with the regional partners has been aggressively working to expand our footprints in the regional domains which we have not yet properly penetrated,” mentions Kuldeep, adding that they are planning to strengthen the footprints of their channel partners countrywide.

MGI JETvarnishPRINPACK India 2017, according to Kuldeep, will be a platform to present the company’s complete range of industrial presses, portraying a fresh impetus for innovations Konica Minolta could reveal for the year 2017. The showcase from the company at the expo will exclusively include its print finishing system, MGI JETvarnish, which is a high-end 3D digital spot UV coater, now being installed in three leading printing firms in India.

To be introduced new at PRINTPACK India 2017 from Konica Minolta is a set of workflow solutions. Referring to the new launch, Kuldeep says big copy shops and commercial printers these days are in need for good workflow solutions designed for perfect colour control, cloud computing, web-to-print, etc. In response to this, Konica Minolta has set to unleash the ideal solutions at PRINTPACK India 2017 to be organised from February 04-08 at India Expo Centre, Greater Noida, Delhi-NCR.

New cloud-based web DMS solution from Konica Minolta

Konica Minolta has recently launched e-bizVAULT, a cloud based web DMS (Document Management System) solution which furnishes all the benefits of a DMS in a cloud environment for enterprises.

e-bizVAULT protects an organisation against data loss, system failure and as well as unauthorised system access. Furthermore it is also accessible on a notebook, in the organisation’s network, over the web, in the cloud or in a smart-phone as well as a tablet, ensuring maximum agility for a business. The solution also eliminates the need for setting up servers or configuring applications for a business, reducing expenditures significantly.

e-bizVAULT comes as a boon not only to cloud friendly organisations (Cloud Email/CRM users), but also to small workgroups or SMB enterprises with no in-house IT infrastructure, as well as for organisations that are distributed geographically with poor or no WAN connectivity.

Expressing his delight on the launch, Yuji Nakata, managing director, Konica Minolta India, said, “We at Konica Minolta believe that our affordable solution shall accelerate cloud adoption to usher in the next IT revolution in India. e-bizVAULT is a perfect offering for organisations eying a scalable and secure DMS solution over the cloud to fetch more agility and operational efficiency. It will also help businesses reduce their operating expenditures significantly.’’

Heidelberg showcases the power of 4D printing system!

Custom-printed and therefore distinctive suitcases, motorcycle helmets, or ice hockey sticks, overhead luggage bins in airplanes designed with different motifs, and much more – Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) presented these applications in cooperation with well-known brand owners at InPrint 2016, which took place from November 15-17 in Milan. The possibility of customizing high-quality, mass-produced items – and as a result addressing consumers and customers in a very personal way – opens up attractive, new and profitable business models for manufacturers of branded goods and industrial manufacturers.

This is made possible by Heidelberg’s so-called 4D printing technology and the new Omnifire 1000 for custom printing on three-dimensional objects of any shape and various materials. The company debuted the system at InPrint 2016, and in so doing significantly increased the spectrum of printable objects and surfaces. The new development complements the Omnifire 250 range already established on the market, providing users with a cost-effective way of realizing sophisticated personalization concepts. “What we are presenting is the customized future. Consumers today expect personalized, one-of-a-kind products. Manufacturers need an efficient and flexible industrial production process for this. That is precisely what 4D technology from Heidelberg offers with its Omnifire 250 and 1000 digital systems,” says Jason Oliver, Head of Digital at Heidelberg.

Automotive supplier Ritzi Lackiertechnik as the pilot user of the Omnifire 1000

Heidelberg has convinced automotive supplier Ritzi Lackiertechnik GmbH based in Germany, the first pilot user, of the merits of the Heidelberg Omnifire 1000. Ritzi specializes in innovative surface finishes of high-quality construction elements, such as trim strips, switches, dashboards and other finished components, for various automotive manufacturers. For this, the company uses different methods and technologies. Ritzi is planning to integrate the Omnifire 1000 into its industrial production process to custom print and thus enhance both series parts and after-sales parts with a variety of colored patterns. First concrete projects with automotive manufacturers are already scheduled. “We spent a long time searching for a solution that would allow us to meet the exacting requirements of our customers for custom decoration of passenger compartment accessories in a cost-effective way in terms of quality, flexibility and cost. In Heidelberg we have found a partner that can supply us with an attractive overall package of innovative technology and matching service with the Omnifire 1000,” said Günter Ritzi, managing director of Ritzi Lackiertechnik.

Heidelberg driving digitization and further expanding its digital printing portfolio

With the presentation of the Heidelberg Omnifire 1000, the company is implementing its announced digital strategy and gradually expanding its portfolio. Heidelberg already made the digitization of the industry and digital printing the focus of its trade fair presence at drupa 2016 with the presentation of the Smart Print Shop. With the Heidelberg Primefire 106 shown there, the company presented the first digital printing system for customized production of printing applications in 70x100 format, in cooperation with its development partner, Fujifilm. “The digitization of the printing industry and the enhancement of digital printing are the clear trends and main growth drivers in our industry. We have systematically geared our strategy towards this and are driving digitization so that our customers can succeed in the market in the future also,” says Stephan Plenz, Member of the Management Board responsible for Equipment at Heidelberg.

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