Interprint bolsters its cut sheet digital fleet with a duo from Ricoh
For over 25 years Interprint in Swindon has concentrated on building a detailed understanding of its clients’ print needs, and as such has moved with technology to diversify its plant and production to provide its customers with a one stop shop combination of litho, digital and sign and display printing solutions.
Digital print is the fastest growing sector of its business, and to cope with the demand for a wide variety of general commercial print work the firm has recently added two new Ricoh Pro C9110s to bolster its existing Ricoh fleet of digital printers.
The Ricoh Pro C9100 series are especially suited to larger commercial printers seeking to expand their hybrid digital and offset workflow and, says Ricoh, can be easily integrated into existing operations.
According to Interprint’s managing director Andrew Hatcher, the company is taking another substantial leap ahead in terms of technology, increasing its digital flexibility, productivity and quality. “Four years ago, we had no digital offering and after introducing our high quality ethics into the digital arena, demand for our services snowballed year on year,” he says. “These new durable presses can amply cope with high volumes and improve on quality and flexibility, while returning high margins. Our clients are already engaging with us on the new innovations that these presses offer, such as the 700mm banner option.”
Print services providers seeking to expand the services they provide to clients will be able to take on a wide range of new commercial applications with the Pro C9100 series’ capability to print onto uncoated, textured and coated media from 52gsm to 400gsm, duplex banner sheet printing up to 700mm and even speciality media such as super-gloss, magnet, metallic, transparent or synthetic. This allows them to quickly extend their expertise to include light packaging, direct mail, books, promotional materials, brochures and business cards.
The C9100 also looks good for PSPs with a demand for fast turnaround performance, with speeds up to 130ppm, a maximum monthly volume of up to one million A4 sheets and a duty cycle of 1.75 million A4 sheets.
BBC Dr Who wallpaper license has Blag Dog reaching for the stars
Black Dog Digital Print has installed its second Xeikon digital print engine to expand productivity as the Hertfordshire commercial printer looks to broaden its service offering into new markets after gaining a licence for the printing of Dr Who themed wall coverings from the BBC.
The company is an early UK pioneer in digitally printed wallpaper due in part to the “any length” production capability of the Xeikon digital press.
Following its BBC license, Black Dog has also developed strong connections with a number of designers who specialise in bespoke and designer wallpaper products.
Managing director Steve Winn believes that this product is still in its infancy: “As a business we saw the potential in this area very early in our digital life, and have certainly received significant interest in production of both bespoke murals as well as the Dr Who themed wall coverings. However, it really is still very much undiscovered. We are convinced there is a lot more potential in the sector, and we are keen to further exploit the potential of the Xeikon technology in this market.”
With regard to the format aspect of its approach, Winn adds: “Xeikon does give us a real edge with regard to the size of job that we can run on the press – anything up to B2 poster sized work can be printed on our presses, as well as substrates of virtually any length.”
On the second Xeikon unit, Winn believes this pushes the company further up the chain in the digital production league. “It gives us significantly more flexibility and provides further production capability alongside the original machine. Two presses mean less frequent media changes, as well as the obvious advantage of being able to focus on one longer-run job while the second press handles the more immediate short-run tasks,” he says.
Regular throughput for Black Dog Digital Print includes a wide range of agency and general commercial work. The Black Dog team of six personnel is focused on fast and efficient turnaround of work, with an internally developed digital job progress board steering operators through the vast range of jobs in hand.
Old dogs, new tricks...
Packaging designer, kitchen company, artist, photographer, litho printer – which is the odd one out? The litho printer because everyone else was in evidence at Sign & Digital UK this year. There were litho printers present, but they were thin on the ground as the show added a good sprinkling of non-conventional printers, or businesses that happen to need print rather than who are print businesses.
And these are the companies that are going to be the consumers of print, if commercial printers and others can get to them and persuade them to continue using outside printers rather than buying equipment for themselves. Only we are not optimistic about any rush of commercial printers looking to capitalise on this opportunity.
It had a taste of the early days of desktop publishing when suddenly everyone with a Mac and Wordperfect could become a publisher. Now everyone can buy a large format inkjet press and become their own printer.
The conversations were all about how to print with different materials and on to different surfaces: someone wanting to print on aluminium, someone on doors as well as the normal range of papers, films and plastics. Suppliers are catering for this: Canon had a recipe book for Arizona users, showing applications from the 4,000 plus customers from around the world. It’s knowledge sharing and inspiration at the same time and there is information too about finishing treatments needed, the bed of a pinball table printed on plywood, but then with several layers of protective lacquer to finish it.
The proliferation of flatbed printers and plotters seemed greater than in previous years, a sign that this is becoming a sector for professionally run businesses that operate in this way. Is this a result of the shake-up caused by recession winnowing the weaker companies out and encouraging those remaining to think more carefully?
If so that level of thinking about customers rather than technology has largely passed commercial printers by. Had they been serious about understanding the whole variety of types of print that their existing customers want to buy, there would have been more commercial printers stalking the aisles. As it was the way is clear for large format printers to fill this gap – provided the customers don’t elect to do this for themselves.
Clicks Print orders a second LumeJet S200 within six months of the first
The firm has been steadily building new, high margin, revenue streams from clients looking to take advantage of the unit’s ability to deliver differentiated and value-adding marketing and point of sale materials.
“The LumeJet’s high quality output has been extremely well received by our customers,” says managing director Alan Rigglesford. “We are seeing a diverse range of applications from customers who want to differentiate their brands in an increasingly competitive marketplace. The output from the LumeJet compliments our wide range of large and small format digital printers and allows us to offer a very full range of print services - regardless of run length, quality and cost.”
The LumeJet S200 is perfect for producing A3 landscape layflat books, panoramas, professional portfolios, architectural presentations and pitch books, exclusive property and real estate promotions, designer look books, luxury brands, corporate publications, wedding albums, fine art, exhibition printing, book jackets and personal publishing.
“The LumeJet will effectively ‘print anything,” says Rigglesford. “This means that the traditional restrictions of ‘designing for print’ can be cast aside in the design process allowing for a truly unrestricted creative approach to meeting a customer’s vision and requirements in a compelling and innovative way.”
Drupa moves to three-year cycle due to Internet and digital technologies
Drupa has announced it will now switch to a three-year cycle after 2016, when it runs from 31 May to 10 June, and has also been shortened from its usual 14 day cycle to just 11 days.
“The entire print process chain has changed radically because of the Internet and digital technologies,” says Claus Bolza-Schünemann, Chairman of the Drupa Advisory Board. “New applications and solutions are developing and opening up new fields of business. At the same time, there is more focus on innovative technologies, such as 3D printing, printed electronics and functional printing. It’s more important than ever before that our customers have an overview of the latest technology and are also inspired to use new business models and solutions. Drupa is the only specialist trade fair in the world to offer this– and will do so every three years in the future.”
Subsequent to this announcement, while searching for Drupa related information on YouTube, we came across this ‘amusing’ self-subtitled Hitler rant parody taken from the excellent 2004 movie Downfall. The movie has become globally famous, but only for the scene where Hitler loses control. Facing certain defeat, the increasingly unhinged leader prepares for the end, thereby giving life to a viral phenomenon of self-subtitled YouTube videos on topics as diverse as social media, comic book heroes, why there will be no camera included on the iPod Touch, and even Frank Lampard signing for Inter. This one is wittily titled “Drupa - has only got one hall!”
All we know is that this was obviously posted by somebody who knows a thing or two about how difficult it is to be selling exhibition stand space in the modern graphic arts sector. Be warned that the subtitled ‘translation’ in the video clip below contains explicit language.
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