Kongsberg Is Now a Standalone Company

Kongsberg, one of the most trusted and established names in digital finishing, is now a standalone company, Kongsberg Precision Cutting Systems (‘Kongsberg PCS’). The transformation occurred after the private-equity firm OpenGate Capital acquired the Kongsberg business from Esko. The deal was completed April 6 and highlighted during a special session at the virtual ISA Sign Expo on April 7.

The Kongsberg X series is built for versatility; the Kongsberg C series is built to handle output from wider-format printers. Visit www.kongsbergsystems.com for more details.

Established in Norway in1965, Kongsberg is a recognized leader in providing high-speed, computer-driven precision cutting tables for packaging, signs, and displays.

Esko (then known as Barco) purchased Kongsberg in 1998. In December 2020, Esko agreed to sell Kongsberg to OpenGate Capital.

OpenGate Capital’s Founder and CEO Andrew Nikou stated, “With the heightened focus on digitization in the industrial sector, Kongsberg is well positioned to develop new operational efficiencies and innovative solutions to drive organic growth. This is an exciting time in Kongsberg’s evolution, and we are looking forward to collaborating in the years ahead.”

“This is an opportunity for the Kongsberg team to realize its ambitions, and to explore new markets,” said Stuart Fox, President of Kongsberg PCS. “We will be developing strategic initiatives to further innovate our digital finishing and software solutions, as well as growing the Kongsberg brand beyond the packaging industry.”

At the ISA Sign Expo-Virtual, Stuart Fox and Brad Leonard gave a presentation in which they emphasized that Kongsberg PCS is listening to the needs of customers in the sign and display markets. For example, they plan to introduce a smaller-format unit for sign shops with limited floor space. They also will introduce more automated features to make it easier to process jobs with fewer personnel.

They reported that approximately 11,500 Kongsberg cutting tables are currently used in facilities around the world. The average life span of a table is 18 to 20 years.

“Sales, service, consumables and spare parts will continue as usual,” Fox said. “Customers will receive the same level of service during the transition and can look forward to business as usual throughout 2021.”

“We have an incredible team of 400 people, many of whom have been a part of the Kongsberg family for more than 30 years,” Fox added. “The Kongsberg values that are important to our customers — the strength, the performance, the longevity of the machines — will endure.”

Kongsberg Precision Cutting Systems has headquarters in Gent, Belgium and Miamisburg, Ohio, with a research and development facility in Kongsberg, Norway and a production facility in Brno, Czech Republic.

For more information, visit: www.kongsbergsystems.com/en

About Open Gate Capital

OpenGate Capital is is a global private equity firm that specializes in the acquisition and operation of businesses to create new value through operational improvements, innovation, and growth. Established in 2005, OpenGate Capital is headquartered in Los Angeles, California with a European office in Paris, France.

As industrial companies are rapidly adopting technology as a driver of growth, OpenGate fast becoming a leader in the development of digital transformation applications for businesses in the lower-to-middle market. To learn more, visit: www.opengatecapital.com

Ripl Offers Free “Small Business Owners Social Media Playbook”

Whether you want to promote your own print business or help clients promote their businesses, it’s important to be aware of marketing tools that can help you simplify the job, Ripl is a solution that eliminates the need to hire specialized staff.

Ripl is a Seattle-based software company that helps small business owners simplify the execution of their social media efforts. With a Ripl subscription, your business can quickly create trackable, professional-grade social-media content for mobile or desktop devices, and schedule posts for sharing across social media channels. The subscription gives you access to thousands of customizable social-media templates, over 500,000 high-quality images, and 90,000 videos.

Ripl templates help small business owners elevate the quality of social media content they create.

Most small business owners understand the importance of maintaining a professional social media presence but often feel ill-equipped to take on the challenge, explains Clay McDaniel, CEO of Ripl, “We want to help relieve that stress for small businesses and empower them with the tools and knowledge to quickly and affordably manage an online presence.”

Free Guide to Social Media Basics

To give small business leaders an easy-to-share crash course in social media, Ripl recently released “The Small Business Owner’s Social Media Playbook,” The Playbook provides detailed information and insights into Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as well as best practices and tips on using the features on each channel.

“It’s been a challenging time for small businesses,” said McDaniel. “We wanted to find ways we could share our knowledge of social media tactics and best practices to help support those brands facing an uphill climb. The last thing most business owners have time or money for right now is hiring a social media manager or trying to learn how to keep up with all of the various social media platforms.”

“Whether you are brand new to the world of social media or have dabbled with creating your own content in the past, The Playbook is designed to help you establish and grow your social media marketing quickly with confidence,” says Carrie Byrne, Ripl senior director of brand and design.

No matter the business or industry, Ripl believes there are a few questions all small business owners should be consistently asking themselves when it comes to their brand online:

  • Clear: Is you message clear? Are you sticking to one key topic?
  • Concise: Are you keeping your captions short and using words economically?
  • Compelling: Is your content interesting? Does it inspire action?
  • Creative: Does your content look and sound good?

To download a free version of The Small Business Owner’s Social Media Marketing Playbook visit: https://www.ripl.com/social-media-marketing-playbook

For more information about Ripl, visit: http://www.ripl.com or the Ripl Facebook page.

Epson SureColor V7000 UV Flatbed Printer Is Versatile Option for High-Quality Outdoor Signs, Promotional Products, and More

The Epson SureColor V7000 is Epson’s first UV-LED flatbed printer. Capable of printing on rigid substrates up to 4 x 8 ft. in size and up to 3 inches thick, the 10-color V7000 is a flexible, reliable, entry-level flatbed inkjet printer.

Epson SC V7000 flatbed
The Epson SureColor V7000 4 x 8 ft. UV-LED flatbed printer

“The SureColor V7000 was specifically designed to address common pain points of flatbed printer users, such as quality, productivity, and price,” said Matt McCausland, senior product manager, Professional Imaging, Epson America, Inc. “The V7000 offers high-end printing technologies and provides an easy and cost-effective option for print shops looking to expand from roll-to-roll to flatbed printing.”

To exceed the expectations of buyers of entry-level flatbeds, the SureColor V7000 can produce color or 3-layer prints (with white ink as one of the layers) with little difference in production speeds.

The eight MicroPiezxo printheads are aligned not only for speed, but also to accurately place the variable-size droplets required to print bright, colorful, tactile photographic prints with low graininess and smooth gradations between tones.

Inks

The SureColor V7000 uses 10 colors of LED-curable UltraChrome UV ink, including a vivid Red ink never before seen in an entry-level flatbed printer. The inks are sold in 1000 ml bottles.

The colors include: Cyan, Light Cyan, Magenta, Light Magenta, Yellow, Black, Red, White, and Clear Varnish

The white inks enable users to create rich, high-quality images on a variety of colored or clear surfaces, including wood, glass, or metal.

The clear varnish can add gloss or textured embellishments to selected areas of the print or the entire print.

A new circulation system limits the sedimentation of pigment particles in white ink and preserves the integrity of the printhead nozzles.

Usability Features

A pin registration system facilitates quick and straight loading of rigid materials.

Four Vacuum Zones hold rigid media in place on the print bed without the need for tape. This increases productivity, accuracy, and efficiency.

Automatic Printhead Height Adjustment automatically detects the thickness of the print substrate and adjusts the height to optimize the quality of print. The printer can handle substrates 3-inches thick.

Built-In Ionizer prevents static electricity that can cause dust to stick to the print surface.

Software

The printer includes Epson Edge print workflow software that features the Adobe PostScript 3 print engine for layout and print management, color management, and seamless workflow integration.

Access to the Epson Edge Dashboard enables users to remotely monitor and control one or more Epson printers.

Availability

The MRSP of the Epson SureColor V7000 is $79,999. It can be purchased through select authorized Epson Professional Imaging resellers. The printer is designed to work exclusively with Epson ink,.

Visit www.proimaging.epson.com for more details.

Watch a video of the printer’s features here: https://youtu.be/cPHmNsEo4HA

The Epson SureColor V7000 was announced November 24, 2020

Virtual drupa Features Conference Area, Exhibition Space, and Networking Plaza

Preparations are well underway for virtual drupa, April 20 to 23. 2021. Like the live drupa event, the online drupa will explore the future of printing technologies and markets. Exhibitors and experts will address questions such as:

  • What changes can we expect in the future?
  • How will global changes and megatrends affect the printing business?
  • What recent and emerging innovations will change the markets for print?

Attendees can register free of charge at https://virtual.drupa.com/. According to show organizers, 6,000 visitors from 130 countries have already registered.

The virtual drupa platform includes three main pillars: An Exhibition Space, Conference Area, and a Networking Plaza.
(Photo: Maximilian Beck)

Exhibition Space

Exhibitors will set up online showrooms for product launches, offer video and live presentations, and schedule virtual meetings with drupa attendees.

“Drupa is not taking place physically but this is not a reason to stop sharing information. Virtual drupa provides an opportunity for all traditional exhibitors to share their vision for the industry and to outline major innovations helping printers and converters to better answer the needs and pledge of brand owners,” says Francois Martin of drupa exhibitor Bobst Group. “The way brand owners design, pack and distribute goods is evolving at a tremendous pace. Printers and converters need to adjust to a new reality changing faster than expected. By meeting with all the exhibitors, they will be able to understand where the industry is going and which new solutions to deploy to remain competitive.”

Other key players exhibiting at virtual drupa, include KURZ, DuPont, EFI, Kodak, Komori, BlueCrest, Fujifilm, Konica Minolta, Mueller Martini, Kyocera, Esko, WIndmoller & Holscher, Mimaki, Xeikon. Koenig & Bauer.

Conference Area

The Conference Area of virtual.drupa will feature a world-class, English-language program focusing on the global trends of Artificial Intelligence, Circular Economy, Connected Consumer; and Platform Economy. International industry experts, brand owners and speakers from vertical markets will provide valuable knowledge transfer through best cases, keynote speeches and panel discussions.

More than 2700 minutes of concentrated know-how and knowledge transfer will be featured in the Conference Area.
Photo: Maximilian Beck

Two parallel live streams will offer visitors the opportunity to participate flexibly in the conference presentations between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm Central European Time. For participants around the world, these sessions will also be available on-demand in a video library.

Each of the four days of the conference will start with keynotes from three top international speakers.

April 20: Keynote: Small Steps and Giant Leaps for Your AI in a Circular Economy
Michael Gale, a Wall Street Journal best-selling author and consultant, will make two presentations related to artificial intelligence. He will share where companies can use digital potential, how to make it accessible to everyone, and how to activate business growth with the help of AI. His second presentation is April 23.

April 21: Keynote: The Creatives Business Model of Tomorrow. The Cusp of Another Revolution
Designer James Sommerville, former VP of Global Design for The Coca Cola Company will illustrate the great importance of product design in driving innovation and fostering growth. In 2018 James departed the corporate world to start what he believes will be the next revolution in the creative agency world. His new firm, the Known Unknown uses a 100% distributed talent model in which unknown creatives are invited to help known brands respond to global brand challenges

April 22: World Earth Day Keynote: Implications of the Climate Megatrend for Printing Industry
Dr. Gabrielle Walker, founder of director of the Valence Solutions consultancy, will address sustainability issues. The lecturer, author and climate expert will discuss global challenges with a special focus on sustainability, energy consumption, circular economy and climate change. As a strategist, she advises companies on topics such as future investments and process optimization, as well as on the impact that changing business models can have on a company’s corporate identity, its external impact and acceptance.

April 23: Keynote: The AI Opportunity: A Dawn of a New Age for You with the Right AI Schematic
Michael Gale

Inspiring Presentations

The morning keynotes will be followed in two streams by the English-language daily program of the five drupa special forums:

“drupa cube” offers content to motivate, entertain and inform. Stay up to date on key trends as well as the future of management thinking, digital transformation and printing technologies.

touchpoint packaging” presents inspiring visionary concepts. Meet packaging experts to learn more about future challenges and opportunities. The Hot Spot covers different printing technologies and packaging types for different markets and welcomes brand owners, designers, material suppliers, converters and all other packaging industry experts

touchpoint textile” brings together companies from different textile markets and offers space for cross-industry collaboration, new projects and product and manufacturing ideas. The ongoing digitalization and cross-sectional technologies for numerous industries are drivers for innovation.

3D fab+print” focuses on 3D applications in printing, paper machine construction, and applications for media and packaging. For example, consider how additive-manufacturing could be used to make machine components, prototypes, or an on-demand spare parts supply for printing presses. 3D fabrication and printing can also be used to make unique advertising props and products or unusual packaging solutions

drupa next age” is the innovative heart of drupa. It’s about disruptive developments. What major challenges the print industry? Industry-established companies present their innovative products and forward-looking ideas here.

For the latest details on the full program, visit: https://virtual.drupa.com/en/Conference_Area/Conference_Area.

Networking Plaza

From now until October 21, exhibitors and visitors can connect in the Networking Plaza: https://virtual.drupa.com/en/Networking_Plaza/Matchmaking

With drupa’s intelligent matchmaking tool, companies and contacts that are relevant to your business can get in touch with you even before the trade show starts. If you would like to be contacted, activate your participation in the “Matchmaking” service when you submit your registration. Then, you will be asked to submit more details about your specific interests. If you fill out your profile fully and accurately, you will receive a list of drupa exhibitors and experts who match your interests.

Through that list, you can choose who you would like to chat with or schedule a virtual meeting with during the exhibition. You can scroll down and watch video demonstrations of the matchmaking process on the Networking Plaza page of the virtual drupa website.

If you discover interesting products and services while exploring the Exhibition Space or attending one of the exhibitor’s Live Web Sessions, you can contact exhibitors directly to arrange a virtual meeting.. Companies and contact persons can be found quickly and easily in Matchmaking via a search field function. There is also the option of targeted communication via the exhibitors’ online showroom in the Exhibition Space.

For information on visiting or exhibiting at virtual.drupa 2021, contact Messe Düsseldorf North America; Telephone: (312) 781-5180; E-mail: info@mdna.com;

Visit https://virtual.drupa.com/ and www.mdna.com;
Follow us on twitter at http://twitter.com/mdnachicago
LinkedIn:    http://www.linkedin.com/groups/drupa-print-media-messe-4203634/about

Learn to Think Like a Futurist at the Virtual ISA Sign Expo April 7-9

Registration is now open for the virtual ISA Sign Expo April 7-9, 2021. All the sessions will be conducted online and at no charge.

The educational sessions at the live Sign Expo are always first-rate. So, if you have never attended a Sign Expo in person, here’s a great opportunity to see how ISA Sign Expo differs from conferences produced by printing organizations. Yes, some content does focus on digital printing. But sessions also cover topics related to digital signage, sign fabrication, experiential graphics, and vehicle wrapping.

Hosted by the International Sign Association, Sign Expo typically attracts professionals from sign companies and visual communications firms. 

Many of these professionals work with architectural designers to create and install both on-premise signage and branded environmental graphics in new and renovated facilities.

The 2021 virtual event features a mix of Titan Talks, Learner’s Hub sessions, Peer Networking opportunities, Speakeasies, and Sponsored Sessions. The opening Game Changer session on April 7 looks at the big picture for businesses and offers advice on how to anticipate and plan for change.

Game Changer Session: Confessions of a Corporate Futurist: Coming Trends That Will Revolutionize Your Business

As a corporate futurist, Sheryl Connelly spends her days thinking about global trends that will affect Ford Motor Company. As the Game Changer speaker at ISA Sign Expo 2021, Connelly will share secrets on how to think like a futurist, providing expertise and strategy for anticipating changes that will affect your business.

Sheryl Connelly is Chief Futurist at Ford Motor Company

Connelly also will share the 10 megatrends that she’s currently watching, developments she believes will change the world as we know it over the next 30 years. Attendees will leave with a changed mindset of how to approach long-term planning and strategy.

“The Game Changer session has always been one of the most inspiring and popular sessions at ISA International Sign Expo, and this year’s topic is more timely than ever,” said Lori Anderson, ISA president and CEO. “Attendees will come away with ideas that help them thrive, innovate and remain relevant in the midst of these massive shifts.”

This Game-Changer session is scheduled from 11:10 to 11:40 am, on Wednesday, April 7, immediately after the Sign Expo’s opening ceremonies at 11:00 am.

Titan Talks

In these sessions, ISA President/CEO Lori Anderson will conduct provocative interviews with leading innovators and thinkers from organizations that influence the sign and visual communications industries.

Guayente Sanmartin, General Manager of HP Large Format Business
Harry Patz, Senior VP and General Manager, Samsung
Matt Shay, President and CEO, National Retail Federation
Denise Rutherford, Senior VP of Corporate Affairs, 3M

Learners’ Hub

These sessions feature panels of professionals that work alongside sign and visual communications professionals. Here are just a few of the topics that will be covered:

SEGD Presents: Color Management Complexities from the Johnson & Johnson Museum
Presented by members of the Society of Experiential Graphic Design.

IFAI Presents: The Biggest Pictures in the World — Art Meets Large Format
Heidi Katherine, SVP, global design and development, for the brand experience design firm Moss, will presented this session on behalf of the Industrial Fabrics Association International.

Take the Pain out of Permitting
Presenters: Kenny Peskin. ISA VP of Industry Programs, James Carpenter, ISA Director of State and Local Government Affairs, and Megan Pyrtle of Allen Industries, a signage and architectural elements firm.

Marketing Your Business
Presenters: Experts from Signarama, a leading innovator in the signs and graphics industry.

SEGD Presents: Stadium Signage Innovations from the Super Bowl
Presented by members of the Society of Experiential Graphic Design.

Speakeasies

Choose the chat rooms that best match your interests. Experts and influencers will facilitate discussions that are designed to be both useful and fun. Here is a sampling of the planned sessions.

Most Pressing Industry Challenges: Project Management in the COVID Age
Discussion leaders: Experts from Sign Builder Illustrated (SBI).

Most Pressing Industry Challenges: Recruiting Qualified Works
Discussion leaders: Experts from SmartWork Media (published of Signs of the Times, and Big Picture)

Digital Printing & Interior Decor
Discussion leaders: Decor Columnist Rachel Nunziata and Big Picture Editor Adrienne Palmer

Sales Strategies
Discussion leader: Sales Coach and Author Bill Farquharson

Sponsored Sessions

Earn More Local Customer Projects with Wrapmate and 3M
Sponsored by 3M

Finding the Truth about Antimicrobial Additives in Films
Sponsored by 3M

Printing with White Ink Made Easy
Sponsored by HP

Digital Workflow: Enabling More Productivity
Sponsored by HP

Accessibility & the ADA Crash Course
Sponsored by Nova Polymers

Peer Networking

Visit breakout lounges in which you can network with your peers. Lounges will be dedicated to both professional and personal interests. For example, you can visit the Project Manager Lounge, Designer Lounge, Young Professionals Lounge, Sports Lounge, Pandemic Parenting Lounge, and many more. Each room will have facilitators and fun icebreakers to ease the awkwardness of talking to strangers.

Register

Learn more about the schedule and register for free at www.signexpo.org.

About the ISA

The International Sign Association (ISA) is devoted to supporting, promoting and improving the sign, graphics and visual communications industry through government advocacy, education and training programs, technical resources, stakeholder outreach and industry networking events. Members include manufacturers, users and suppliers of on-premise signs and other visual communications systems.

FuturePrint Leaders Summit March 23-24 Features Stellar Speaker Line-up

A stellar line-up of print technology leaders will make presentations at the online FuturePrint Leaders Summit, Tuesday, March 23 and Wednesday, March 24, 2021. The speakers will present the top-level overviews of advances and opportunities in package printing, industrial inkjet printing, commercial printing, and wide-format printing.

There is no fee to attend the virtual FuturePrint Leaders Summit, March 23-24, 2021.

If your shop plans to make investments for the coming boom, you will want to hear from these leaders at the forefront of technologies and market trends.

The summit is organized by FM Future, a business development and communications consultancy based in the UK. Below are just some of the sessions and panel discussions on the schedule:

Top Talks from Business Leaders

Shaping the Future of Packaging
Jean-Pascal Bobst, CEO, Bobst

The Value of Digital Packaging and HP’s View of the Future
Dave Tomer, General Manager, HP Scitex Division

The Future of Print
Doug Edwards, Sr. VP, Chief Technology Officer, EFI

A Conversation with Durst’s CEO
Christoph Gamper, CEO, Durst

Agfa’s Leadership Vision for Inkjet
Pascal Jeury, CEO, Agfa

Fujifilm: Enabling Ink Technology
Steve Wood, Commercial Director, Fujifilm Ink Solutions Group

Collaboration is the New Innovation
John Mills, CEO, Xaar plc

New Technology: Fun or Frightening?
Bill Cortelyou, President and CEO, Phoseon Technology

Colordyne: Leadership thought Innovation, Collaboration, and Adaptability
Gary Falconbridge, Founder and CEO, Colordyne Technologies

Posters to Packaging: Inca Digital’s Journey
Steven Tunnicliffe-Wilson, CEO and CTO, Inca Digital

Will You Make Leadership a Priority to Empower Success in Hard Times?
Mary Ann Rowan, CXO, Solimar Systems

Industrial Printing: A Look Into the Future
Christian Compera, General Manager, Industrial Print Global, Ricoh

Our Vision for Innovation in Industrial Printing
Peter Bergstein, Owner and Managing Director, Bergstein Digital

Hymmen’s Vision for Inkjet in Decor
Dr. Rene Pankoke, CEO, Hymmen

Leading the Print Industry Post COVID
Ford Bowers, CEO, Printing United Alliance

Creating New Markets for Inkjet
John Corrall, Owner and Managing Director, Industrial Inkjet

Panel Discussions

M&A What Will Happen Next?
Ken Stack, Owner, Proximus LLC
Mike Rottenborn, CEO, Global Graphics
Thomas Kirschner, CEO, Colorgate Software

Multi-Generational Business
Simon Biltcliffe, CEO, Webmart
Richard Boon, Managing Director, Webmart
Tom Maskill, Sales & Marketing Director, Webmart

Sustainability Live!
Nova Abbott, CMO, Kavalan
Graham Kennedy, Director of Industrial Print Business, Ricoh Europe
Steve Lister, Director of Sustainability at POPAI UK
Brendan Perring, Chairman, IPIA & Print for Planet Group
Anthony Carignano, Director of Marketing, ACTEGA North America

Inkjet Head to Head: Thin Film or Bulk Piezo?
John Mills, CEO. Xaar plc
Martin Schoeppler, CEO, Fujifilm Dimatix
Richard Darling, Director, Ricoh Europe
Mark Bale, Director, DoDxAct

CEO Future Gazing
Richard Askam, Printing Marketing Consultant
Peter Gunning, CEO, Grafenia Plc,
Robin East, Managing Director, CMYUK
Peter Wolff, Sr. VP, Canon Production Printing, Canon Europe

Association Leadership
Brendan Perring, Chairman, IPIA
Jos Steutelings, Managing Director, VIGC
Charles Jarrold, CEO, BPIF
Shaun Holdom, ISA UK, (Global Product Manager, Drytac)

What do Media Think?
Wouter Mooij, Managing Editor, EISMA
Adrienne Palmer, Editor-in-Chief, The Big Picture
Karis Copp, Editor, FuturePrint

Keynote Sessions

Get Ready for the Coming Boom!
Roger Martin-Fagg, Economist, Martin Fagg Associates

Storytelling for Business – Why this is More Important than Ever!
Entrepreneur & Speaker Simon Burton

How a CEO Can Get it Wrong to Get it Right
Pat McGrew, Owner, McGrew Group

Click here to see the full schedule of presentations and the days and times.

To register for the event and specific sessions, visit:
FuturePrint Leaders Summit by FM Future

Printing United Alliance and Idealliance Merge

PRINTING United Alliance and Idealliance have officially merged. As the pre-eminent standards, training, and educational association in the printing industry, Idealliance will operate as a division of the PRINTING United Alliance, the most comprehensive member-based print and graphic arts association in the United States.

“Over the past few years, PRINTING United Alliance has focused on bringing those efforts and institutions that are having the greatest impact in print together under one roof,” said Ford Bowers, CEO, PRINTING United Alliance.

The PRINTING United Alliance was formed in 2020 by the merger between the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) and Printing Industries of America (PIA).

PRINTING United Alliance provides education, workshops, research, government representation, and guidance on safety and environmental sustainability issues. PRINTING United Alliance also owns NAPCO media and produces the PRINTING United Expo which features an expansive display of technology, supplies, and services to all market segments within the printing industry.

Idealliance serves the graphic communications industry by creating superior industry training and certification programs, developing professional stands and specifications, and redefining workflows for the entire print and packaging supply chain.

“Idealliance has developed the expertise to build and roll out its traditional color management programs as well as new standards in training and education,” Bowers of PRINTING United Alliance. “Melding our complementary portfolios will not only benefit each organization, but the industry as a whole, including brands, print buyers, print service providers, suppliers, and manufacturers. We continue to work with partners such as Idealliance who have a similar goal to invest in the future of the industry.”

Idealliance will continue to retain its own membership base as well as defined programs and training in areas such as G7 certification.  G7 is an internationally recognized methodology for calibrating printing presses and proofing systems according to standards to ensure that colors will match throughout the entire design and production process.

Through the merger with PRINTING United Alliance, Idealliance will be able to bring its color and workflow standards, training and certification to a wider of printing professionals. For example, Idealliance can broad exposure through PRINTING United Alliance, NAPCO Media, and more than 30 PRINTING United Alliance events, including PRINTING United Expo, the largest printing-related even in the Americas.

“PRINTING United Alliance and Idealliance retain a synonymous mission to provide the printing industry with top-notch programming, services, and certifications,” said Jordan Gorski, Executive Director, Idealliance. He said that when Idealliance sought a partner that could help the association expand its offerings, “PRINTING United Alliance was a natural fit. We can collaborate to work even more closely with a community that has embraced convergence. This will allow Idealliance to continue to lead in standardization, training, and certification to create more targeted content by market segment. It will also allow up to create content for a variety of learning channels, including in-person, self-directed online, and hybrid offerings.”

PRINTING United Alliance will form an Idealliance Advisory Council comprised on the current Idealliance board officers and directors.

The completion of the merger was announced March 1, 2021

See How to Integrate Dataline’s MultiPress MIS/ERP Software with Agfa Apogee and Asanti Workflows

Integrating MIS/ERP software for business operations with automated job processing and workflow systems can help print shops achieve higher profitability, gain more time for core activities, and provide better service to their customers. To see how this can be achieved, register for the virtual event that Dataline and Agfa will present March 11, 2021.

The presentation will demonstrate how to connect Dataline’s MultiPress MIS/ERP software to the digital front end of Agfa’s Apogee and Asanti prepress and job production workflows.

Multipress MIS/ERP software helps print business managers oversee daily administrative, financial, production, and logistics processes. It also supports job planning, e-business, and reporting.

Dataline and Agfa Virtual Event March 11

The Dataline/Agfa event on March 11 will highlight what next-level automation and optimized efficiency really mean for an everyday printing operation.

In-depth presentations will discuss how printing companies can streamline their operations through the combination of optimum workflow management and a smart integration of administrative and business tasks.

For example, when MultiPress is connected to Agfa’s graphical workflow, JDF/JMF links can be used to create print orders in production directly from the administrative workflow. Manual intervention isn’t needed. This makes the process of creating proofs and plates, press planning, and reserving paper fully automatic.

The production process runs more smoothly and with a lower error rate, satisfying both printing companies and their customers.

Hands-on demos will show the how the software connection works, how it gets set up, and what it delivers.

Representatives from commercial offset printers and large-format inkjet printing companies will describe how the connection of both software packages makes their operations more efficient and successful.

To register for the event, visit www.studio4D48.com.

About Apogee and Asanti

The Agfa Apogee print production hub handles all job-related data required to preflight files, make impositions, send proofs, and make plates in environments that use a mix of offset printing equipment, digital presses, and wide-format printers. A cloud-based Apogee Storefront web-to-print module can easily be added to allow customers to place orders online.

The Agfa Asanti production hub manages data associated with outputting signs and displays on a variety of wide-format printing and cutting equipment. It uses the Adobe PDF Print Engine and Agfa color management to ensure consistent color and quality on jobs printed on Agfa’s wide-format and grand-format printers as well as different brands and models of printers and cutting equipment. The Asanti Storefront solution makes it easy to set up online stores for sign and display products.

APTech Announces Wide Format Business Master Class

The Association for PRINT Technologies (APTech) announced that registration is now open for its six-week “Wide-Format Business” Master Class. The in-depth course provides a blueprint for companies that wish to build a major revenue center around wide-format printing.

The Master Class includes 12 to 15 hours of instruction and begins Tuesday, March 16 with a session from 1:30 to 4:00 pm ET. The other sessions will be held at the same time on the following five Tuesday afternoons.

Each session is interactive, with opportunities for live discussion and answers to questions.

The content is geared for commercial printers, marketing services providers, and other business owners who may or may not already have wide-format printing equipment. The sessions will provide ideas for creating a powerful, wide-format profit center.

  • Week 1: What is the Value of Wide-Format Printing?
  • Week 2: How to Effectively Sell Wide-Format Printing
  • Week 3: Synergy with Sales and Production
  • Week 4: Migrate Offset Sales Staff Reps to Wide-Format Pros
  • Week 5: What You Should Know about Wide-Format Vertical Markets
  • Week 6: Product Diversification Wins Major Projects

The program will be led by wide-format business expert Debbie Nicholson, president of Think to INK!. The content will include plenty of opportunity for live discussions and answers to questions. It will also feature interviews with owners of wide-format business units and experts in equipment and materials.

“Fully understanding the wide-format printing business can be difficult. There is a lot to know on the technical side with so many different ink sets, substrates, and hardware options,” says Nicholson. “It is equally important to understand the best potential clients and progress toward becoming an Order Maker, not just an Order Taker. My goal with this course is to ignite printers to think about the advantages of developing an actionable plan for moving their company toward profitability.”

“We encourage you to invite your leadership, sales, customer services, and operations team to attend this course,” said APTech President Thayer Long. Graduates of the course will have an actionable plan for each company area: leadership, sales, and operations.

The registration fee is $499 for APTech members and $699 for the full six-week course.

A 50% discount is available for multiple attendees from the same company. Contact Julie Shaffer (jshaffer@aptech.org) about this offer.

To learn more about the Master Class, visit: https://printtechnologies.org/WFMC

For more information about the APTech organization, visit: https://printtechnologies.org/

HP Latex 700 and 800 Printer Series Include Two Models with White Inks

In February 2021, HP announced the HP Latex 700 and 800 series of wide-format roll-to-roll printers for print-service providers who want to diversify their offerings, sharpen their sustainability edge, and meet more challenging customer needs.

After a year of business disruption across the large-format industry, the HP Latex 700 and 800 series bring features that enable print-service providers to be more agile, tackle ambitious projects, and take on higher value work. Two models the 700W and 800W include white ink for applications such as window graphics and day/night backlit graphics. All four machines in the series can produce vehicle graphics, canvas, polyester and cotton fabrics, and wallcoverings for full room installation.

“The new Latex 700 and 800 portfolio will allow PSPs to win big by navigating customer challenges in the next normal and embracing more ambitious projects — safe in the knowledge their work will deliver,” said Guayante Sanmartin, General Manager, Large Format Business, HP. “When you think about HP Latex, imagine the unique ability to say yes to every customer request, regardless of fast-changing schedule or application demands. Help meet deadlines with undisputable operator and environmental safety. With HP Latex, every signage and decor decision becomes a sustainable one.”

The HP Latex 700/800 Series of 64-in. wide-format inkjet printers includes four models, including two that use white inks.

All four models can handle media rolls from 10 to 64 inches wide, including indoor and outdoor banner materials, self-adhesive vinyls, films, fabrics, papers, wall coverings, canvas, synthetic papers, mesh, and textiles (with the textile kit accessory).

The four models in the latex 700/800 series are differentiated by the size of the ink cartridges they hold, the ability to print white ink, and higher productivity levels.

HP Latex 700: One-liter ink cartridges,
High-Speed (4-pass) Print Mode for Outdoor Graphics: 334 sq ft/hr.

HP Latex 700W: One-liter ink cartridges, plus White ink.
Additional print modes include: White Spot (60%), White Overflood (60%), White Underflood (100%) and 3-layer Day/Night backlit graphics

The 800 series printers include updated printheads with more nozzles and larger curing units. The 800-series printers offer up to 50% higher productivity levels compared to previous HP Latex roll-to-roll printers.

HP Latex 800W printer uses 3 Liter Eco-Cartons of ink (Photo: HP)

HP Latex 800: Three-liter ink cartridges,
High-Speed (4-pass) Print Mode for Outdoor Graphics: 388 sq. ft./hr.

HP Latex 800W: Three-liter ink cartridges, plus White Ink.
Additional print modes include: White Spot (60%), White Overflood (60%), White Underflood (100%) and 3-layer Day/Night backlit graphics

Each HP Latex printing system is designed for sustainable impact through printer and cartridge materials, ink chemistry, printer operation, the print itself, the print display, and the product end of life.

Inks

According to an HP technical white paper, the HP Latex 700 and 800 printers use fourth-generation Latex inks that contain up to 65% water and provide advantages across the lifecycle compared to eco-solvent, solvent, UV-curable, and UV-gel inks.

HP Latex Inks provide outdoor durability and versatility across all common media types used in sign and display applications. The inks produce odorless prints, with low maintenance requirements, and reduced environmental impact compared to solvent or UV-curable inks.

No special ventilation is required with HP inks and they contain no Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs). Printing with HP Latex inks avoids problematic reactive monomer chemistry and and ozone generation associated with UV printing.

With each new generation of HP Latex printing system, HP is committed to addressing current — and anticipated — environmental requirements. The HP Inks are UL GREENGUARD GOLD certified for low chemical emissions into indoor air during product usage. HP Latex inks are certified at the highest level, meaning the wallpaper print with HP Latex inks can be applied to all four walls in a typical office or classroom setting.

The newest HP Latex inks also are UL ECOLOGO certified for reduced environmental impact.

The HP Latex 700 and 800 printers use 8 printheads to deliver six colors of ink (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Light Cyan, and Light Magenta) plus a Latex Optimizer and a Clear Overcoat.

HP Latex 700W and Latex 800W printers use 10 printheads with the same six colors. optimizer, and clearcoat and two printheads with White ink. The white ink offers a 91% opacity level and doesn’t yellow over time.

Standardized tests conducted in May 2020 on black opaque self-adhesive vinyl revealed that the HP 839 White latex ink cartridge achieved the whitest white compared to the white inks on competitive solvent and UV printers in the under $50,000 price range.

The inks for these four printers are supplied in the HP Eco Carton, a cartridge made with a cardboard material that reduces the use of plastic by 80%. The HP Eco-Carton cardboard container can be recycled through local recycling streams. The ink bag and printhead can be recycled through the free HP Planet Partners program.

Other Features

Smart front panel includes a built-in job queue that can store up to 100 jobs. This makes it faster and easier to process reprints of previous jobs.

Raiseable curing module makes it easier to load new rolls of media onto the printer.

Compatible with HP’s updated Latex Print and Cut Devices. The Latex 700 and 700W printers can be directly connected to the newest models of the HP Latex Print and Cut solutions. The HP 800 and 800W will require a RIP upgrade for direct connectivity. HP Latex printer/cutters solutions combine an HP Latex printer with a Graphtec vinyl cutter for the quick production of contour-cut stickers, labels, wall decals, floor graphics, window graphics, and other adhesive-backed materials.

Print OS

The HP Print OS app enables you to control your print operations from wherever you happen to be. You can access and download job information, receive notifications of issues that prevent the equipment from operating, and monitor ink levels.

HP Inc.

HP Inc. was recognized as one of the 2020 Global 100 Most Sustainable Companies in the world. By working closely with partners and customers, HP manages each component in the printing system (printer, inks, printheads, and media) to provide end-to-end large-format printing systems that enable more comfortable and welcoming operations and strive to achieve a world without waste.

On February 11, 2021 HP Inc. unveiled HP Amplify™ Impact, an industry-first partner assessment, resource and training program aimed at driving meaningful change across its three Sustainable Impact pillars: Planet, People, and Community. Partners that pledge to join the HP Amplify Impact program will work with HP to assess their own practices while tapping into the company’s extensive investments and initiatives.

HP announced the HP Latex February 2, 2021