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Die Druckbranche ist angeblich auf dem Sprung in die Zukunft! Gelingt die Landung?

 

#Think!Paper Edition 2 / Volume 1

Von Andreas Weber, Head of Value, Initiator der Think!Paper-Initiative

Wer sich krampfhaft mit der Zukunft beschäftigt, verliert den Bezug zur Gegenwart!

Prolog

Da kommt vermeintlich Freude auf: „Druck ist die stabilste Währung“, lautet die Erkenntnis vom Print Trend Day 2019, den der Verband Druck & Medientechnik Österreich in Wien organisierte. In bewährter Manier präsentierten Experten Technologie- und Geschäftslösungen von morgen. Die Maßgabe war: Wie macht sich die Druckbranche zukunftsfit? Die Experten sind wie üblich zumeist Vertreter der Lieferindustrie, die auch den Event sponsern. 

Wir lernen: „Die Druckbranche ist [im Schulterschluss von Zulieferern und erfolgreichen Druckereien] bereit für den Sprung in die Zukunft. Die Digitalisierung schafft großartige neue Möglichkeiten, die nun mit vorausschauenden Investitionen und cleverem Marketing ergriffen werden.“

Und auch die „Print Trends zur Zeitenwende“ werden angesprochen: Print-Technologie-Experte Bernd Zipper stellte in Wien klar: „Online, Print, TV, Radio — all das sind Bestandteile des Medienkanons, den wir für unsere Information und Marktwirtschaft dringend benötigen.“

Lichtblick statt nur Ausblick: Heidelbergs Chef Digital Officer Dr. Ulrich Hermann, dynamischer Treiber der digitalen Transformation des Branchenprimus, empfiehlt, sich an den Besten der Branche zu orientieren, um „besser gerüstet für die ständig wachsenden Anforderungen der Kunden“ zu sein. Und er betont: „Print-Medien-Industrie 4.0 bedeutet hochflexible Produktion von individualisierten Druckprojekten, wobei die Druckerei in die digitale Lieferkette des Kunden eingebettet ist“. Das trifft ins Schwarze, kennzeichnet aber die Gegenwart und darf nicht als Zukunftsmusik gedeutet werden.

Gewollt, aber nicht gekonnt?

Warum mäkle ich an einem durchaus ehrenwerten Verbands-Event rum? Nun, er steht symbolisch für eine Vielzahl solcher Events, die mit viel Aufwand für Veranstalter, Redner, Sponsoren und auch fürs Auditorium verbunden sind; und zumeist nicht erfüllen können, was versprochen wird.

Mit Tunnelblick suhlt man sich im eigenen Saft und tauscht sich mit KollegInnen aus, ohne gemeinsam Botschaften zu entwickeln, die Kunden / Nutzer und Prospects von Print-Medien begeistert und ins Gespräch bringen kann. 

Sprich: Es entsteht wenig Nutzen und führt aus meiner Sicht kaum weiter. Denn hinterfragen wir, was eigentlich gemeint sein soll und wie die Gegenwart im Spiegel der sog, Trends aussieht,  kommen wir zu überraschenden Überlegungen, die von Absurdität geprägt sind: 

  • Muss man tatsächlich in die Zukunft ‚springen‘ können oder wollen, zumal diese doch von alleine kommt, selbst wenn man stehen bleibt oder sogar rückwärts läuft?
  • Ist Print tatsächlich eine ‚Währung‘? Wenn ja, was kann man z. B. mit einem exzellent gedrucktem Hochglanz-Prospekt ganz real bezahlen? 
  • Besteht der Medienkanon tatsächlich aus ‚Online, Print, TV und Radio‘? Was ist mit den Boom-Bereichen Blockchain, Streaming, KI, Mobile etc, die bereits im Hier & Jetzt alles auf den Kopf stellen?

Der Schlüssel zum Erfolg: Das Hier & Jetzt begreifen!

Während ich über die digital kolportierten ‚Print Trend Tag 2019’-Resultate sinniere und mich über die Tunnelblick-Mentalität wundere, erfahre ich parallel, was in der Welt tatsächlich wichtiges passiert. Zum Beispiel, dass Amazon quasi aus dem Stand heraus nach Google und Facebook die Nummer 3 im Werbemarkt geworden ist. Mit über 10 Milliarden US-Dollar Umsatz in 2018 und einer gigantischen Wachstumskurve. Das ist fast schon soviel, wie die OTTO Group, die gerade den gedruckten Hauptkatalog beerdigt hat, jährlich an Konzernumsatz erwirtschaften kann. Und weitaus mehr, als die auch international ambitionierten deutschen Großverlage Werbeeinnahmen generieren. So traurig das klingen mag: Print spielt bei dieser Art des profitablen und hochwirksamen Werbegeschäfts keine Rolle.

Ich erfahre auch, dass ein Bollwerk deutscher Finanzkunst wie die Deutsche Bank taumelt und im internationalen Vergleich zum Winzling geworden ist. Im Gegensatz zu N26, einem neuen FinTech-Unternehmen, das Geldgeber begeistert und schon einen Marktwert im mittleren Milliarden-Euro-Bereich verzeichnet. Das meint: Nutzenstiftende Innovation schlägt Tradition. 

Und fast noch spannender erscheint: Ich lerne als neuer Autor und Experte der europaweiten „MoreThanDigital“-Initiative von Benjamin Talin, Zürich, das sich die wissensdurstige Klientel — kleinere und mittlere Unternehmen aller Art, die an Transformation interessiert sind — bis dato mit allem auseinandersetzt, nur nicht mir Print! — Nun, das kann man ‚Zeitenwende‘ nennen, oder?

Meine Empfehlung

Wir sollten uns aktiver, cleverer und ehrlicher mit der Gegenwart auseinandersetzen, die immer Klärwerk und Katalysator für die Zukunft ist. Um die Gegenwart zu begreifen, gehört nämlich, die Vergangenheit richtig einschätzen zu können, um daraus Erkenntnisse für das hier und jetzt zu gewinnen. Damit tut man sich, warum auch immer, in der Print-Branche verdammt schwer. Und über den Tellerrand zu blicken, kann nicht schaden. Aber bitte nicht in der o. g. Form, die Trends verspricht und bisweilen wohlklingend Absurdes liefert.

Mein Resümee

Wer sich krampfhaft mit der Zukunft beschäftigt, verliert den Bezug zur Gegenwart! — Nichts für ungut, sich wie in Wien und anderswo unter Kollegen zu treffen, mag hilfreich sein, ist aber aus meiner Sicht in der geschilderten Form keinesfalls zielführend, um akute Probleme der Gegenwart zu lösen. Ebensowenig wie Zukunftsprognosen, die an anderer Stelle der VDMA als einer der Träger der #drupa2020 Ende des Jahres 2018 publizierte — sinngemäß: auch im Jahr 2040 wird noch gedruckt (!). Das sind für mich wie vieles andere im allzu wirren Trend-Geschehen nichts als teuer erkaufte Nebelkerzen.

Apropos drupa: Irre ich mich oder ist es so still wie nie zuvor um die globale Leitmesse der Print-Medien-Industrie geworden, die doch schon nächstes Jahr stattfinden soll? Schaun wir mal.

Vorher können wir uns bei dem für mich im Jahr 2019 wichtigsten internationalen Event, dem 7. Online Print Symposium (#OPS2019) Anfang April in München, selbst ein Bild machen, ob und welche Trends wirklich relevant ins Feld geführt werden. Und wie sich die Resonanz nach außen entwickelt.


 

Tipp zum Schnuppern

Die Plattform MoreThanDigital zeigt ganz hervorragend, wie man den Wissenstransfer und das Netzwerken rund um Innovation und Transformation im Digitalzeitalter erfolgreich gestaltet. Uns allen aus der Print-Branche ist das Anschauen&Mitmachen sehr zu empfehlen. Die Subskription des Newsletters ist kostenfrei möglich. Die Inhalte sind in deutsch und englisch gefasst.

 

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Über den Autor

Andreas Weber begleitet als Wissensarbeiter/Advisor die Kommunikation mit Medien — geprägt durch eine Vorliebe für Print-Innovationen im Digitalzeitalter. Bis dato hat er über 500 Innovations-/Transformations-Projekten realisiert, diverse Lehraufträge wahrgenommen (u.a an der School of Visual Arts/NYC, Hochschule Liechtenstein, Hochschule RheinMain) und Vorträge in über 30 Ländern gehalten. Sein Blog valuetrendradar.com (ISSN-zertifiziert) inspiriert Entscheider aus mehr als 150 Ländern.

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Print is Big: Impressionen vom neuen Headqarter der größten Online-Druckerei der Welt, CIMPRESS/Vistaprint. 

ValueTrendAnalysis:
Perspektiven in der Wertschöpfung mit Print (Teil 1)

Von Andreas Weber, Head of Value

Durch ValueTrendRadar-Analyse „Perspektiven in der Wertschöpfung mit Print“ liegt erstmals eine umfassende, ganzheitliche Betrachtung des globalen Print-Geschehens vor. Aus gutem Grund liegt ein besonderer Fokus auf Deutschland, da hier die moderne Druckbranche ihren Ursprung fand. Aber auch die globale Sicht kommt nicht zu kurz.

Zum Autor: Seit mehr als 20 Jahren erhält Andreas Weber als Print- und Innovations-Analyst zahlreiche Anfragen zu Print-Themen — nicht „nur“ von international aktiven Investoren, sondern von Wirtschaftsanalysten, aus dem Bankenbereich und von Marktforschern. Zumeist geht es um Produktinnovationen resp. Technikanbieter, neue Verfahrenstechniken sowie die Lage der Druckereien im Allgemeinen. In über 20 international stark beachteten Einzelanalysen hat sich Andreas Weber vor, während und nach der globalen Print-Leitmesse drupa 2016 mit den aktuellen Print-Technik- und Markttrends beschäftigt. — Siehe auch die Zusammenfassung der wichtigsten Ergebnisse der nachfolgenden Analyse..


Vorbemerkung

Anfang September 2016. Das Handy klingelt. Der Anrufer fragt unvermittelt: „Würden Sie ins Geschäft mit Print einsteigen?“ — Meine Antwort: „Ja klar!“ Aus meiner wohl überraschend-spontanen Antwort ergab sich ein intensives, fast einstündiges Gespräch, dessen Ergebnisse hier von mir zu einem umfassenden Einblick zu Print zusammengefasst werden. Angerufen hatte der Chef eines Venture Capital Fonds, mit dem Ziel einen aktuellen, objektiven und umfassenden Eindruck zu Print gewinnen zu können. — Here we are!

Ad 1: Nicht nur an den Börsen, sondern v. a. bei professionellen Investoren ist Print ein zunehmend relevantes Thema. Nicht zuletzt durch Groß-Investitionen bei Print-Technik-Herstellern (HP Inc. übernimmt Druckersparte von Samsung) und (Online-)Druckereien (CIMPRESS übernimmt wir-machen-druck.de ; Bregal übernimmt Mehrheit bei Onlineprinters GmbH / diedruckerei.de).

Last but not least: Die Print-Technik-Traditionskonzerne wie Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA) und Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG verzeichnen in 2016 wieder bessere Aussichten an der Börse, während fast alle auf Digitaldruck-Technik fokussierten Konzerne bei sinkender Marktkapitalisierung über die letzten fünf Jahre hinweg Kursrückgänge oder -stagnation verzeichnen. Und: Digitaldrucktechnik-Pioniere wie Hewlett-Packard und auch Xerox mussten sich aufspalten, um in neuer Konfiguration einer Rückbesinnung auf Printtechnik im Digitalzeitalter folgen zu können.

Ad 2: Die Herausforderungen, um im Print und mit Print-Technik zu reüssieren, sind enorm hoch: Das Printgeschäft ist nicht leicht zu verstehen, weil es hoch-komplex und kaum ganzheitlich im Blick zu halten ist. Für Aussenstehende resp. Branchenfremde tun sich im Detail viele Fragen und sogar Widersprüche auf; es ist fast unmöglich, sich aus dem Stand einen Überblick über die Lage von „Print als Business“ zu verschaffen. Der Grund: „Print is big“ — wie ein fundiert angelegtes Projekt aus den USA anschaulich macht, das nicht nur auf den US-Markt, sondern global ausgelegt ist. (Quelle: http://printisbig.com, herausgegeben vom Print-E-Commerce-Spezialisten Aleyant Systems).

Um Print richtig einschätzen zu können, müssen m. E. drei Betrachtungsebenen untersucht und bewertet werden:

  1. Print in seiner (globalen) wirtschaftlichen Bedeutung
  2. (Unvermutete) Wachstumstreiber im Print-Geschäft
  3. Positionierung und Strategien der Techniklieferanten

1. Print in seiner wirtschaftlichen Bedeutung

Wichtige globale Kennzahlen aus dem Jahr 2015

Globaler Umsatz mit Printmedienproduktionen:
898 Milliarden US-$, wobei ‚on-top’ rund 3.500 Milliarden US-$ an Zusatzumsätzen für „related services“ aggregiert wurden. Darin sind Content-Creation, Design, IT, Logistics etc. eingeschlossen.

Zum Vergleich:

  • 133 Milliarden US-$ für Online-Werbung
  • 102 Milliarden US-$ für Video Games
  • 15 Milliarden US-$ für Musikindustrie

(Quelle: http://printisbig.com auf Basis zahlreicher Studien und validierter Marktforschungsergebnissen).

Der Print-Markt ist hoch bedeutend und braucht sich kaum hinter dem Automobilbau, dem Finanzsektor oder der Werbebranche zu verstecken. Dies ist eigentlich kein Novum, sondern seit Generationen so!

Wandeln durch Handeln!

Die genannte ‚Print is Big‘-Analyse bezieht alle Print-Anwendungen ein, auch solche, die sich ausserhalb der hierzulande eng eingegrenzten Kernbranche „Druckindustrie“ abspielen, die sich allzuoft mit „hausgemachten“ Problemen beschäftigt, wie Unternehmensberater betonen. (Siehe das aktuelle Interview mit Michael Apenberger, Hamburg, von Anfang September 2016). Die Folge: Mehr und mehr Innovationen spielen sich ausserhalb der Vorstellungswelt der Kern-Branche ab resp. es gibt eine wachsende Anzahl von Innovatoren, die etablierte Druckereien unter Druck setzen (mehr dazu unter Punkt 2).

Der wichtigste Aspekt aus meiner Sicht lautet: Wie kann eine Branche — die seit hunderten von Jahren fest etabliert auf Innovation setzt, sich also permanent technisch erneuert und dadurch für nahezu jeden Menschen und alle Organisationen, Institutionen, Regierungen/Behörden, Universitäten, Firmen aller Art und sogar für Start-ups unverzichtbar wurde — wie kann eine solche Branche seit vielen Jahren ihre eigene hohe Bedeutung nicht adäquat einschätzen resp. Dritten darstellen? — Zur Erinnerung, mit Blick auf Deutschland und den Kernmarkt Druckbranche, ein paar Fakten:

  • Die Zahl der Druckereibetriebe und der Beschäftigten in Deutschland schrumpft erheblich (von über 20.000 Druckereien in den 1990er Jahren werden bis 2020 rund 7.500 aktiv im Geschäft bleiben);
  • die Produktion stagniert und geht in Teilmärkten zurück;
  • die Kapazitätsauslastung sinkt resp. schwankt im Schnitt bei 80%;
  • die durchschnittliche Entwicklung der Verkaufspreise sinkt seit 15 Jahren konstant;
  • kurios: Seit Jahren sind die Erwartungen der deutschen Druckereiunternehmer konstant schlechter als die tatsächliche derzeitige Lage ihrer Unternehmen.
  • ABER: Die Investitionen in Technologie steigen bei Betrieben ab 50 Mitarbeitern wieder seit 2014, mit leichter Delle in 2015, aber mit einem deutlichem Zuwachs für das Jahr 2016 (alleine in Deutschland geschätzt um 7,3 Prozent auf 644 Mio. Euro, was ca. 8 bis 10 Prozent des Weltmarktes ausmacht).

Quellen (Auswahl):


Ähnlich wie in Deutschland sind übrigens die Entwicklungen in allen industrialisierten Ländern gelagert, wobei deutsche Druckereien vom Vorteil profitieren, dass sie von einer nach wie vor hohen Exportquote von über 15 % profitieren und somit nicht nur vom Binnenmarkt abhängig sind.

Ein wichtiger Trend im Druckereimarkt leitet sich daraus ab: Druckereien verschlanken sich; dennoch muss selbst bei sinkenden Produktionsvolumen die Wertschöpfung steigen. Druckereien müssen daher nach wie vor investieren, um effizienter produzieren oder neue Wachstumsfelder erschließen zu können. 

Als wichtigste Aufgabe kommt hinzu, das „Go-to-Market“ für Druckereien und ihre Kunden zu verbessern, da große Wissensdefizite hinsichtlich der Möglichkeiten von Print bestehen:

  • die Kommunikation zeitgemäß stärken, um mit Kunden medial im Dialog zu stehen und v. a. um Marktentwicklungen pro-aktiv zu beeinflussen;
  • Erstellung und Bestellungen von Drucksachen vereinfachen — Lieferzeiten verkürzen;
  • neue Anwendungen (auch in Nischen) erschließen;
  • und grundlegend überdenken, wie sich Print im Kommunikationsmix nachhaltig positionieren kann.
  • Letztlich: Die Wertschöpfung mit Print wächst nur dann, wenn die Nachfrage nach zeitgemäßen Print-Produkten nachhaltig stimuliert wird. Print ist kein Selbstläufer!

Lichtblick: Überaus positive Signale, mit weltweit höchst positiver Resonanz, setzte die globale Leitmesse drupa 2016 vom Mai/Juni in Düsseldorf. Denn wie nie zuvor wurde das breite Anwendungsspektrum von Print im Digitalzeitalter aufgezeigt: 3D Printing, Multichannel, Functional Printing resp. Printed Electronics öffneten Horizonte. (Siehe die Auflistung der entsprechenden ValuePublishing-Analysen zur drupa 2016, in deutsch und englisch). — Gleichzeitig wurden Quantensprünge erkennbar in den Bereichen Workflow/Automatisierung/Business Management, Verpackung (Packaging) und eben nicht nur im Digitaldruck, sondern vor allem auch im Offsetdruck. Und das alles im Kontext mit zeitgemäßen Hype-Begriffen wie #Cloud, #BigData, #IoT (Internet-of-Things) etc. (Siehe z.B. die Analysen zu Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG sowie zur drupa-2016-Pressekonferenz des VDMA).

Ein weiteres Novum: Erstmals setzte sich durch die drupa 2016 Social Media-Kommunikation bei aktuellen Print-Themen an die Spitze. Vor allem über Twitter beschäftigten sich weltweit und in Echtzeit einige Millionen Fachleute mit den neuesten Print-Themen im Kontext mit den aktuellen Entwicklungen im Digitalzeitalter. Allerdings erfolgen diese Reaktionen und Interaktionen kaum durch Insider-Begriffe der Print-Technik-Welt, wird die nachfolgende Grafik zeigt.

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Analyse via Twitter: ValuePublishing Wordcloud zu #drupa0216. Grafik/Collage: Andreas Weber

Es wurde durch die drupa 2016 auf globaler Ebene klar, dass Printmedien keinesfalls aus der Zeit geraten sind, sondern wirkungsvoller denn je eingesetzt werden können. Schwarzmalererei ist also falsch. Die Aussichten sind bestens! (Siehe ValuePublishing, April 2016, „drupa ante portas: Automatisierung, Flexibilisierung, Digitalisierung machen Print zum Top-Wachstumsmarkt!“)

Lesetipp: Bernd Zipper, Projekt „Print lebt 2013“ – und wie ist es heute um den Druck bestellt? — Mit dem Resümee: „Die Attraktivität und der Nutzen von Printprodukten sind ungebrochen. Zumeist ist die Angst vor der Substitution durch andere Medien unbegründet. Und auch für die Gegenwart und die Zukunft hält Print noch einiges bereit. (…) Print lebt. Und auch wenn in verschiedenen Bereichen Auflagen zurückgehen, so wird – der ‚Krise‘ von Print zum Trotz – weiter gedruckt. Mehr als je zuvor.“

Der Beitrag wird wie folgt fortgesetzt: 


Für weitere Information bitte Kontaktformular ausfüllen. 

Bei Bedarf sind auch individuelle Webinars und Coachings möglich, um aus den neuen ValueTrendRadar-Analyse-Erkenntnissen die individuell zielführenden Handlungsempfehlungen abzuleiten. 

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Photo: Andreas Weber, Mainz/Germany.

 

Graphic Repro On-line News Review to Friday 08 April 2016

Welcome to another roundup of news highlights for the past week. In addition to 36 news items, there are two new online feature articles highlighting Alexir Partnership, as it breaks into the niche, small-run folding carton market with a Xerox – TRESU inline digital print and coating workflow, complemented by KAMA and Kongsberg finishing. The second article profiles Enfocus as it drives innovation for today and for the future. You will also find 20 new drupa exhibitor articles from Esko, X-Rite Pantone, Enfocus, MediaBeacon, Komori, Kurz, Xaar, KVA Flexotecnica, Domino, Callas Software, Xerox, Xeikon, Fujifilm, Axaio Software, Technotrans and Epson in our drupa Newsroom. Almost all of these include announcements for new machine launches or debuts or new software launches and upgrades to be released at the event, so please check them out carefully.

We also have a brand new ‘drupa ante portas Blog’ from Andreas Weber out of the exclusive VDMA press event for the business press, held on Monday 4 April, at The House of the Book in Frankfurt, hosted by Dr Markus Heering, managing director of the VDMA; with keynote presentations from Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, president and CEO of Messe Dusseldorf; Claus Bolza-Schunemann, drupa president and chairman of the executive board of Koenig & Bauer; Kai Buntemeyer, chairman of the VDMA and managing director of Kolbus; and Dr. Gerold Linzbach, CEO of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG. You’ll find a news intro on Friday leading to the main article in our drupa Newsroom which also has PDF and Word downloads available for you.

Sales or installations successes this week came from Manroland Web Systems and KBA on Tuesday, as well as Fujifilm with a UK first, as Warwickshire-based Emmerson Press announces its Jet Press 720S investment; then we have POLAR; Manroland Sheetfed, and IFS with Horizon on Wednesday; and Screen Europe at Silhouet Digital Print in Maldegem, Belgium, as it invests in a new Truepress Jet520HD continuous-feed inkjet press to handle increasing demand for colour books to round off the week on Friday.

Also on Friday but related to new kit: Werosys in Denmark announces it has incorporated no less than thirty Meech Hyperion anti-static bars into its intelligent converting environment; and Taopix also announced the release of its latest software edition for personalised photobooks.

If you scroll down carefully you’ll find a lot more relating to the upcoming Sign & Digital UK event taking place at the NEC from 19 – 21 April; the latest from InPrint regarding its recent survey; from FINAT listing its upcoming Webinars; and from Bobst as it considers purchasing WIFAG-Polytype’s coating technology business.

That’s it until next time. I hope you find lots of interest.
With my best regards,Mike Hilton 

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Our e-News comprises:  Headline News – Online Feature Articles – the Verdigris initiative from Digital Dots. Our Drupa and FESPA Newsrooms can be accessed from the Index on our Home Page, as well as News in Review, which provides a weekly overview and listing of all news added to the site.

Headline News
Over 28,000 news items have now gone online since we launched our Website in September 2001. News for the past 24 months can still be accessed via the Home Page and its continuation news pages

Mon 04 April…   Highcon to launch new product portfolio at drupa
Highcon to launch a new dimension in finishing with a portfolio of products at drupa this year in Hall 9…

Xeikon to launch Flatbed Die-cut Unit at drupa
Cost effective Xeikon FDU folding carton solution aids production flexibility, with fast ROI for digital or offset litho runs…

MPS to host Open House during drupa
MPS to host an Open House at its company headquarters in Arnhem, The Netherlands during drupa 2016…

Bobst considers purchase of WIFAG-Polytype coating
Bobst and WIFAG-Polytype enter into exclusive negotiations for possible acquisition of WIFAG’s coating technology business…

Blackman & White at Sign and Digital UK
Blackman & White to showcase new software and technical developments at Sign and Digital at the NEC Birmingham…

CMYUK at Sign & Digital UK from 19 – 21 April
CMYUK and Eagle Plastics – a forward thinking partnership is born. Visit CMYUK’s stand at the NEC to discover more…

JPL Print switches press supplier for new B2 Speedmaster
Halesowen business JPL Print & Design has just taken delivery of a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 -5+L…

Tue 05 Apr…    Kurz: New horizons in print finishing
Leonhard Kurz will be presenting new print finishing possibilities and optimised processes at drupa in Halls 3, 7 and 12…

Xaar to launch new technology platform at drupa
Xaar, the heart of industrial inkjet, to announce major new Thin Film silicon MEMS technology platform at drupa in Hall 6…

Emmerson Press buys UK’s first Fujifilm Jet Press 720S
A UK first for Fujifilm as Warwickshire-based Emmerson Press announces Jet Press 720S investment…

Konica Minolta KM-1 UV digital sheetfed press at beta
PLS confirmed as Konica Minolta’s first European KM-1 beta site customer, with commercial launch planned for drupe…

Technotrans to unveil new products at drupa
Press peripherals specialist Technotrans will exhibit in Hall 2 stand A04 at drupa under the banner ‘Partner in Print’…

Callas Software to launch pdfToolbox 9 at drupa
Callas will showcase pdfToolbox 9 offering powerful, dynamic and easy to integrate PDF processing…

Star Tribune selects Manroland Web for controls upgrade
Manroland Web Systems PECOM-X controls system to replace controls on Star Tribune’s Headliner Offset press equipment…

Unique KBA web service upgrade at The Buffalo News
Top-ranked newspaper publisher maintains quality and productivity for dependability and reliability…

Wed 06 Apr…   Enfocus – driving innovation for today and the future
Enfocus is known worldwide as a provider of end-to-end automation solutions that help customers run more efficient operations…

Xerox to launch two new inkjet presses at drupa
The Xerox Brenva HD Production Inkjet Press and the Xerox Trivor 2400 Inkjet Press will be launched at drupa 2016…

Toray consolidates activities in Central Europe
Centralised service to deliver faster customer response…

Xerox – TRESU: Cost-effective small-run folding cartons
Alexir breaks into niche, small-run digital folding carton markets with Xerox – TRESU inline digital print and coating…

Polar is the REAL deal
Real Digital has taken delivery of a Polar N115 Plus guillotine with comprehensive materials handling…

Shenzhen Kecai adds new 700 to its Roland fleet
A brand-new eight-colour Roland 700 with coating module and UV starts production at Shenzhen Kecai in China…

J Thompson streamlines digital arm with IFS buy
Horizon CRF-362 creaser folder supports fast turnaround work…

Thu 07 Apr…   Esko, X-Rite Pantone, Enfocus and MediaBeacon at drupa
Inspiration Zones for better Packaging and Print at drupa 2016: The related companies will be located in Hall 8b, stand A23…

Flexo Platemaking Simplified: to debut at drupa
Esko introduces next-generation flexo platemaking; bringing major innovation and flexo platemaking simplification to drupa 2016…

Esko’s enhanced digital finishing heads to drupa 2016
Esko takes digital finishing efficiency to the next level with improved machine uptime and better device operation control…

Komori’s drupa 2016 theme to be ‘Open New Pages’
Komori Corporation will exhibit under the theme ‘Open New Pages’ at drupa, with sub-theme ‘Connected Print’ in Hall 15…

InPrint 2016 Survey results available to download now
InPrint Show and IT Strategies’ InPrint 2016 Survey reveals accelerated growth for industrial printing…

FINAT reveals 2016 New Technology Webinar Series
FINAT, the international association for the self-adhesive label industry, is again staging its series of Webinars…

GMG and Hybrid integration to benefit PACKZ users
GMG and Hybrid Software on course to integrate GMG OpenColor and PACKZ software for labels and packaging…

Fri 08 Apr…   VDMA pre-drupa 2016: Welcome to the ‘Haus des Buches’
drupa ante portas – automation, flexibilization, and digitization make print a top growth market! Frankfurt 04 April. By Andreas Weber…

Silhouet Digital invests in Screen Truepress Jet520HD
Growing demand for books in colour drives upgrade by book print specialist, Silhouet Digital Print in Maldegem, Belgium…

Tecnau CutReady for HP Indigo at Dscoop and drupa 2016
Tecnau to exhibit cost-effective CutReady solution at upcoming HP Indigo and industry events, including drupa 2016…

Taopix announces first release of 2016
Taopix, has announced the release of Taopix 2016r1, the latest edition of its personalised photobook and gift platform…

Sign & Digital UK’s latest news from 42 exhibitors
Sign & Digital UK announces latest exhibitor news ahead of 2016 show; from 19 – 21 April at the NEC…

Canon releases uniFLOW version 5.4
Canon’s uniFLOW V5.4 with improved scanning and mobile printing extends print room integration…

Meech’s static control solutions at Werosys in Denmark
Werosys has incorporated thirty Meech Hyperion anti-static bars into its intelligent converting environment…

Last lead article from previous update…

Last Friday’s lead…   EIB Development Loan to fund Heidelberg’s R&D programme
European Investment Bank to fund Heidelberg’s R&D activities, focusing on, and taking digitisation to the next level…

Kertomalla paranee project launched in Finland

Kertomalla paranee ‘improve by sharing’ project is looking for areas of improvement and new solutions to improve the daily life of cancer patients. You can also participate and send suggestions…

GraphicRepro.Net e-News  (ISSN 1814-2923) is sponsored and made possible by:

Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG  (Heidelberg), The world’s largest printing press manufacturer for the industry worldwide. Heidelberg customers enjoy the most comprehensive and extensive sales and service network in the industry for JDF compliant workflow, computer-to-plate, sheetfed offset, Web-to-print, digital printing, digital inkjet for labels and packaging, packaging and finishing, all with complementary consumables. Heidelberg has offices in around 170 countries. Visit the Heidelberg Website for more information.

drupa 2016 (drupa), the international flagship fair of the printing and media industry, responds to the challenges of the changing market and provides pioneering solutions for the future. This is highlighted by the new marketing and communication strategy where drupa claims its position as ‘No.1 for Print & Crossmedia Solutions’ with the slogan ‘touch the future’. The issues of ‘package printing’, ‘multichannel’, ‘green printing’, ‘3D printing’, and ‘functional printing’ will become increasingly important to the overall communication strategy. To find out more, visit the drupa 2016 Website.

Online Feature articles 2014 – 2016
There were again well over 90 last year, including nine downloads, as well as 92 articles in 2013 which can still be accessed via the Index on the Home Page, with prior years’ via Search Archives (option 2) on the Website.

Online Features 2016 Mar/Apr Chapter 04

Xerox – TRESU: Cost-effective small-run digital folding cartons
The Alexir Partnership breaks into niche, small-run folding carton markets with Xerox – TRESU inline digital print and coating workflow, and KAMA / Kongsberg finishing…

Enfocus – driving innovation for today and the future
Enfocus is known around the world as a provider of end-to-end automation solutions that help customers run more efficient operations…

Most recent…   Fedopress adopts Xeikon 3500 for Revenue Duty stamp printing
Belgian Finance Dept print supplier takes printing of tobacco duty stamps in-house to increase security and efficiency and lower costs…

Verdigris – Environmental Initiative

Laurel Brunner’s weekly Verdigris Blogs 2016

Most recent…    Gathering Carbon Footprint Data
The weekly Verdigris blog by Laurel Brunner – Fri 01 Apr

Drupa Newsroom
Our Drupa Newsroom with news from Messe Düsseldorf and for Drupa 2016 can be found in the Index, as well as via the special Newsroom button on the right of the Home Page near the top. It is divided into the following Chapters for your convenience and ease of use… but you do have to scroll down to view each of the Chapters

drupa ante portas Blogs 2016

NEW…   VDMA pre-drupa 2016: Welcome to the ‘Haus des Buches’
drupa ante portas – automation, flexibilization, and digitization make print a top growth market! Frankfurt 4 April, in preparation for drupa 2016…

drupa 2016 News from Exhibitors
Latest additions can now be accessed in our drupa Newsroom.

Esko, X-Rite Pantone, Enfocus and MediaBeacon at drupa
Inspiration Zones for better Packaging and Print at drupa 2016. The companies will be located in Hall 8b, stand A23…

Esko: Flexo Platemaking Simplified: at drupa
Esko introduces next-generation flexo platemaking; bringing major innovation and flexo platemaking simplification to drupa 2016…

Esko’s enhanced digital finishing offering for drupa
Esko takes digital finishing efficiency to the next level with improved machine uptime and better device operation control…

Komori’s drupa 2016 theme to be ‘Open New Pages’
Komori Corporation will exhibit under the theme ‘Open New Pages’ at drupa, with the sub-theme ‘Connected Print’ in Hall 15…

Kurz: New horizons in print finishing
Leonhard Kurz will be presenting new print finishing possibilities and optimised processes at Drupa in Halls 3, 7 and 12…

Xaar to launch new technology platform at drupa
Xaar, the heart of industrial inkjet, to announce major new Thin Film silicon MEMS technology platform at drupa in Hall 6…

KBA-Flexotecnica to showcase hybrid web press at drupa
KBA-Flexotecnica will be showcasing the new CI flexo NEO XD LR hybrid at drupa 2016 in Hall 16…

Domino partners with IBIS, Kern and Gremser for drupa
Domino Digital Printing Solutions to feature expanding range of technologies, including monochrome books and B2 sheetfed; textures, and 7-colour label printing…

Callas Software to launch pdfToolbox 9 at drupa 2016
Callas will showcase pdfToolbox 9 offering powerful, dynamic and easy to integrate PDF processing…

Xerox to launch two new inkjet presses at drupa
Xerox to introduce its first cut-sheet inkjet press and new continuous feed inkjet platform…

Xeikon to launch Flatbed Die-cut Unit at drupa
Cost effective Xeikon FDU folding carton solution aids production flexibility, with fast ROI for digital or offset litho runs…

Fujifilm to occupy a 2,020 sq/m stand in Hall 8b at drupa
Fujifilm outlines its largest presence at drupa 2016 under the slogan “Value from Innovation” in Hall 8b and in Hall 1 with Heidelberg…

Fujifilm ‘Value from Innovation’ at drupa 2016
Under the slogan ‘Value from Innovation’, Fujifilm outlines its Graphic Arts strategy for drupa…

Fujifilm Jet Press 720S to take centre stage at drupa
Fujifilm will be using drupa 2016 as a platform to showcase how the Jet Press 720S is transforming print businesses today…

Fujifilm: New Uvistar Hybrid 320 superwide UV press launch at drupa
The Uvistar Hybrid 320 offers the ultimate combination of speed, quality & reliability in a hybrid press…

Fujifilm: New LED-UV inkjet press for flexible packaging
Fujifilm to launch new, next generation 540mm wide LED-UV inkjet press for flexible packaging market in Japan…

Axaio Software to showcase at drupa 2016
Together with callas software, Tucanna and Four Pees, Axaio will present its solutions at drupa in Hall 7, stand C19…

Technotrans to unveil new products at drupa
Press peripherals specialist Technotrans will exhibit in Hall 2 stand A04 at drupa under the banner ‘Partner in Print’…

Epson stand at drupa to be split into 5 zones
Epson to present its most advanced range of professional production inkjet printers and presses at drupa 2016 in Hall 5…

Epson drupa exclusive: New super-fast wide-format printer
Epson to unveil new SureColor SC-P10000 1626mm wide-format printer combining highest printing speed with superior quality…

Previous…   KBA Service Complete with KBA 4.0 at drupa
Digital transformation with KBA 4.0: On the way to the networked print factory and full closed-loop solutions…

Picon Pavilions at drupa support 21 UK manufacturers
‘Best of British’ showcase with focus on new prepress, printing, finishing & ancillary products & forging international partnerships…

POLAR’s highlights at 2016 drupa in Hall 1

POLAR will once again present a wide range of solutions for handling diverse market demands…

Global Graphics raises the bar in inkjet quality with drupa launch
New Harlequin Multi-Level Digital Screening Engine helps single-pass inkjet presses achieve high quality at high speed…

HP breakthrough enhancements reinvent commercial printing
HP Inc. expands commercial printing fleet with eight new Indigo and PageWide Web Presses as it prepares for drupa 2016, with the show’s exhibit space in Hall 17…

HP Indigo expands for flexible packaging and folding cartons

HP Inc. to unveil the industry’s most productive label press for converters and brands in Hall 17 at drupa, as well as major upgrades for other presses…

Leonhard Kurz @ Drupa stand D60 in Hall 3

Drupa 2016 – Don’t just touch the future – live the future with Kurz innovation and creativity…

Landa to unveil 13,000sph B1 digital press at drupa
Landa’s lineup of offset quality Nanographic Printing presses at drupa will include Landa S10 B1 sheetfed, as well as a one metre-wide web press for plastic packaging films…

Landa to unveil ultra-fast metre-wide W10 web press
Landa to unveil its new webfed Nanographic Printing Press for flexible packaging at drupa…

New metallisation printing technology to be unveiled at drupa
New Landa Nano-Metallography offers zero-waste metallisation graphics at half the cost of foil…

Bobst to lead with innovation at drupa

Bobst to use drupa to showcase innovative solutions that will drive customer productivity higher, open up new capabilities…

Cerm proves inspiring collaboration at drupa

Omni-presence of Cerm at partner stands during drupa demonstrates growing importance of MIS in print automation process…

Kodak brings the ‘Science to Create’ to drupa

With a host of new product launches and technology developments to be featured on its stand in Hall 5…

Kodak to raise the bar in inkjet printing at drupa 2016
Ultrastream technology launch; Prosper 6000C press and XGV demonstration for flexible films to be featured on Kodak’s stand in Hall 5…

Kodak Prinergy cloud services and Unified Workflow Solutions

Kodak’s software solutions will deliver efficiency, quality and flexibility for print and packaging service providers and will drive further automation and business management…

NexPress platform supports industry growth and demand

Kodak announces the latest NexPress Color Press and its next generation electrophotographic platform, poised to deliver category’s highest quality, greatest value…

Kodak drives Flexo to be print process of choice
New Flexcel NX System ’16, NX Implementation Services and next generation ‘Ultra NX experience’ are key technologies for packaging printers at drupa 2016…

Kodak increasing investment in offset print
Kodak will announce its fourth and fifth new plate products launched within the last year and its entrance into the pressroom consumables market…

Kodak announces improved CTP automation portfolio
Kodak extends CTP options giving printers choice, efficiency and speed, to be unveiled at drupa…

Esko brings ‘Packaging Simplified’ to drupa
Market leader boosts innovations in both the software and hardware products to address pressing industry challenges…

Esko Software Platform makes Packaging Simplified

Major upgrade of all Esko software focused on productivity and improved user experience…

Xeikon Trillium One at drupa 2016
Tonnik liquid toner makes fast, high quality, cost-effective, high volume digital print a production reality…

Xeikon to showcase Fusion Technology at drupa
Fusion technology expands automated digital label and packaging production possibilities…

KBA: More performance and automation in large-format
Drupa highlight for packaging printers: KBA Rapida 145 with new double-pile delivery and automated pile logistics…

New Xaar 1003 raises the bar for industrial printing
Xaar announces the launch of the Xaar 1003 family of printheads which set a new benchmark for industrial inkjet, to be shown at drupa…

Enfocus Appstore takes off and heads to drupa
New marketplace quickly becomes a vital resource that connects, supports and advances the Enfocus Switch Community…

HP Inc. to inspire print providers at drupa 2016
Company to unveil HP PrintOS, a cloud-based, mobile platform that simplifies and automates print production management…

Agfa Graphics at drupa 2016 ‘We Embody Print’
Agfa Graphics to address opportunities for growth at drupa 2016…

Print the Future with Xeikon at drupa 2016
It’s all about growth with new products and services for labels, packaging and document printing, including its brand-new 60 m/min Trillium One press…

Duplo to take technology to new level at drupa
The stage is set for Duplo International to demonstrate its world-leading capabilities in print finishing systems at drupa 2016…

Next generation CHILI publish solutions to debut at drupa
The online editor that started it all, now with new innovations, partnerships and customer successes…

CHILI publisher v 5.0 announced for drupa showcase
The next generation of online editing from CHILI Publish is here as CHILI publisher redefines document editing…

CHILI announces rendro 1.0: A new era for PDF rendering
Full relief rendering of PDF documents can now be accessed anywhere, anytime, from any platform with CHILI rendro 1.0…

X-Rite announces PantoneLIVE Private Cloud
Provides printers and converters with a secure, online repository for proprietary colours to streamline workflows: to be demonstrated live at drupa 2016….

drupa 2016 Expert Article Series and more
Can be found in our Drupa Newsroom via the Index on the Home Page.

Most recent…   Digital versus traditional packaging print
Touch the future. Drupa Expert Article No 8 by Michael Seidl, publisher and editor-in-chief of various specialist publications in Central and Eastern Europe including Print & Publishing, Packaging and Visual Communication….

drupa 2016 News from Messe Düsseldorf

Most recent…   3rd drupa Global Trends Report: Optimism for growth in 2016
With just weeks to go before drupa 2016 opens, the results of the third drupa Global Trends report have now been published…

FESPA Newsroom
The dedicated FESPA Newsroom can be found via the Index on our Home Page.

FESPA Federation News in 2016

Continued success for exhibitors at FESPA Eurasia 2016
FESPA Eurasia 2016, to be held from 8 – 11 December, CNR Expo, Istanbul, is beginning to take shape…

The Graphic Repro On-line Website is supported and sponsored by: 

Antalis South Africa, Canon SA, Dainippon Screen,  Drupa 2016,  EFI, Esko,  FESPA. Goss International Inc,  Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG,  HP Graphic Solutions,  Koenig + Bauer AG,  Kemtek Imaging Systems,  Krause-Biagosch,  Leonhard Kurz Stiftung,   Manroland Web Systems GmbH, Muller Martini AG,  POLAR-Mohr, QuadTech Inc,  Quark Inc,  Ricoh Europe,  Sappi LimitedThunderbolt Solutions, and UPM< /a>-Kymmene.

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GraphicRepro.Net e-News (ISSN 1814-2923)  provides weekly updates from the Graphic Repro On-line Website and is  compiled and published by Mike Hilton, graphicrepro.netPO Box 10 Peterburgskoe Shosse 13/1, 196605 Pushkin 5, St. Petersburg, Russia.  e-mail graphicrepro.za@gmail.com

ValuePublishing VDMA pre-drupa Pressekonferenz 2016.001

By Andreas Weber | GERMAN version

My comments: This was probably the most productive and therefore the most important event (with the business press) associated with drupa. Yes, market figures were given, but only as a guideline and to demonstrate that print is a growth market. The focus was far more on explaining from various perspectives how successful print business has transformed. No doubt some things will sound familiar. The important thing, though, in the run-up to drupa 2016 – which must cover a wider range of topics and exhibits than ever before – was to clearly establish the true context. And it was revealing to see how wholeheartedly all the key players (in this case the main decision-makers) at drupa, the world’s number one industry trade show, are behind their statements and publicity.

There’s no doubt about it – the world of printing isn’t what it used to be, but people have stopped bemoaning this fact and pressed the reset button. Nonetheless, anyone who still believes buying new equipment will ensure business success is mistaken and will fail. The new recipe for success will include holistic thinking outside the box, a comprehensive knowledge and excellent command of all process steps, automation, and the right, enlightened approach to digitization in the context of the sudden and rapid change in the demands placed on the printing sector.

In what was in my personal opinion the key speech, Dr. Gerold Linzbach talked about the true significance of digitization. Here’s an extract: “We’ve taken the vital step from focusing on technology to focusing on customers. (…) The benefit to customers is the top priority. We don’t simply apply technology for the sake of it.”

As Linzbach stressed, technology has to deliver “the optimum benefit for our customers and ultimately for whatever takes the industry forward.”

Welcome to the “Haus des Buches”

My report: The time and place for the exclusive pre-drupa business press conference were well chosen. We met on April 4, 2016 at the Haus des Buches (literally: house of the book) in the heart of Frankfurt am Main, a key financial center. The topics under discussion were market analysis, packaging, Print 4.0, and digitization. Our host was Dr. Markus Heering, Managing Director of the VDMA Printing and Paper Technology Association, who optimistically pronounced: “Print is an industry with a future.” As he sees it, print products are more than ever an everyday part of our lives and exhibit greater diversity than ever before. In his brief words of welcome, Messe Düsseldorf President and CEO Werner Matthias Dornscheidt was confident that the preparations for drupa 2016 couldn’t have gone better and it would be a resounding success, with appealing special events such as the drupa cube and an excellent supporting program providing the icing on the cake.

W M Dornscheidt und Dr. HeeringWerner Matthias Dornscheidt from Messe Düsseldorf and Dr. Markus Heering from the VDMA Printing and Paper Technology Association. Photo: Andreas Weber

 

Broad-based dynamic growth

“The global trend toward flexibilization and automation is currently playing into our hands. Germany’s press and paper machine manufacturers have been more successful than virtually any other mechanical engineering sector in making Industry 4.0 a reality,” continued Dr. Heering. Print 4.0, he said, was supporting Industry 4.0, and the extent to which print shops can improve their productivity and flexibility using fully networked digital work processes was already evident. Incoming orders for printing and paper technology were 10 percent up on the previous year in 2015, while press manufacturers saw a 9 percent increase in orders along with a slight fall in sales, especially in Germany. For manufacturers of postpress equipment, the increase in orders was as high as 21 percent. As Dr. Heering explained, “The sales figures also show it’s a long time since postpress technology was in such high demand. Sales climbed 13 percent in Germany and 9 percent in other countries.” He sees this as good reason to approach drupa 2016, the industry’s leading trade show worldwide, with renewed energy.

According to the VDMA, the key elements of networking and flexibility are emerging as visions and guiding principles for printing press and paper machine manufacturers, and there are three topic areas to be addressed:

  1. Flexibility in meeting specific customer needs
  2. Merging of technologies and functions
  3. Cooperation and standardization of interfaces

The focus is on the declared goal of strengthening print and paper by moving into new applications.

 

Claus Bolza-Schünemanndrupa president Claus Bolza-Schünemann, Chairman of the Executive Board of Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA). Photo: Andreas Weber

 

Packaging printing as a driver of print shop business

drupa president Claus Bolza-Schünemann, Chairman of the Executive Board of Koenig & Bauer AG (KBA), trained the spotlight on the packaging sector as a growth driver, stressing that traditional printing methods are leading the way here and are indispensable for the time being, but digital printing offers the possibility of new uses. “Together, flexographic and offset printing currently account for around two-thirds of the international packaging printing market, which was valued by Smithers PIRA at around US$415 billion in 2015. Digital printing’s share is still relatively small at approximately 3 percent, which leaves plenty of room for growth,” he said, adding that the packaging market for print shops is growing at a high level of 4 to 5 percent annually.

Bolza-Schünemann underlined that the total global sales volume for print was so high that it was hard to imagine. According to forecasts, sales will rise from their current level of just over US$900 billion to almost US$1 trillion by 2018. “The fact that ten years ago KBA was still generating a good 60 percent of Group sales in media-oriented print markets and only around 20 percent in packaging printing highlights the extent to which the printing world has shifted in the direction of packaging. Not entirely unintentionally, packaging now accounts for over 60 percent and publication printing just over 10 percent,” added the drupa president. In addition to outer packaging with high design and production standards, everyday packaging is now also becoming more important. Bolza-Schünemann is expecting the brown corrugated cardboard packaging currently used as standard in e-commerce to become increasingly colorful and believes this makes high-performance rotary inkjet printing ideal for the corrugated cardboard market.

 

My interim comments:

Global sales figures always sound good. And the prospect of print media manufacturers soon generating US$1 trillion is impressive, but at the same time highly abstract. Newspapers such as the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung did pick up on this after the VDMA business press event, referring to signs of life from the world of printing on page 18 of its April 5, 2016 edition, confirming that print is a growth market, and pointing out that the printing industry’s turnover exceeds that of the automotive industry – but what does that really tell us? What’s more, these figures have been around for nearly 15 years. manroland AG defined them as the basis for its market research, but they were evidently little use given that the company went bankrupt. Far more exciting in my view is the question (which is not easy to answer) of the role print media are playing in the improvement in overall macroeconomic performance. If packaging is now being called the printing industry’s growth driver, all companies that are looking to physically sell products must focus 100 percent on print. That’s a clear and obvious statement, isn’t it? The imaging group Canon – also known for excellent specialist surveys about print and multichannel applications – has developed a convincing chart and is using it for
presentations. This makes the significance of print even clearer!

 

 

drupa president Bolza-Schünemann listed the following reasons for the strong, sustained growth of packaging:

  1. Printed packaging serves a protective, preservative, and advertising function for its contents and, increasingly, a communication function, too. Just think of consumer protection with appropriate references on the packaging.
  2. Packaging cannot be replaced by flatscreens or smartphones. Unlike printed newspapers or catalogs, it remains unaffected by the changed media behavior and actually tends to benefit from this.
  3. The global population is rising and international prosperity is increasing. The middle class with disposable income is growing in emerging markets such as China, India, and Brazil. Growing prosperity goes hand in hand with higher consumption and that in turn means more packaging and printing, all the more since shopping malls are springing up everywhere in emerging markets, too.
  4. Packaging is becoming increasingly classy and sophisticated – the only way to attract the necessary attention at the point of sale. This trend results in greater added value for the printing industry and machines with more elaborate configurations for the supply industry.
  5. More single-person households with a preference for ready meals and the booming online mail-order business are also driving growth.

What’s more, the influence of multichannel solutions, augmented reality, and personalization – which make all types of packaging the starting point for new contact and dialog options with the buyer – is creating huge potential for brand organizations (see the ValueDialog with multichannel developer Jacob Aizikowitz).

 

Kai Büntemeyer

Kai Büntemeyer, Chairman of the VDMA Printing and Paper Technology Association and Managing Partner of Kolbus GmbH & Co KG. Photo: Andreas Weber

 

The only solution – digital networking of the entire value-added chain

Businessman Kai Büntemeyer, Chairman of the VDMA Printing and Paper Technology Association and Managing Partner of Kolbus GmbH & Co KG, dismissed the prejudiced view that postpress is more or less an add-on to print media production. He warned against being tempted by offers to buy attractive new presses without thinking, and thus failing to consider the entire process chain and assess all networking options within and outside the print shop. It’s essential to have “a process world characterized by interoperability, open systems, and harmonized interfaces. The speed of the evolutionary processes under Print 4.0 stands and falls with the transparency of the players involved,” emphasized Büntemeyer, citing the example of the interface syntax provided by his company to download free of charge.

In the case of the printing and paper industry, he said it was important to distinguish between digitization on the one hand and digital printing on the other: “Digital inkjet printing is simply another process to be integrated into digitized process chains in the same way as conventional offset, flexographic or gravure printing. The printing process is just a small part of the complete chain.”

According to Büntemeyer, the overall process chain is as follows:

  • It starts with the receipt of digital job data;
  • continues with software-based job planning for optimized machine capacity utilization with minimal makeready times;
  • includes purchasing and HR planning;
  • and naturally all prepress and postpress process steps;
  • and it only ends with automated packaging, addressing, and shipping of the print products.

Although all this has long been established, he explained, it is only now feasible thanks to today’s high-performance technology, because only very recently have processor capacities, real-time communication, and big data software solutions enabled implementation in a way that is geared to the market.

Büntemeyer developed the following scenario, which shows postpress in a whole new light: “Sensory inline monitoring ensures consistently high quality, but the data collected can unlock added value. Monitoring the status of machines makes it possible to carry out preventive repairs, which enables downtimes to be planned. And service specialists can rectify many a fault remotely. The data collected is also used for anonymized benchmark comparisons in cutting-edge printing systems. Users can compare their performance and productivity with that of other users of the same systems.”

However, Büntemeyer also recognizes that, broadly speaking, the industry’s equipment is lagging behind these possibilities – by at least 10 to 15 years. During this period, there was too little process/solution-oriented thinking and insufficient investment. Networking between print shops is also recommended.

 

My interim comments:

It’s good that this has now been made clear, because I conclude that it’s ultimately no longer a case of optimizing details and maintaining the traditional silo mentality. New, sometimes disruptive, holistic, automated business processes and the corresponding reorientation of business models are now the order of the day. (N.B.: The 4th Online Print Symposium, which took place in Munich on March 17 and 18, 2015, revealed how far this has already progressed at extremely successful online print shops such as Onlineprinters, Flyeralarm, United Print, and CIMPRESS (see the article entitled “Zipper’s Insights: reporting from the 4th Online Print Symposium”).

 

 


Dr. Gerold Linzbach, CEO of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, has realigned Heidelberg to focus on customers. Video: Andreas Weber (in german language).

 

“Digitization isn’t the same as digital printing!”

Dr. Gerold Linzbach, CEO of industry leader Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, followed his statement at the VDMA press event by summing up the company’s new role: “We’ve taken the vital step from focusing on technology to focusing on customers.” He said it was important not to make digitization just another buzz word that everyone uses without really knowing what it means or agreeing on a standard definition.

According to Dr. Linzbach, Heidelberg has, in discussions with customers and numerous market partners, defined three essential elements or levels of digitization for the print market. When understood correctly, digitization thus makes it possible to embrace the digital era through the automation and flexibilization of print.

The first essential element is networking in the sense of automatically passing on data (for press and downstream postpress operations) between machines with adequate interfaces to make all process steps transparent to users. Especially these days, when fragmented order books set the rhythm, automation through networking is absolutely vital. It’s the only way Heidelberg customers can, among other things, complete 3,000 or more orders per day. Success in smoothly incorporating digital printing systems via the print shop network also really pays off. In a short space of time, this has enabled Heidelberg sales staff to succeed in selling 1,000 OEM digital printing systems from Ricoh to print shops.

Once the job data has been received, the customer – that is to say the print shop – is automatically relieved of the decision as to the best production process to use, i.e. offset or digital printing. According to Dr. Linzbach, then, it’s all about seamless integration of all production resources that a print shop must use to minimize the data handling outlay. This is already standard in online printing and will spread to all areas of the printing industry. It’s also necessary if, as in the area of packaging, there is a huge increase in the amount of documentation required to prove, for example, that food was packaged in line with regulations.

 

Dr. Gerold Linzbach at the press conference. Photos: Andreas Weber

 

The second essential element is the variabilization of print, that is to say personalization or customization in the sense of frequently changing the print content, together with a wide variety of substrates/printing stock – by its very nature a strength of digital printing processes. Heidelberg has configured and developed a whole package of digital printing solutions for drupa 2016. This even involves printing at different locations, for example end customers printing muesli packaging with personalized designs at the mymuesli.com shop.

Connectivity plays an important role. According to Dr. Linzbach, it’s a mistake simply to rely on equipping presses with thousands of sensors that can read data in seconds and then store it in huge volumes. For a responsible technology manufacturer like Heidelberg, the challenge is to move from big data to smart data. In other words, data that is essentially suitable for any use needs to be filtered, selecting only the most important details from the mass of job, customer, and application data – that is to say the very things that are really relevant. It must be possible for this to happen automatically. To stop this sounding too theoretical, Dr. Linzbach gave an example. Heidelberg will be creating an e-commerce platform that automatically tells customers, for example, if something they order is incompatible with the equipment installed at their company. The aim must be to avoid outlay and above all mistakes, and to lessen customers’ workloads so that they can concentrate on their core activities.

Dr. Linzbach holds out the prospect of soon being able to operate even the most complicated technologies very easily, almost at the touch of a button – just like smartphones and tablets, which operate in a virtually self-explanatory way and produce exactly the desired results without the consumer needing to know about each and every technical function.

This is the only way to ensure that customers from the print shop sector can get on with their real work. According to Dr. Linzbach, the main task of someone running a print shop is not to deliver perfect print quality – that must be ensured by the company providing the technology – but above all to manage jobs and high order volumes, undertake marketing activities, and maintain contacts with customers.

And that brings us to the third essential element of digitization –reduce to the max using appropriate filters developed from customer and application know-how to combine all the technical possibilities and focus on what is actually relevant so as to turn data into productive information.

Dr. Linzbach’s conclusion: “The benefit to customers is the top priority. We don’t simply apply technology for the sake of it, nor do we simply install the maximum that is technically possible. We always try to combine it in such a way as to offer the optimum benefit for our customers and ultimately for whatever takes the industry forward.”

 

msd_banner_257_drupa2016_48_619x180_us-static1

 

N.B.: ValuePublishing offers comprehensive reports and constructive criticism relating to the important and above all relevant pre-drupa events. See in particular:

“drupa ante portas – Top topic for 2016: Print in the communications mix!”

“drupa ante portas: Is print (again) in the passing lane? YES and NO.”

 

 

AT A GLANCE:
Clippings from selected german newspapers

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drupa 2016 highlights ENG

By Andreas Weber | Click to access german version

 

Seldom has the run-up to drupa as a global trade fair for printing and paper technology been so exciting. Seldom have we been able to conduct so many interesting talks prior to drupa as now. There is hardly any exhibitor who can still afford to have a silo mentality (“My Innovations — My World”). It is rather more a question of “How do we align ourselves in an interlinked world marked by digitalisation?” 

 

Industry leader Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG was one of the first exhibitors to express this when it revealed its new drupa motto “Simply Smart” at its year-end press conference held at the beginning of December 2015. Smart means: Making interlinked, relevant, consistent and interactive new solutions possible for the communication of printed matter at various levels. (See my commentary and real-time report “Heideldruck 4.0: Zurück in die Zukunft | Back to the future”.)

Value Blog Dialog Harald Weimer 12-2015 ENG.001

 

The smartly chosen highlight themes of drupa 2016 point the way ahead. And emphasise a greatly expanded range of products to be exhibited: In addition to the “standards” Print and Packaging as well as Green Printing, there are now 3D Printing, Functional Printing and Multichannel.

If you thoroughly reflect on these themes, you will come to the realisation that they do not introduce a new silo mentality. On the contrary. Multichannel pervades all the themes of drupa 2016, since it is what defines the basic principle of how innovations need to be staged. Packaging, 3D Printing and Functional Printing open up completely new business opportunities that make the drupa this year more attractive than ever for new target groups. The novelty: The new opportunities call for a new type of cooperation among technology providers, their users and their customers (brand companies/commercial enterprises, organisations, etc.).

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“Time for a Change: Touch the Future NOW!”

Our focus in the coverage and commentary will be oriented to the above-mentioned new understanding of drupa 2016. First, with a 100% multichannel approach in trade communication through ValuePublishing. Second, through addressing new target groups in the culture and creative industries — with annual revenues of €146 billion — as the key innovation drivers for the economy as a whole.

We will be providing highly topical content in real time on all the drupa highlight themes. As for the technology trends in print and packaging, the latest digital printing applications will receive our full attention. Finishing and innovative solutions in paper technology are also relevant when it comes to the success of print in the communications mix.

We are having an exciting time analysing the types of themes and activities that certain exhibitors will be able to muster up. There are bound to be some surprises in this area. That HP with its Graphic Solution Business division, for instance, may end up for the first time being the biggest exhibitor. Or that, if we consider our analyses from the Canon Expo 2015, imaging specialist Canon may very well be the only exhibitor to cover all six drupa highlight themes!

It will also be extremely revealing to know what impact the split of the Xerox Corporation into two companies will have and how its claim to leadership will be represented. In any case, with its subsidiary XMPie, Xerox is the trendsetter in multichannel innovations.

We already published a series of extraordinary conversations with leading multichannel experts. Please click and read:

  1. ValueDialog with Jacob Aizikowitz, XMPie President:
    Multichannel leads to sustainable business success in the digital age! 
  2. ValueDialog with Christian Kopocz, Multichannel Entrepreneur und Executive Director XMPie User Group (XUG)Multichannel ensures relevance!
  3. ValueDialog with Patrick Donner, TraffiC Print Online Solutions GmbH:
    New take on multichannel communications: “There is no either/or!”
  4. ValueDialog with Renato Vögeli, Vögeli AG Medienproduktion & Druck:
    Multichannel turns communication into a personal experience!

More and up-to-the-minute news coming soon. The excitement is growing – and we’re excited, too, because: drupa ante portas!

 

XMPie Jacob Key Visual.001

 

Our pre-drupa coverage highlights are as follows:

  • Daily tweets/posts on LinkedIn, XING (German Section Digital Printing Forum) Facebook, Google Plus as well as Twitter via @ValueCommAG and @zeitenwende007.
  • Weekly overview of global innovations in print and publishing, in association with our ValuePublishing partner Mike Hilton, Editor-in-Chief, Graphic Repro On-Line via the ValueBlog. See:
  • A series of dozens of exclusive interviews with top-class drupa exhibitors. (See sample, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, Harald Weimer, Member of the Management Board).
  • Expert commentary and talks on trends and prospects from the trade fair visitors’ point of view.
  • Live reports from selected exhibitor press conferences as well as from the drupa media week, March 1 and 2, 2016 in Dusseldorf.
  • Commentary on current market data of the VDMA, Printing and Paper Technology Section, on April 4, 2016 at an exclusive meeting of experts in Frankfurt am Main.

 

Bildschirmfoto 2016-02-08 um 11.53.56

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