The Inkjet Integrator Series

For Inkjet Insight I am preparing an Inkjet Integrator Series, profiling companies and their services offered. Some basic considerations on which companies are going to be covered are laid out in a kick-off article on Inkjet Insight. In short, we cover companies buying in inkjet heads and designing inks, transport, and handling for bespoke print solutions. This can stretch from commercial to packaging, industrial, and even 3D-print and electronics. Often companies develop a set of modules to pick and combine with a lot of leeway to include custom components.

I am impressed with how integrators come up with efficient solutions for complex problems, considering the typical company size of about 30 employees. And how they compete against inkjet behemoths often 100 times the size is fascinating as well. There is one area integrators often fall behind and that is talking to the market. The Inkjet Integrator Series is hopefully changing this a bit.

The series kicked off with an article on NEOS, a company I have known for some years now. I already completed three more interviews to turn into written articles and the series will be continued shortly. The plan is to add one or two profiles per month. Inkjet Insight decided to have the articles outside of the paywall so users can get informed on the capabilities of the players for free. Please keep in mind that the articles are not sponsored and reflect the view of the author.

NEOS Bombardier module
Inkjet Integrator module – custom configurable

If you think your company should be considered as well, please contact me at ralf@digitalprintexpert.de

Where are paper prices heading

Paper used to be a major consideration in print all along. The importance increased considerably in recent years, however. Not only did the printing industry experience supply shortages, also the prices increased drastically. This has a major impact on what media executives are ordering – specifically print or an electronic alternative. These shifts are usually not done on short notice, rather they need to filter through a marketing or corporate strategy. Accordingly, it is important to see where are paper prices heading in the mid term to gauge the impact.

At the end of the road for heatset offset?

My career in print started almost 30 years ago at MAN Roland, the largest web offset manufacturer at that time. In 2001 I left the company to focus on digital print, also expecting that the market for ever-faster conventional presses would eventually dry up. MAN Roland eventually had to declare bankruptcy and was split into two companies. The web press portion later merged with Goss, one of its largest competitors. Still, sales declined and it seems that we are now at the end of the road for heatset offset.

At the recent Intergraf “Print Matters for the Future“ conference, I listened to a remarkable presentation on high volume flyer/door drop printing. On the background of major advertisers pulling out of printed door-drops and impeding governmental regulations that could essentially stop door drops the presentation was already quite interesting. The good news is that proposed regulations are still being reviewed and most retailers still stick with door drops (more on the preference of consumers for door drops here).

AI in journalism

Recently I wrote an article for WhatTheyThink.com on AI image generation tools. I wrote it at the end of last year, shortly before text tools like ChatGPT kept on making headlines. I can still very much recommend reading the article and I am sure it is worth the subscription 😉. While I am confident that AI image generation will revolutionise image production, at first, I was reluctant about the capabilities of AI in journalism and text generation in general.