The Eagle and Columbia printers set the early standards in UV inkjet flatbed printing. In , the launch of the Inca Onset created a paradigm shift in digital print quality delivering a digital press that for the first time could access screen printing volume and become a real workhorse for its owners. A robust, reliable, high throughput yet flexible platform that has established itself as the definitive multi-pass printer, the Onset continues to evolve and consistently delivers for its customers. Inca Digital is a company driven by customer satisfaction and continuous innovation with a desire to embrace and leverage new technologies. Research and development is part of its DNA and as such Inca continuously seeks new solutions to the challenges their customers encounter. Inkjet technology, quality and achievable speed has developed to the extent that it is challenging traditional printing.
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At one time it was easy to distinguish service led print companies who might do all types of work for their customers and specialist process led industrial printers. Attitudes, customers and technology might be very different. But advances in process control, standards, the arrival of the internet and so on has blurred the edges between the different business models, shifting these definitions.
Today the question has to be whether print is a manufacturing industry, akin to building cars or processing pizza, or is it a service industry? To some extent print is the ultimate service industry. Its products are almost always bespoke to one client and cannot be sold to a different customer. If delivery is delayed the printed product can date faster than fresh strawberries in the punnet.
At the same time unless printers adopt all kinds of standards to achieve predictable, consistent results; unless they work at eliminating waste and instigating process controls they cannot expect to compete against those that have implemented lean management systems, nor with the online print businesses. Technology has removed the master craftsman element from prepress, printing and bookbinding, that used to separate one company from another. What is printing: a manufacturing or a service industry?
Service has become more targeted, more direct and that generates higher value. Therefore companies are focused around process improvement, which makes print such a great place to work. Press suppliers have done much to improve the process with automation in makeready, data collection and higher running speeds to enable industrialisation and, says Heidelberg UK managing director Gerard Heanue , a levelling of the playing field.
So add on services which are customer driven are key differentiators. And the press manufacturer continues to push through developments to improve the chances of printing to the highest quality at the highest speed, backing the technology with programmes to ensure the machinery is used to its maximum potential. Heanue names Analyze Point as a measurement tool which can pick up areas where training, logistics or consumables can make a difference.
Onlineprinters near Nuremberg is one of the largest of these and CEO Michael Fries agrees: "We are in a service environment because people can change to someone else very easily. Service is what people want and what they expect from you. That service is delivered by a high degree of knowledge in the industrial processing of print. This level of service is the result of a dedication to lean manufacturing methods, to keeping control over the number of variables, including a limited choice of papers.
The company could not be effective if it had a different paper for every job, so while service is at a high level, the customer has a more restricted choice.
It can be just ten minutes on press from start to finish of a job or section for a job. LED UV can change printing to a totally different schedule," he adds.
It removes the uncertainty around drying times from the equation: much less work in progress around the factory and printers that can be much more confident about a service led model. Technology, therefore, can enable a more industrial manufacturing business model, where adherence to standards like ISO is possible in a way it was not with previous machines.
In terms of digital printing, high speed inkjet has paved the way for the automatic document factory to move from concept to reality. Relentless pressure on price caused by overcapacity is leading to commoditisation and process efficiency is the way to counter this. As more and more manufacturers reposition themselves to become service providers they are adopting service based software platforms that help drive operational efficiencies and manage supply chains and a broad range of products and services.
Whether this is to the sophistication of a full supply chain solution that Claritum might sell or a more basic web to print application, the use of such technology straddles the divide between greater efficiency and greater customer intimacy.
This goes hand in hand with operational excellence for Hillam Technology Partners director Chris Lynn. In his contribution to the debate, he says: "Without operational excellence you are uncompetitive no matter how well you understand and support your customer needs. But without customer intimacy, you risk becoming a commodity. Lose customer focus, lose customers. Don't process correctly, lose customers. Customers will demand a service with the right price, specification, quality and according to service level agreements.
The print service providers will need to deliver to these demands. That is why lean manufacturing, print MIS and ADF have been adopted more and more, and significant data is required from the process to ensure everything is being produced correctly.
Being from the software industry that supports this sector, it is interesting to see the difference when you can optimise a print operation.
Matthew Peacock was part of the VIP team that introduced lean manufacturing concepts to the printing industry. Looking now as director of Active PPP, he comments: "It is a common misconception that lean is only relevant to manufacturing operations.
In fact lean techniques are commonly applied sadly, often not very well to services such as healthcare, banking, law etc.
I have one client who is an orthopedic surgeon. More than half my work is helping print companies to improve administrative processes from receipt of customer enquiries, through estimating, quoting, order processing, prepress, print, finish, dispatch, invoice and payment collection. For instance, poor quality job bag information, inefficient purchasing and bad planning make expensive manufacturing processes inefficient and are the biggest cause of material waste.
But the biggest casualty is, of course, customer service. So lean techniques are as relevant to improving customer service as they are to manufacturing operations.
For the supplier like Heidelberg, this has meant not just providing the appropriate technology, and Heanue names Inpress Control , Image Control and Axis Control , "but also by providing the right advice and consultation.
Every press sale today involves a highly technical consultation. The need to differentiate means printers will look hard to find ways of harnessing press technology. Buying machines wisely with the overall equipment efficiency in mind is a key to survival. Manufacturing has to be right, but printers also need to know their market, command loyalty through reliability and show a willingness to go that extra mile for a customer.
Manufacturing or service? No printer can afford to choose one or the other. Both matter. But which will matter more in the years ahead? In the past production skills differentiated one company from another.
It was straightforward to judge the quality of one company's work as entered in print awards, for example. Today such distinctions are almost impossible. And over the years of recession companies have had to become more efficient and manufacturing focused in order to survive.
It means perhaps that the future will be more about the service side. Back on LinkedIn, James Shand , managing director at TriPartum, agrees: "My vote goes to print needing to be a service industry when you consider the customer centric requirements that need data, which then comes down to adequate infrastructure and controls. I am sure there will still be a place for the manufacturing side of print, but this will become limiting over time.
See Heidelberg's Prinect modules. KBA adopts new structure to provide extra flexibility. Europeans look to service UK print.
Dedicated to the delivery of effective documents. Looking for manufacturers? Editor Gareth Ward posed the above question to the industry. Though manufacturing is undoubtedly a part of it, it would seem the majority view manufacture as part of the service printers provide. Story 1 of 5. Explore more Story 2 of 5. Story 3 of 5. Comment: is print a service or manufacturing industry?
Story 4 of 5. TriPartum's James Shand James Shand , managing director at TriPartum, agrees: "My vote goes to print needing to be a service industry when you consider the customer centric requirements that need data, which then comes down to adequate infrastructure and controls. Story 5 of 5. Log in to My Print Business Create an account.
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Our story is rooted in the ambition to design the perfect balloon for the retail and advertising sector. Through more than 30 years of hard-work and dedication, Belbal has today become a leading global player in the promotions and party industry, as confirmed by our customers in more than 60 countries worldwide. Our goal is simple; continuous improvement! We can manufacture just-in-time or keep strategic buffer stocks close to our customers. Our flexibility and responsiveness are unique in the industry and central to our promise to our customers.
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Headquartered in the USA, Anatol sells screen printing machines to customers all around the world. Anatol screen printing machines are currently helping printers produce high quality work with speed, efficiency and reliability in over 50 countries on six continents. If you are looking to improve the quality of your screen prints or increase your production speed or volume, the Anatol team will work hard to find you the best equipment to help you achieve your screen printing goals. For over 20 years, Anatol has prided itself on providing screen printers with equipment tailored to their specific business needs, rather than cookie-cutter solutions. This means that with Anatol equipment, you can print exactly the way you want — not the way your machine dictates. We offer screen printing presses and conveyor dryers in more sizes and configurations than any other manufacturer. Making the most of our strong, innovative engineering culture , Anatol also specializes in creating custom screen printing equipment designed specifically for the needs of the individual customer.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Most Satisfying Manufacturing Process Never Seen Before
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Provide Feedback. Manufacturer, designer of flat product feeders. Industries served include medical, food, pharmaceutical, garment, electronics, automotive, textile, lumber, contract packaging, cosmetic, agricultural, chemical, converting and plastics. Ink management sytems, dampening systems, rubber rollers, gravure cylinders, ink filtration products, specialty films. Manufacturer of printing presses and related systems for the food, beverage, household product, pharmaceutical, medical, security, beauty product, personal care and industrial markets. Products include flexographic, offset, digital, gravure and screen printing presses and laminating units. Maintenance programs are available. Manufacturer of cleaning equipment and supplies for printing and flexographic printing machines. Products include web, sheet, and process roll cleaners, contact cleaning rolls, and sheeted adhesive tape rolls. Designed to remove dirt, contamination, slitting dust, and converting debris from film, paper, metal, and foil substrates. Products are suitable for the coating, laminating, printing, and converting industries.
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Komori is building its Print Engineering Service Provider PESP business aimed at developing new, beneficial and invaluable products that meet emerging needs. We provide total solutions through the optimal combination of our partner companies' accumulated hardware and software technologies. Komori is implementing a variety of initiatives to ensure our customers consistently receive high level, quality service. Komori's continued technological improvements enable growth of the printing industry.
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China manufacturing industries are full of strong and consistent exporters. We are here to bring together China factories that supply manufacturing systems and machinery that are used by processing industries including but not limited to: inkjet printer, printing machine, large format printer.
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