It’s the time of year when 2024 budgets are being finalized and drupa dreams are glazing your shop manager’s eyes. How can you really know what to put in that budget amidst a continuous flurry of new press, software and finishing announcements? We have some ideas:
- First – get a handle on the efficiency of your current environment and document the virtual and physical workflows that need to be accommodated by any new purchases. Pat McGrew advises that you be on the look out for covert processes that need to be considered, or updated. Check out the latest in her “Walk the Line” workflow series.
- Look closely at new announcements for regional schedules of commercial availability. Also look at the OEM’s history of cadence for delivering new technology. Do they announce technology that will not be available for (several) years? Or, are they likely to come up with a fast upgrade to the new launch that you may wish you had waited for?
- Look at announcement component technology (heads, ink, drying, etc.) that are likely to drive the next generation of equipment. Worth waiting for?
Keep in mind that there are great ideas that never become commercially viable. And some things brought to market that are not really innovative. New is not better if it doesn’t solve specific problems. Kelly Lawrence has some helpful guidance for OEMs and their customers in “Three critical components of inkjet innovation.”
We’re happy to report that there has been a slew of innovation in production inkjet this year. Several OEMs made distinctive changes in their technology strategy. We are looking forward to helping you understand what these changes are and what they mean to you in our Thursday webinar: “Production Inkjet from Customer Communications to Graphic Arts.” (see more below). Meanwhile, Ralf Schlözer has an overview of the latest production inkjet release, the Ricoh Pro VC8000 continuous graphic arts press which Ralf, Mary and I will be dissecting further on the webinar along with releases from Canon, Kodak, Kyocera, HP and Screen.