Variable Data & Digital printing

Increasing confidence!

Ultimately, the persistent endeavours of major digital press providers such as Canon, HP, Kodak, Ricoh, Xerox, etc for promoting the very applications of digital printing and consistent technological advancements, have started showing their impact on the printers community. So far, digital equipments would be considered suitable mostly for copyshop segment and offset printers would shy away in going digital, but now a change can be observed all over witnessing greater acceptance of digital presses.

Seeing potentials in digital printing, offset printers have also begun investing considerably in digital equipments taking these as a perfect complement to offset printing. It is good development for the print industry as offset printers can utilise the capabilities of digital printing in a big way, while copyshops use it only for copying and documenting. With digital printing equipment which not only enable them to execute VDP but also books as well apart from general multicolour jobs, offset printers can exhaustively fulfill their requirements, be it short-run or long-run to some extent.

Besides, unlike copyshops offset printers have direct links with advertising and marketing agencies who are creators of new jobs and have started recognising digital printing as a much efficient printing process, believing always in getting delivery of yesterday. So taking its advantage, they can receive lot of jobs from these agencies to utilise their digital machines up to optimum level generating quite effective revenue stream. Obviously, what can be produced through digital printing within a minute, offset printing may take hours and sometime days also.

So, it is a perfect time to take advantage of new technology having huge potentials. Constantly increasing level of confidence in digital printing process evidently is a good sign for all!


InfoPrint’s Print Innovation Centre in Shanghai

- 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.

RICOH presents Pro C900/C900s to deliver for faster performance

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.

New offering from HP

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.

Paper Idea continues strengthening its base across India

Team-Printwell Offset. 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.

Group Publications