By Elizabeth Gooding
One of the great things about being a partner at Inkjet Insight is that I get to talk to really interesting people and, in many cases, capture them on video. Over the course of 2018 we recorded some great advice from industry strategists, OEM execs and companies that have acquired inkjet for a wide range of application types.
Below are some of the insights we received from the experts dealing with technology evaluation, trade-offs on technology decisions, the progress of inkjet in high-end production applications and some hard-won lessons from users.
“Inkjet is becoming better and better and more capable of producing color books… It’s very important that in the future we’re able to do more of these high-end color text books, magazines, scientific journals. And it’s very important that we’re able to use media that looks a lot like offset type media.”
Eric Wiesner, HP Inkjet for Color Books
“We found an interesting niche in Workbooks and Directories. The workbook market is different than the book market … because this is really driven by customization at the local level for the people using the content for educational purposes. The level of customization for directories continues to grow… we can save significant amounts on postage by mailing out smaller, lighter weight books.”
Steve Welkley, Xerox Niche Book Markets
“I think a lot of people are finding out that there’s not a ‘one size fits all’ package, and when there is, a lot of time it ends up in a train wreck.”
Martin Aalsma, King Printing Inkjet Book Publishing Workflow
“We live in a world where we’re all a little bit “attention deficit” so we gravitate towards things that have a number associated with it. … The number of levels of grayscale has a huge impact on things because you could have a lower density of nozzles, but you could have a 2-bit or a 4-bit or an 8-bit grayscale and that could compensate more than enough with having a lower dpi.”
Marco Boer, I.T. Strategies Apples, Oranges & Inkjet Specs
When we started meeting with the vendors… They all are describing sort of the same thing, but in a different way. So, we had to learn the talk and we had to understand [that what] one term was to one guy was maybe something completely different to the next. Once we learned that, we were able to compare apples to apples.
Katherine Versteegh, A.B. Data Considerations for Acquiring an Inkjet Press
It’s critical that you figure out your light coverage, medium coverage and heavy coverage jobs and what those might look like in your pricing model and maybe have some tiers that you can arm your sales people with – ‘cause you can’t price everything on a light coverage when the page is painted with ink.
Jennifer Eberle, Highnote Highnote’s Inkjet Journey
“Highly concentrated inks reduce the amount of water we put in to reduce the amount of drying energy we use to take the water back out.”
Mike Herold, Ricoh The Importance of Inkjet Coatings and Fluids
“If you look at the number of commercial printers left in the U.S., there’s about 25,000 according to the U.S. Census. Of the number of sites that have adopted inkjet so far, it’s somewhere around probably 300 sites, but, we’re reaching a stage where I think we’re going to see a lot more start to adopt inkjet.”
Marco Boer, I.T. Strategies Are Commercial Print and Inkjet gonna’ be a Thing?
My advice would be to evaluate your business…know your finances, know your monthly budget and what your core business is. Don’t make your decision based on a corner-case solution that may represent a new part of your business that’s possibly only ten percent. You’ve got to stick with your core business … and what your clients need.
Steve Wolffis, i3Logix i3logix Inkjet Journey
We value the opportunity to speak with people around the world who are creating inkjet technology and those who are driving customer applications with inkjet. We hope you are enjoying being along for the ride. You can look forward to more insights from OEMs and customers around the world in 2019.