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Print Planet Editorial Archives:
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How CHILI'S New Illustrator® Feature Plugs Into An Increasingly Automated Future:
By Sean O'Leary,
Chief Technology Officer, PrintPlanet


As 2019 kicks off, CHILI publish will begin rolling out a new Illustrator Plug-in for its Universal Graphics Engine platform. That news is bigger than it sounds at first.

The "native AI document conversion utility" is particularly targeted to the packaging and label industries, which, due to the greater complexity of their graphics (and the incorporation of large numbers of vector components), have historically favored the Adobe Illustrator® desktop application to create content.

The development of this plug-in will not only open up online interactive graphics editing and management for the fastest growing segment of the greater commercial printing industry, it will also enable access to a growing collection of ancillary benefits. The Brussels-Chicago-based developer believes the new feature represents another step toward an integrated, automated data driven printing future in which Variable Data Printing and DAM offers huge revenue potential.

Now let me track back and drill a little deeper.

Read more here.
Chili publish
Why Ever Would You Want to Automate?
By Noel Ward,
Editor@Large, PrintPlanet


A Competitive Edge for Commercial Printers?

Why ever would you want to automate your operation? After all, it seems far too complex, costs money, involves a lot of your people, will absorb significant time, and you figure you probably don't need it. And then you run out of excuses.

I used to work with a guy who had some 20-odd years in printing and packaging behind him. He insisted that every shop he went into had a superbly lean and extremely efficient workflow and spectacular MIS. He said each one had automated as much as they possibly could. Yet when I went into the same shops I found that the shop floor team was basically good at moving pallets and rolls around. Jobs were usually going out on time, but it was difficult to know where each job was in production and when it would be ready to ship. Prepress was dependent on paper job jackets and a 15-foot-long white board. The business owners only knew the status of a job if they talked to the production manager or pressroom supervisor who couldn't always give a straight answer without checking with people further down the food chain. And finally, knowing whether or not a finished job was going to be profitable was a couple weeks away from being clear. This, I thought, is no way to run a business: a good MIS that drove automation could be a game changer. Maybe.

Now let me track back and drill a little deeper.

Read more here.
Graphtec lcx 603
New Affordable, Short-Run Finishing Systems:
By Sean O'Leary,
Chief Technology Officer, PrintPlanet


A Competitive Edge for Commercial Printers?

One of the hidden problems with the digital revolution is that it opens up new business opportunities for everyone - not just you. For example, you may have thought that a high volume inkjet press investment was a strategic move that would put you one step ahead of the competition, but in reality it turned out you're just keeping up with the pack. For small-to-medium commercial printers in particular, striking that balance between the leading edge and the bleeding edge is always a challenge. And as the digital revolution enters its third decade, that treadmill shows no signs of slowing down.

Read more here.
Graphtec lcx 603

Why You Shouldn't Buy a Digital Press
By Noel Ward, Editor @ Large

There are a couple of legends about digital printing that continue to bring a lot of pain to some print providers. They hamper the expansion of digital print specifically and hurt the print industry in general. Ironically, parts of these legends were initiated and promulgated by some of the very people who built and sold digital presses.

First is the idea that short runs are the main reason to buy a digital press. This has been, and always will be, a perfectly valid reason to pull the trigger on a shiny new Canoxdigo Bizipress 9100i. But it is only one reason. Short runs fill a need and in some ways digital presses have fueled a self-fulfilling prophecy that helped foster the ongoing trend to shorter runs. So if you invest in a digital press you will-and probably should-do a good number of short-run jobs. This fills a need and not doing it leaves money on the table. But it is only a very small part of what the machine can do.

Read more here.
Horizon smartslitter

Thinking Inside the Box
By Richard Romano, Industry Analyst

It's no secret that each year sees more and more offset work migrating to digital, a technology transfer driven largely by a decline in run lengths. While today's digital presses can productively handle these short runs (however you want to define "short run"), the bottleneck has historically been in the finishing stage. For much of the past 15 years, the lack of finishing equipment that was compatible with digital presses was a common lament. Today the key issue isn't the dearth of digital finishing capabilities, but rather the ability to efficiently finish these short-run jobs, particularly if they involve multiple finishing processes. In order to be profitable, print service providers need to maximize finishing productivity. One way of doing this is by means of what we might call "inside the box thinking": how many finishing processes can be combined into a single machine, or, that is, a single box?

Read more here.
Horizon smartslitter

Highcon's Euclid III Digital Converting System To Debut at Drupa '16
Highcon has high hopes that the new Euclid III digital cutting and creasing system will to open new doors for high value, custom applications in web-to-pack and 3D modeling that would be economically impossible using traditional methods. Read more here or view some examples of this "visual origami" visit our PHOTO GALLERY or check out the Highcon exhibit at drupa '16.
Euclid III

Digital vs. Traditional Print Packaging A Growth Market. Good News!
Author: Michael Seidl

Summary
Digital printing has succeeded in establishing value in the traditional areas of the print media industry, but adoption has been slower in packaging. The exception is label printing. The requirements of the packaging industry are completely different from those in traditional printing, and the players have taken more time to adopt a digital future. But, increasing numbers of producers and customers are recognizing the benefits of digital packaging.

According to the latest forecasts, the volume of the worldwide print market is set to grow to Euro420b by 2020 from a current level of around Euro407b. Projected figures show very clearly that print packaging is the only print industry area that will grow significantly, with a yearly increase of 3.3%, to Euro141b by 2020.

Read the Story

Bob Weber to Launch Private Label Processless Plates
By Richard Romano, Industry Analyst

The company is rolling out three lines of its
own new private-label processless plates.

Read the Story

Back To The Future at SGIA 2015
Sean O'Leary

The "Screen Printing" Show as a Mirror of 21st Century Enterprise
Read the Story

Digital Packaging Summit 2015
Noel Ward

Converting Cognoscenti Gather to see the Future
Read the Story

Read All About It!
Richard Romano

Changes in Publication Production Call for New Solutions
Download the White Paper

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