The October 2018 installment of What’s Happening features the SGIA Product of the Year Awards in addition to two new wide-format printers. We also look at large-format printer shipments for the first half of 2018. And we report on a new Epson Technology Center.
What’s Happening October 2018
SGIA Unveils Product of the Year Winners
The 2018 Product of the Year winners were announced by the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA). After evaluating a record-setting 255 submissions, judges of the annual competition selected 68 winning products.
“This year’s competition was tight. A number of categories were decided by five points or less because of the quality of the submissions,” said Ray Weiss, director, Digital Print Programs, SGIA.
This year there were a third more categories than last year’s field of 49. Additions include Digital Inks (Industrial and Packaging), Large-Format Scanners (Flat or Roll), 3D Printers and Single-Pass Printers.“The competition is bigger than ever, and with the additional 19 categories it encompasses even more of the industry. You will want to visit the Golden Image/Product of the Year Gallery at the SGIA Expo. You can see all of the entries for yourself,” added Weiss.
The 2018 SGIA Expo will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 18–20, 2018. The Golden Image/Product of the Year Gallery is located in Hall C2 at the back of the show floor in the LVCC. Winners will receive their Product of the Year jewels at a special presentation the evening before the expo opens.
Among this year’s winning products were the Onset M digital press from Fujifilm Graphic Systems; Mutoh America’s VH-1638UH hybrid flatbed printer; Agfa Graphics’ Jeti Mira MG 2732 HS LM LED printer; Epson America SureColor F6200 roll-to-roll printer; and Mimaki USA’s 3DUJ-553 3D printer. For a complete list of the 2018 SGIA Product of the Year winners, click here.
Canon Océ ColorWave 3000 Wide-Format Printers
Canon launched its Océ ColorWave 3000 large-format color printer series. The Océ ColorWave 3500 and 3700, based on 10 years of customer use, are built for hassle-free operation and can handle a range of large-format applications.
The printers incorporate patented technologies that help walk-up users save time and costs, Canon announced. With a media capacity of two to six rolls and IT integration, the Océ ColorWave 3000 series can fit into large-format environments with minimal operator intervention.
“The landscape of print is constantly changing as the needs of our customers evolve,” said Shinichi Yoshida, executive vice president and general manager, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon USA. “The Océ ColorWave 3000 series was designed to provide a versatile solution for large-format users to produce all of their applications, both the ones that they require today and those that they hope to produce tomorrow.”
User training and operational requirements are reduced with the Océ print assistant. This feature automatically suggests the right print mode based on the file content, detects media requirements and automatically switches to the right roll.
Scanning was also simplified. Océ Image Logic technology turns imperfect originals into near-perfect copies via advanced image enhancement—without user intervention. The multi-pass printers also employ Océ CrystalPoint technology for instant-dry prints on media from uncoated bond to vinyl.
In addition, the process emits virtually no fine dust, ozone or odor, and Océ TonerPearls are nontoxic. Prints are also water resistant.
The Océ ColorWave 3500 printer is for walk-up printing environments demanding ease of use; the Océ ColorWave 3700 is geared for customers requiring higher media capacity and versatility.
Epson Technology Center Opens in Southern California
Epson America opened an Epson Technology Center in Carson, California. The tech center showcases Epson printing solutions and applications. It also provides a hands-on experience for customers and dealers with Epson’s wide-format printers. The portfolio includes dye-sublimation, photography, signage and direct-to-garment printing solutions.
“Whether new to Epson technology or expanding their current offerings, this technology center provides an outstanding opportunity for customers and dealers to experience the capabilities of Epson professional imaging technology in a single location,” said Andreas Goehring, director, Professional Imaging, Epson America.
“We know that purchasing new imaging hardware is a major investment, and this technology center will allow customers to experience our latest technologies using their own files, helping them to make a more informed purchase.”
In addition to the Epson Technology Center, Epson will work with dealers to launch Epson Certified Solution Centers in key metropolitan areas later this year. These centers will provide potential customers with a closer look at Epson’s professional imaging technology. They will also give customers the opportunity to engage with product experts and run test print samples using their own files.
The new technology center provides customers and dealers with a deeper look into how to expand their services and improve workflow with Epson solutions. This includes the SureColor F-series dye-sublimation and direct-to-garment printers. In addition, they can experience SureColor P-series aqueous printers for photography, proofing and graphic design; SureColor S-series solvent printers for signage, vehicle graphics and fine art reproduction; and SureColor T-series wireless technical printers.
Large-Format Printer Shipments Up in First Half 2018: IDC
Technology analysis firm IDC reports that during 2Q 2018, global shipments of large-format printers increased 4% year over year and large-format printer revenue grew 3%.
IDC’s research also reveals that for the first half of the year, shipments were up 3.5% and revenue up more than 5% compared to the first half of 2017.
“New solutions, capabilities and technologies continue to drive investment in large-format printing equipment on a worldwide basis,” said Tim Greene, research director, IDC’s U.S. Large-Format Printer Tracker division. “While some regions and technologies are maturing, we also see manufacturers and dealers are incentivizing new printer shipments with discounts, bundles and aggressive promotions.
“A recovery in technology categories like eco-solvent and toner-based printers have run counter to some of the market trends over the past few quarters to create a bit of a surprisingly strong second quarter.”
Moreover, the report found there was some movement among the top five large-format manufacturers. Mimaki overtook Roland DG in terms of 2Q shipments to move into fourth place.
According to IDC, the top five large-format printer companies in 2Q 2018, in terms of units shipped, were: HP, Canon Océ, Seiko Epson, Mimaki and Roland DG. Moreover, HP by itself had nearly 35% of all the shipments of large-format printers globally in the second quarter.
HP Latex R1000 Hybrid Printer Added
HP Inc. expanded its hybrid Latex R printer series with the HP Latex R1000 printer for rigid and flexible printing. Designed for various hybrid applications, including signage and displays, R series printers use HP Latex Rigid Printing technology. They also make use of HP latex white ink.
The latex printer portfolio also includes the HP Latex R2000. This printer is for large-signage print service providers who require workflow efficiency and sustained production.
“Print service providers are looking at new ways to increase production as well as expand applications by investing in innovative print technologies, such as rigid and white ink to embrace all the possibilities of print,” said Joan Pérez Pericot, general manager, HP Large Format Graphics Business, HP Inc. “The new introduction to our HP Latex R printer series delivers a versatile and also innovative print solution for medium-sized businesses to unlock print opportunities and drive growth.”
Moreover, the Latex R1000 is ideal for growing businesses with investment and space constraints. It uses a single set of inks for a range of flexible and rigid media. Potential applications include retail, outdoor signage, window graphics, events and exhibitions, and decorations. In addition, the printer comes with three liter ink cartridges, compared to the larger R2000 with five liters. Its inks also offer scratch resistance and flexibility with HP’s latex overcoat.
The new printer accommodates materials up to 64 inches wide and 2 inches thick. Conversely, the R2000 printer handles media up to 98 inches wide and 2 inches thick.