- State-of-the-art facility to incubate new solutions and ideas
The digital output solutions provider InfoPrint Solutions Company recently took a handful of journalists from India and Malaysia on a visit to their state-of-the-art Print Innovation Centre in Shanghai. Varsha Verma from P&P brings an exclusive coverage of the visit. The event at the Shanghai Print Innovation Centre commenced with a presentation on ‘Opportunities in green printing’ from Joe Czyszczewski, chief sustainability officer, InfoPrint Solutions Company via video conferencing. Joe’s accomplishments include leading InfoPrint’s ISO 14001 environmental certification and Colorado Environmental Leadership Programme Gold Leader Award. He stressed on the need for green printing. He also said that if all the white space in a bill is used for transpromo activities, a lot of paper can be saved in the long run, which otherwise might be consumed for collaterals.
Precision marketing in this day and age – going beyond the buzz word for businesses
Another interesting presentation through video conferencing was made by Lee Gallagher, director of marketing solutions for InfoPrint Solutions Company. He started his presentation by saying that the latest buzz is avoiding irrelevance. “Print is not dead, irrelevance is dead. On an average, we come across atleast 3,000 messages in a day and almost 97 billion emails are sent everyday, of which 97 percent are spam. This is the reason why many consumers these days opt out of email facility as email waste is the fastest growing waste system in the world. As per a Harvard University physicist, a typical search on a desktop computer generates about seven grams of carbon dioxide. Thus, performing two searches is comparable to bringing a kettle to boil. While that may not sound like a lot, the report notes that Google handles about 200 million searches daily. As compared to electronics, paper is more recyclable to the tune of 60 percent while electronics is just 18 percent. Thus, paper may actually be greener than email,” he said.
Lee also said that the magazine industry is not dead; if we integrate the offline and online sales, the growth is very high. Infact, irrelevant communication is going to die. “The concept of ‘spray and pray marketing; has given way to ‘relevant, precise and personalized communication’,” he added.
The company credentials…
Rohan Vaidya, general manager, Asia Pacific South outlined a brief history of the company. InfoPrint Solutions Company, a Ricoh Company, is a leading provider of digital output solutions. “InfoPrint Solutions recently became a wholly owned subsidiary of Ricoh Company Limited on July 1, 2010, bringing its rich heritage and industry-recognized expertise in helping enterprises and print-for-pay customers increase revenue and reduce costs in their highly complex, digital output environments,” he told.
“InfoPrint Solutions combines IBM’s 50 years of enterprise printing experience with Ricoh’s office solutions leadership, placing advanced research and development capabilities at the heart of its solutions. The legacy of two tech giants combined offers industry-leading printing technologies and professional services. With its rich heritage and deep investment, InfoPrint Solutions develops world-class digital output solutions. InfoPrint Solutions offers many hardware, software and professional services solutions targeted to service bureaus, direct mailers, multichannel marketers, data centers, commercial and in-plant printers,” he added.
He particularly emphasized the InfoPrint Automated Document Factory (ADF) solution, which is a fully automated, integrated end-to-end workflow solution that gives control over each printing job. A dashboard and modern user interface allows print shops to instantly view information on a printer’s performance, operator activities and print jobs.
On Indian market…
Rohan briefed that since the year 2005, there has been a lot of consolidation in India in IT sector (telecom, banks, etc). “Data warehousing and data mining solutions were available, but the only piece missing was the print and IBM was one of the prime companies offering it. Today, there are 25-30 print engines from InfoPrint functioning in India, catering to 35-40 percent of the total pages,” he told.
“InfoPrint partners with its clients in four ways – project management, transition services, implementation and roll-out services and ongoing services,” added Rohan.
India’s leading print production facility EIH Press uses InfoPrint Process Director for process automation and cost savings needs. They have installed an IP5000 for the transpromo requirements of the country’s leading telecom player.
POD – the way forward
“In India, 500-1000 copies is good enough number to go for digital while in Malaysia, the number is at 1000-2000 copies,” informed Rohan.
He further outlined a case study of PM Digital Products in Chennai, which is a part of Palaniappa business group, leading book publisher and printer in that region. PM Digital was looking for an on-demand and highly personalized book printing services for three reasons : to avoid stock keeping, to solve the ‘out of press’ issue and increase awareness of personalized communication. They deployed the InfoPrint Pro 1107EX cut sheet, a versatile and compact model to handle multiple print applications in quick turnaround solutions. With this, they are now able to meet all short-run publishing needs and handle these quickly. “It also has a scope for self publishing for small time authors,” he added.
Also, Repro India, the leading exporters of printed books in India, has also gone in for digital. “Their biggest challenge was to match the price. We worked with them to resolve the cost issue efficiently,” he added.
The Shanghai Innovation Centre
The Printing Innovation Center in Shanghai, China, is built on the same lines as Boulder Innovation Center in Colorado and the CoCooN Center - Color Cooperation Network - at Williams Lea in Germany. The center boasts of state-of-the-art capabilities designed to incubate new solutions and ideas, and are focused on encouraging collaboration around next gen printing infrastructure to address current business challenges both locally and globally.
“We keep ourselves more customer-focussed and take our existing and potential customers to come, see and feel about the organization. There, they can look for their specific needs. At our headquarters, we have all possible resources to answer any queries and help them make decisions precisely,” told Rohan.
On answering a query as to what made them to choose China as their centre, Rohan replied that China gives a fairly large business for digital printing, specially the government of China. “The centre is the replica of the centre in US and since we have hired local talent, language is not a problem. Besides, it is just 3-4 hours journey from other countries in Asia-Pacific. And Shanghai being a tourist attraction also made a preferred choice,” he added.
“Indian customers have complex problems and so we take them to our Boulder Innovation Centre where they can listen, consult and partner with our experts. Besides, it helps our R&D team to design and develop customer-centric products. Since the lead time to build a print engine is generally between 7 and 12 years, it is very important to predict the upcoming trends,” he added further.
David Ye, manager, Shanghai Printing Innovation Centre, InfoPrint Solutions Company Asia Pacific, took the journalists on a tour to the centre where the InfoPrint engines were churning out transpromo applications. Well-equipped and well-managed, it was an impressive setup. “We have also designed a café where our customers can sit and relax and hold a discussion. This concept has been well-received by all visitors,” concluded David.
Installing MGI’s Meteor DP60 Pro four-colour multi-substrate digital press along with EnvelopExpress envelope feeder, the US-based Olympus Press has expanded their business into new digital markets. In addition to many traditional applications (brochures, catalogues, labels, etc), the company now offers customers a wide range of applications on plastic and synthetic substrates, such as static cling and signage, along with pocket folders (printed on oversize sheets).
“There are many excellent digital printers in the Seattle market, but we saw an opportunity with the Meteor DP60 Pro to provide a whole new range of digital services,” said Glenn Blue, co-owner of Olympus Press, adding, “The press offers so many unique digital capabilities that were a perfect complement to our existing offset. Our customers are used to a 40” sheet length, and the Meteor DP60 Pro’s extended sheet sizes allowed us to migrate many of those jobs to digital for shorter runs. We also really like the Meteor DP60 Pro’s laser-safe prints, as many of our customers rely on us for their letterhead, envelopes and business cards, which we can now also produce digitally with the same high quality colour output that our customers expect.” The flagship in MGI’s digital line, the Meteor DP60 Pro was also attractive to Olympus Press because of the no click charge philosophy, unique among digital presses.
With several hundred installations worldwide since drupa 2008, the Meteor DP60 Pro is quickly becoming the solution of choice for graphics professionals in a wide range of industry segments, including commercial printers, plastic card manufacturers, in-plants, book printers, photo printers, governments, and envelope printers, among others.
From postage stamps to building, car and train wraps, HP graphic arts portfolio and technology enable today’s corporates reach out to the consumers in the best and the most effective way. Bringing their vision for the future of print technology to Kolkata, Hewlett-Packard, the leader in the imaging and printing industry in India, along with Sunrise Media (HP’s esteemed printing partner) hosted an event ‘Edge - More with Less’ to highlight and showcase the mounting significance and adoption of ‘digital printing’ that HP is driving in India. Businesses now-a-days exist in a highly competitive environment and it is imperative to communicate their existence to the public at large, in a cost-effective manner. Businesses and partners are increasingly using HP print technology to produce everything from personalised merchandise like photobooks, calendars, marketing collaterals to vehicle wraps, labels, floor graphics, etc. Sunrise Media is one of the biggest users of HP’s graphics arts printing solutions as they have the entire gamut of the solutions provided by HP in this space- from HP Indigo to Scitex to Designjet printers. Using HP printing technology, they offer wide range of indoor & outdoor branding solutions to the best of companies across the region, including Vodafone, Nokia, Aircel, Big Bazaar, Titan and Reebok to name a few.
“Digital printing has not been with us for long but the growth in demand for all types of digital print content is burgeoning, though, and may go ten times the 2010 figures in 2012. HP is driving this digital shift in India. By coming together with Sunrise Media to host this platform and showcasing our unique printing solutions, we believe that the customers of this region will see the many advantages and opportunities to empower their businesses,” said Puneet Chadha, director - Graphic Solutions Business, Imaging & Printing Group, Hewlett-Packard India.
The latest addition of HP Indigo press 3500 has helped Sunrise Media offer a range of unique offerings for home consumers as well as businesses that address the latent gaps in the conventional analogue-based printing industry: cost-effective, print-on-demand capability even for single orders, with the fastest turn-around time; variable printing to offer personalised marketing collaterals and mailers for mass outreach; advanced applications such as security printing and spot colour printing; personalized photo-based products such as photobooks, photo calendars, photo post cards and other stationery.
“The Indigo 3500 is a breakthrough combination of price and reliability offering us flexibility, quality and job capability for a wide range of applications that have witnessed growing demand in the market,” commented Siddharth Bhura of Sunrise Media, adding, “We rely on HP print technology that has given us an edge and has helped us expand our service offerings to a larger audience.”
-forays in A0 wide format inkjet printing space, launches Solid Ink technology in India
Aiming to give customers a wide choice of printing solutions and improve efficiency, enhance productivity and reduce overall cost of ownership, Xerox India has become the first company to offer four technology platforms in colour- laser, LED, Solid Ink and inkjet.
As part of these platforms, Xerox launched four colour printers and production equipment, including WorkCentre 7120 multifunction system, ColorQube 9201 / 9202 / 9203 multifunction systems, 7142 and 8264E colour wide format printers. The launch includes Xerox’s patented Solid Ink technology platform, using solid sticks (or blocks) of no-mess, non-toxic ink instead of toner or inkjet cartridges. Enabling to produce incredible colour print quality, Solid Ink is easy to use, cost-effective and environment-friendly.
Unveiling the 7142 and 8264E wide format printers, Xerox also announced its foray in the A0 wide format inkjet printer category. The printers are targeted at the graphic arts community and suited for CAD, GIS applications of architectural or engineering renderings, schematics, mechanical 2D& 3D, solids modeling scientific/medical and GIS/mapping.
“Xerox’s strength has been as a technology innovator having ushered multiple technology revolutions in the printing industry. Today, we create yet another industry milestone by offering four technology platforms under one roof, an industry first giving consumers a wide choice of technologies to choose from,” commented Andrew Horne, managing director, Xerox India, adding “In our Go To Market strategy for 2010, we have focused on providing better value proposition to our customer by broadening the solution offering and focusing on all segments and key verticals such as Corporate, Enterprise, Government, SMB, and Graphic Arts community.”
At Print Expo 2010 in Chennai, the company also showcased seven other products ranging from: Xerox Phaser 8860 colour printer, 4127 with high capacity stacker, WorkCentre 5700 series multifunction system, Docucolor DC 252 with FFPS+OHCF, 700 digital press with EFI, 6279 wide format printer and WorkCentre 7435 multifunction device.
In their annual review of digital printers, ‘Better Buys for Business’ recognised the Kodak NexPress SE platform and the Kodak Digimaster EX digital production systems each with an Editor’s Choice Award. The Digimaster system has earned this award multiple times over the last several years.
The Kodak NexPress SE digital production colour platform with Print Genius provides customers more options and ways to utilize applications generating higher margin. Delivering ground breaking productivity, quality and reliability, users can increase their top and bottom lines, while being able to upgrade presses as they grow their businesses with options to select desired paper capacity, increase processing capability, and add a fifth imaging unit for delivery of spot colour, watermarking, MICR secure printing, and protective coating with the PIA InterTech Award winning Kodak NexPress fifth imaging unit solutions enabling high impact glossing.
The Kodak Digimaster EX digital production system builds upon the proven quality, performance, productivity, and flexibility of Kodak’s award winning Digimaster technology to address the demanding needs of print buyers for faster turnaround time, new and creative print on demand documents with quality and sophisticated finishing. The Digimaster models provide for software and finishing capability that allows the system to function seamlessly in a range of printing, publishing or transactional environments.
During recently concluded book fair in Cape Town, a company from South Africa displayed the innovative personalized story book production with the help of digital printing process.
Books feature the child’s (or adult’s) name, age, three friends names and home town throughout the story. They also contain a personal message from the person giving the book, and are treasured as keepsakes for the rest of the recipients’ life. The print is well spaced for the young reader and all the stories teach sharing and moral values.
In these personalised storybooks a child (or teenager or adult) becomes the hero of his/her very own story. Create-a-Book software magically weaves personal details into any one of a variety of titles. The books are professionally bound in a wipeable hard cover.
Create-a-Book is part of Create-a-Book Inc in Florida USA and is well represented world wide.
Expanding their installation base across the country, the Gurgaon based software solution company, Paper Idea has recently reported three new orders for its RedTie Template (RTT) software, a user-friendly simple solution for ordering marketing collateral, print materials and merchandise online. The new customers included: Avantika Printers, Delhi; Malhotras Printshop and Indus Cards & Gifts, Mumbai. Also, the company installed the Taopix eponymous photobook software at Printwell Offset, a commercial printer based in Ahmedabad.
Meanwhile, the European suppliers of management information system (MIS) products and solutions, Optimus has announced its Indian entry, appointing Paper Idea as the sole Indian distributor for their products. “We are delighted to announce Optimus partnership in India. Optimus MIS adds-up to the many first launches by Paper Idea to bring the best to Indian printers. We are uniquely placed to supply and support potential Indian customers of Optimus with their existing customer base and with new enquiries,” stated Anuj A Mehta, director of Paper Idea. “Coupled with their enthusiasm for innovative and forward thinking software solutions, we look forward to a long and successful relationship with Paper Idea,” added Nicola Bisset, managing director, Optimus Group.
Enabling professional photographers to produce fine-art quality prints or hardcopy image archives, HP recently introduced a large format photo negative application, generated with a free software package and the HP Designjet Z3200 photo printer series. It allows photographers to use a digital file from a film scan or digital capture to produce a photo negative on a transparent substrate. Large format photo negatives can be used as masters to produce high-quality fine art prints in a wide range of classic, alternative photographic processes, including monochrome or colour processes, such as cyanotype, photogravure, platinotypes, dye-transfer, gum bichromate and carbro.
To ensure faster performance in variable data printing, higher throughput during peak production, greater flexibility for inline finishing, and lower costs for full-colour applications, RICOH is offering Pro C900/C900s printing system.
Engineered to provide maximum uptime enabling to consistently deliver jobs on time, the system delivers every document faster with a 90 page-per-minute print engine. This high-speed, high-volume system lets one add capacity, offload work from other systems or migrate jobs to more cost-effective technology—all of which grow revenues.
The Pro C900 delivers high-volume colour printing while the Pro C900s adds built-in scanning, copying and document serving functionality. Both systems offer extensive inline finishing options.
To ensure extremely accurate sheet-to-sheet registration, the RICOH Pro C900/C900s physically adjusts each sheet for skew, position and alignment, and automatically changes rotation speed to compensate for minor differences in timing created by these adjustments. The air-assist feature separates individual sheets to counteract static cling and eliminate multi-feeds, making it easy to run more jobs that require coated media.
The system handles heavy media weights without slowing down, reducing turnaround time for direct mail and variable data printing (VDP) jobs. It enables to navigate through the print controller and programme tasks quickly on the user-friendly, easy-to-read, 10.4-inch colour touch-screen display. The RICOH Pro C900/C900s also offers a choice of print controllers that will align best with the needs depending on the types of jobs and print volume.