Three Ways Inkjet Has Evolved

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” -Alan Kay, American computer scientist.

This is a great time to be a brand owner or a publisher. The latest innovations in digital print technology have created new opportunities to re-evaluate the role of print in customer communications, marketing and publishing.

Once focused on forms replacement for transactional documents, production inkjet has blossomed into a versatile and powerful tool that companies like yours are using to take advantage of cutting-edge applications – and even create new ones. The marketing landscape’s shift to digital is spurring new demands from brand owners, making it imperative for the industry to shape the future of print, rather than simply responding to the status quo. Here are three ways that production inkjet – and the printers who use it – are innovating print applications and technologies:

White paper in, full colour out

In today’s world of immediacy, companies are expecting what they want, when they want it, no questions asked. For a print shop, this requires digital technologies that are nimble enough to deliver a transactional production run just before one for direct mail, with minimal downtime.

Throughout the past ten years, production inkjet has evolved into an affordable and effective route to white paper in, full colour out applications. Whether it’s a full colour transactional document, glossy direct mail piece or graphics book, inkjet technology can meet the needs of each demand with precision and high quality.

Short runs

Being able to produce short runs of varied output is also a key advantage of inkjet. In the case of books for example, while offset is still the go-to technology for producing high quantity runs of books, inkjet is enabling book printers and publishers to produce shorter runs that are just the right amount for a given purpose. Review copies used during the editing process and marketing copies distributed during the promotional phase of a book launch are two such applications where low quantities are needed. What’s more, inkjet is enabling books to never truly go “out of print” by making it easier for printers and publishers to meet one-off demands for old and rare books from consumers. In the educational market, class-customised booklets that might be used only by one or a handful of professors, and versioned textbooks are yet other opportunities to put inkjet’s short run capabilities to use.

For example, we will be showing at the Hunkeler Innovationdays show this month in Lucerne a full colour book, The Cult of Porsche: In the Beginning. This is digitally printed on offset stock, delivering the impact and quality that, until now, has been associated only with offset printing. Originally produced in short runs and shown at last year’s London Book Fair, it will be inkjet printed for the first time for Hunkeler Innovationdays.

Personalisation /variable data

The opportunity to customise direct marketing output has never been greater. As more transactional communications transition to intangible, digital forms such as email and mobile apps, the value of printed communications is increasing. The clients of printers are demanding high quality output that grabs attention with relevant content and interactive elements such as QR codes and interactive print solutions like Ricoh’s Clickable Paper. By virtue of the sheer amount of customer data available to agencies and their brand clients, items like coupons can be customised with items that go beyond the usual name and gender information. Deeper demographic and psychographic information can be incorporated and reference the recipient’s recent purchases, buying habits, and other information that ensures the direct marketing content is being received at the right time, by the right people with the right message. Inkjet’s heritage in variable data, coupled with its continued evolution as a graphic communications tool that rivals the colours and print quality of offset, further empowers marketing agencies and brand owners to take advantage of this opportunity. Have a look out for the The Bianchi catalogue on our stand. With its challenging brand colours and high quality bike imagery it will demonstrate the results inkjet is capable of such as readily reproducing work previously the preserve of offset.

Graham Moore -business development director for Ricoh Europe

Graham Moore -Director Business Development, Ricoh Europe

All of these innovations will be on display in the Ricoh booth at Hunkeler Innovation Days. Stop by to learn more. We look forward to seeing you at the show.

This article is from European Printing Industry Coverage from WhatTheyThink

 

A Great Innovation Opportunity!

Peter Williams, Executive Vice President, Head of Production Printing Business Group, Ricoh Europe

Peter Williams, Executive Vice President, Head of Production Printing Business Group, Ricoh Europe

As its name suggests the unique Hunkeler Innovationdays, held every other year in Lucerne, Switzerland, showcases the latest innovations designed to meet the challenges of high volume production in today’s multichannel communications landscape.

This year it runs from February 23 to 26 and Ricoh will again be demonstrating its latest capabilities in document printing solutions for transactional print, publishing, commercial print and direct mail in end-to-end multi-vendor configurations.

Ricoh fully supports Hunkeler Innovationdays because it differs from traditional trade shows in a number of ways.  Highly focused, it gives you the opportunity to meet one-on-one with experts from Ricoh Europe, its partners, other key suppliers to the industry and your peers. As a result you can gain a broader perspective on your document printing needs and review and investigate innovative solutions that will enhance and future-proof your business.

We’re showing a number of exciting new innovations at the show.  For the first time ever, the brand-new, highly modular and scalable Ricoh Pro™ VC60000 production inkjet press will be on display in its full configuration, including undercoat and protector coat capabilities.

We will also be demonstrating how our solutions combine with the Hunkeler Signature, Booklet and Budget Binder to create a complete production system, including variable-sized booklets, and book blocks.

Alongside the Ricoh Pro VC60000 production inkjet press, we are excited to show the new Ricoh Pro™ C9110, our first digital colour press designed specifically for heavy production.

We’ll also be showing  a variety of workflow solutions designed to make your operation more efficient and competitive, including TotalFlow BatchBuilder, a new solution to help you become a super-efficient operation that enables you to accept more jobs, lower total cost of print and grow your business.

I am personally looking forward to Hunkeler Innovationdays as this year it promises to be the best and largest event, ever.  I am especially keen to greet Ricoh’s current and future clients from around the world. Our new range of products and solution means that Ricoh now even more to offer Print Services Providers . Not only do we have an opportunity to provide advice and guidance but we also have the opportunity to learn a great deal from attendees’ feedback, helping us to inform our future development plans.

You can register for the event on www.ricoh-europe.com/hid2015 and we also welcome you to contact your local Ricoh team to schedule one-on-one meetings in advance.  We’re looking forward to showing you how our New Dawn approach can help give your business a new lease of life.

See you in Lucerne!

See Ricoh’s solutions at Hunkeler Innovationdays 2015

Printing on offset paper with the Ricoh Pro VC60000

Printing on offset paper with the Ricoh Pro VC60000

Full-colour duplex printing on a paper web from roll-to-roll on the Ricoh Pro VC60000, using latest-generation Ricoh inkjet heads with a resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi.

Signature, Booklet and Budget Binding Solution

Signature, Booklet and Budget Binding Solution

The 4-colour printed paper web will be processed nearline on the Hunkeler UW6 unwinding module, FM6 folder merger, and the high-performance CS6-HS cross-cutter. The SD7 double star wheel delivery unit will be stacking the signatures into book blocks for budget binding, or producing variable booklets with 8-, 12-, 16- or 20-pages. Production speeds up to 180 meters per minute, and guaranteed gentle processing thanks to the “huncolor” seal of quality

More about Ricoh’s presence at Hunkeler Innovationdays 2015

How digital print technology is enabling providers to compete in a shrinking transactional market

Digital production printers were prime movers in reshaping transaction printing in the
late 1970s by enabling companies to quickly and efficiently produce bills, invoices, and
other account-based documents in a single computer-based operation. Today a new
generation of digital printing solutions is enabling the industry to respond to the
challenges and opportunities created by electronic alternatives to the mail.

Ricoh’s new whitepaper, from Interquest, explores recent trends, challenges, and
developments with transaction printing in North America and Europe. It also examines the critical and evolving role of digital printing technology, and how it is enabling providers to successfully compete in a shrinking market.

Here are some of the key insights.

Leading Market Trends - Europe

    • total decline in printed transactional pages is less than perhaps expectedINTERQUEST forecasts that transaction print volume will decline by -2.8% per year in Europe, and by -3.6% annually in the U.S. from 2014 to 2019

 

    • Faster, more capable and more economical full-colour inkjet and toner systems are helping transaction providers and their customers enhance transaction mail and improve production and delivery operations.

 

    • In North America high-speed inkjet printing has taken the transaction print market by storm. More than half (55%) of the output currently produced …

 

    • Strong latent demand for paper-based bills and statements in Europe: In Europe 83% of clients’ customers currently receive paper bills only, 13% receive electronic bills only, and 4% receive both

 

 

“We see a step forward in the move to electronic delivery, with corporate billers forcing their customers to move away from paper. Nevertheless, there is still a lot of paper printed because print provides a better response rate than electronic”.—French transaction printer

 

 

To find out more, download Ricoh’s new whitepaper: Transaction Printing in North America & Europe Market Trends & Outlook

 

How print is evolving to meet the new needs of the connected world

With more than one-third of the world’s population now online (Pew Research Center), it is little wonder that the role of printed communications is changing. The challenge is that the time spent with various media is rapidly shifting from traditional channels such as radio, TV, and print to internet and mobile channels. This means the role of printed communications must be readjusted and redefined in the broad spectrum of all media.

Time spent on each Media vs Advertising Spend

Time spent on each Media vs Advertising Spend

Not surprisingly advertising dollars are now moving to online and mobile markets. According to PWC Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2013, internet advertising grew by about 16%, and mobile advertising by 47% in 2013.

This has major implications for key areas of printed communications of interest to Print Service Providers.

Direct mail and direct marketing catalogue volume has suffered at the hands of the recent recession and the rise of electronic media. Although both remain key marketing channels for businesses, they are increasingly being orchestrated alongside digital forms of communications.

Transactional printing – unlike direct mail and catalogues, which are business-driven marketing expenditures, transactional printing is increasingly consumer-driven since recipients dictate their preferred delivery methods

Books – Electronic media has profoundly disrupted the book publishing industry by fundamentally altering the dynamics of how books are sold and consumed. Book publishers and book printers are adjusting to the fast moving realities of the market and tapping new business models enabled by publishing in a multichannel world.

Newspapers and magazines have been impacted by online advertising, rising postal costs, and competition from electronic media. Newspapers and magazines remain widely read and trusted, however, and publishers are finding new and innovative ways to combine print with electronic channels.

Our new white paper, Multichannel Communications The Evolution of Printing in a Connected World,  examines how advertisers and publishers are adapting printed products to multichannel realities in a number of key markets: direct mail and direct marketing catalogues; transactional printing; books; and newspapers and magazines.

Download the white paper here

Transforming transactions to engage customers

Letters, bills and statements are the largest part of the customer communications iceberg.

They are central to the customer experience. Yet the chance to say something powerful usually remains beneath the waves. That makes transactional printing a massive, largely
hidden marketing opportunity.

It has the potential to transform itself from transactional documentation to become a central force in customer communications – and a fundamental part of the marketing mix.

Inforgraphic - Transforming transactions to engage customers

Inforgraphic – Transforming transactions to engage customers

Download in PDF format: RICOH Infographic_transactional_FINAL

Flexible Production is The Future for Printed Books

eBooks may not have had as much of an impact in Europe as they have in the U.S., but demand will grow. This, along with other dynamics affecting the book printing and publishing markets in Europe, will shape the future of book production, according to new research commissioned by Ricoh Europe PLC.

eBooks represent 20 percent of book revenues in the U.S., four times that of most major European countries, where printed books are still highly prized and under a certain level of regulatory protection by the EU and various individual European governments.  In recent research commissioned by Ricoh, I.T. Strategies found that even in the U.S., nearly 70 percent of consumers said it was unlikely that they would give up entirely on printed books by 2016 and the study found that as much as 60 percent of eBooks downloaded are never read.  In Europe and other parts of the world, however, book publishing dynamics are quite different than they are in North America. Ricoh commissioned the I.T. Strategies study to gain a better understanding of these influences, the differences between the U.S. and Europe in these markets, and the changes that both book publishers and book printers in Europe can expect to see over the next several years.

Highlights

“There is a deep history of publishing in Europe and a very strong connection of publishing to the culture of individual countries. As a result, there is a common desire by the individual ECC members to protect their culture, which includes protecting the book publishing industry’s established business models.”

Major European Country and U.S. Book Statistic Summary, 2012

Major European Country and U.S. Book Statistic Summary, 2012

“Many of the larger book printers/manufacturers may have over-reached with acquisitions and aggressive price competition in the race to gain market share.  Smaller book printers/manufacturers have remained somewhat insulated from competition due to regional and specialty products focus. But at some point they may find themselves priced out of the market.”

ebook Share of Retail Revenue, 2010-2018, by Major Country

ebook Share of Retail Revenue, 2010-2018, by Major Country

The full research report can be downloaded here.