DirectSmile now acquired by EFI

EFI has further strengthened its Productivity Software Web2Print Solutions Group with the acquisition of DirectSmile for an undisclosed sum. The deal, which will significantly strengthen EFI’s web-to-print and cross media marketing software portfolio, is not expected to be material to EFI’s Q3 or full year 2014 results.
Gabriel Matsliach, senior vice president and general manager EFI Productitivity Software, said: “Web-to-print is one of the fastest growing parts of the printing and marketing

Kodak launches its Nex Press VII DFE upgrade

Kodak has released an upgrade to its NexPress digital front-end and also unveiled a new delivery unit that enables the press to handle longer sheets.
The new Kodak NexPress VII Front End with System 15.1 software, which drives all Kodak NexPress Digital Production Colour Platform presses, was released earlier this month. It is the first in the industry to have achieved Adobe PDF Print Engine 3.2 Certification.
“For customers that have invested in the existing NexPress, this is really the

EFI unveils superwide Vutek GS5500LXr Pro

EFI has launched the Vutek GS5500LXr Pro, a 5m-wide roll-to-roll printer equipped with LED curing and the manufacturer’s new 7pl grayscale UltraDrop technology.
The device will be sold alongside EFI’s existing 5m-wide GS5000r and while it is based on the same chassis, it features entirely different printheads, curing system and electronics.
The technology is said to offer high apparent resolution as well as smooth shadows, gradients and transitions, four-point text in both standard and knockout

Xerox reveals ambitions for inkjet business

Xerox chairman and chief executive Ursula Burns said the group could make further acquisitions to boost its production print inkjet business, as she officially opened the new Inkjet Innovation Centre at Impika’s French base. Xerox acquired Impika for $53m in February 2013. It has now made a further multi-million dollar investment in expanding Impika’s facility in Aubagne in the south of France.
Burns said the $21.4bn turnover technology and services giant intended to capitalise on double-digit

Heidelberg gives XLs a speed boost

Heidelberg has upgraded its VLF XL 145 and XL 162 presses with running speed increased by up to 20% to 18,000 sheets per hour for the XL 145.
Heidelberg said the Packaging Speed Performance (PSP) versions of the machines were aimed at multinational packaging groups who require maximum throughput and minimal waste. The enhanced presses are capable of more than 70m impressions per year, a 40% increase on the original 50m target of the Drupa 2008-launched standard machines. New features on the

Xaar has issued profit warning

Xaar has issued a profit warning ahead of its August interim results announcement, sparking a 23% slump in its share price.
    Shares in the inkjet printhead manufacturer had fallen after it warned of a projected 3% year-on-year reduction in revenue and a 6% drop in operating profit margin in the year to 31 December 2014.
     Revenue for 2014 is now projected to be in the region of £130m as a result of a slowdown in sales into the ceramics market plus expected sales growth in new applications

Fujifilm enters solvent UV with Vybrant F1600 launch

Fujifilm has announced its first hybrid solvent UV printer, the Vybrant F1600, a 1.6m-wide device based on Mimaki’s JV400-160SUV, but featuring Fujifilm’s own ink system and curing technology.
The 1,620mm, four-colour, roll-to-roll printer is aimed at the sign industry and uses Fujifilm’s new FUZE ink technology, its first to combine a UV-curable component with a water-based solvent.
With a list price of around $34,160the Vybrant F1600 is half the price of Fujifilm’s mid-range Acuity LED 1600, a

H’berg arrests 5 years of losses in 2013/14 preliminary results

Heidelberg is back in the black for the first time in five years, according to its 2013/14 preliminary results, which record a net profit of $5.5m on sales of $3.34bn.

The positive net result represents a near $157m improvement on last year’s net loss and comes in spite of an 11% drop in sales, down from $3.7bn in 2012/13, further evidencing the firm’s pledge to focus on margin over volume, as stressed in its Q3 results.

“Heidelberg is once again making a net profit, which was our number one

Less visitors at Ipex, but exhibitors satisfied

The new-look Ipex has been hailed a success by organiser Informa and exhibitors alike, with the latter group achieving significant sales at the six-day London event. “We’re really pleased and the anecdotal feedback is that visitors have been delighted by what they saw. And if you take into account what the show has been through in the past couple of years, then it’s even more satisfying that it all came together,” said event director Trevor Crawford.

Almost 23,000 visitors attended Ipex across

Copytrax launches flatbed printer

Copytrax has launched a new flatbed solvent printer, the PrintMaster Rubens.

The desktop printer, unveiled at last week’s Ipex, is designed for those wanting to buck the UV trend to offer high quality photographic, packaging and merchandising products.

“UV just doesn’t always give the same effect,” said business development director at Copytrax Steve Woods. “This gives a smooth glossy finish. It’s aimed at small entrepreneurial digital printers looking to get into small desktop flatbed

Masterwork launches MK1450ER die-cutter

Masterwork Graphic Equipment has announced the worldwide launch of the MK1450ER, which is said to be the first Chinese-manufactured large format die cutter with stripping and blanking capability.

The 5,000sph machine, which is manufactured at Masterwork’s factory in Tianjin, can die cut up to 1,450x1,050mm with an accuracy of ±0.15mm and a maximum die cutting force of 600 metric tonnes.

In addition to cutting carton board from 0.1mm to 2mm thick, the MK1450ER can handle corrugated board up to

Konica Minolta’s first label press

Konica Minolta has launched its first label press, the bizhub PRESS C70RLC, at Ipex. The press has been designed to fill the gap between those entry-level and higher end label printing presses currently available, according to the manufacturer.

The C70RLC is based on a prototype shown at LabelExpo, Brussels last year, and runs at 18m/min, where configured as a roll-to-roll printer, and 9m/min as a roll-to-laser die cut configuration. The roll-to-roll configuration has been launched first, with

New CEO takes helm at Kodak

Kodak’s new chief executive has pledged to be “open, accountable and collaborative” in the role. The group announced the appointment of Jeff Clarke to the top job.

Clarke’s background encompasses technology, corporate finance and business sale and flotation activities.   He was chief financial officer at Compaq prior to its merger with HP, and subsequently became HP’s executive vice president of global operations. He worked at HP from 2002-2003.

Kodak chairman James Continenza said Clarke’s

H’berg’s B2 Anicolor in production

Heidelberg’s Drupa-launched B2 Anicolor press has completed its beta testing and entered series production, with Heidelberg “very confident” of securing the first UK sales soon.
The Anicolor version of the 18,000sph press was unveiled at Drupa 2012, and shortly afterwards machines were installed at commercial and packaging beta sites in mainland Europe.
However, the Speedmaster XL 75 Anicolor will only initially be available in straight configurations, targeted predominantly at packaging

Duplo to launch multi-finisher at Ipex

Duplo is to use Ipex as the launchpad for its latest multi-finishing device, which the company says increases the range of finishes offered by its established DC-645i “at least tenfold”.
The DC-646Pro sits between the DC-645i and the flagship DC-745. It has top speed of 30 sheets/min and can handle sheets from 370x999mm down to 210x210mm, with a minimum finished product size of 48x28mm. It has a stock range of 110-350gsm. Features also include a barcode scanner for automatic set-ups. According

Manroland Sheetfed owner forsees upswing

Manroland Sheetfed will roll out ‘the next evolution’ of its presses in 2015, with its owner predicting ‘something of a recovery’ in press sales.
   The press manufacturer’s UK parent group Langley Holdings has just filed its 2013 accounts, with the Manroland Sheetfed business – Langley’s largest division – fully incorporated for the first time since its acquisition in March 2012.
   Sales at Manroland Sheetfed fell 9% to $426.3m, while orders on hand increased from $55.8m to $65.2m. The business

Konica Minolta takes stake in MGI

Konica Minolta has entered into a strategic alliance with MGI Digital Graphic Technology and taken a 10% stake in the French manufacturer, which makes a range of digital print and finishing equipment.
Konica Minolta’s stake in MGI is valued at $18.7m with the investment taking the form of a reserved capital increase the funds from which will be used to drive future growth.
In a joint statement the two companies said that their new alliance would include co-development and co-marketing of

Ipex 2014 aims for ‘event’ status

Ipex has been boosted by fresh commitments from Goss International and Screen, with almost 80% of the available space at the re-energised show now sold. Goss is a new name on the floorplan, and is taking a 63sqm space focused on hospitality and customer engagement. Jean Segura, vice president of sales for Goss EMEA, described it as “a clear message of commitment to the markets served by the show.”
    At the Ipex 2014 Open Day held this week, event director Trevor Crawford said that 45% of

Ipex 2014 ‘happy with’ return of manufacturer

Informa Exhibitions has announced the return of a significant offset litho press manufacturer to Ipex 2014.
Komori Corporation, which pulled out of Ipex 2014 in November 2012, has returned to the floorplan as sponsor of the new 450sqm ‘Eco Zone’ in the South Hall, located near the World Print Summit area.
Informa stressed that Komori was not an “exhibitor” and said that the Eco Zone was an Ipex Feature, sponsored by Komori. However, Komori personnel will be present in the Eco Zone. As the

Epson enters direct-to-garment market

Epson has announced the launch of the SureColor SC-F2000, its first direct-to-garment t-shirt printer.
The latest in its portfolio of textile devices, the SC-F2000 incorporates the manufacturer’s own Garment Creator software, TFP printheads, chassis and Ultrachrome DG inks, marking its first fully designed and manufactured textile printer.
The €20,800 device can print on a range of items, such as t-shirts, caps and fabric bags up to 25mm, and offers resolutions up to 1400dpi. The system, for

Canon exhibits Océ ColorWave 900

Canon has unveiled the Océ ColorWave 900, targeted at the graphic arts, construction, architecture and CAD markets during Fespa.
Co-developed with Memjet and originally presented as a concept (Project Velocity) at Drupa 2012, the device has since been fine-tuned, according to Canon, which claimed it “closes the gap between digital inkjet and offset technology”.
The ColorWave 900 uses Memjet printheads and has a print resolution of 1600dpi. It is able to deliver 3.4bn 1.2picolitre ink droplets

Epson to invest $ 160m to produce print heads

Seiko Epson Corporation has invested approximately 16 billion yen ($ 160 million) in two new production lines in Japan. The lines have been constructed to manufacture next-generation print heads  for use in business and industrial printing systems to come to market in the latter part of the 2013 fiscal year.  According to information received from the manufacturer, Epson’s new print head is based on a new and original design including development of new materials to be used in the print head’s

HP unveils next gen latex printer

HP has announced a new, industrial speed wide-format latex printer, to be unveiled at Fespa.The HP Latex 3000 is a significant departure from exisiting HP latex machines and those offered by other vendors, according to the manufacturer.
    According to HP, the boosted productivity (77sqm/hr and 120sqm/hr speeds, for indoor and outdoor applications respectively) is due to improved curing technology allowing substrates to move through the machine faster.
The new printer also boasts improved

MPress mothballed by Agfa for new platform

Agfa has ceased to develop its flagship flatbed inkjet press, the M-Press, which was originally developed as a joint venture with screen-print press manufacturer Thieme.
However, it will continue to sell, manufacture and support the range, and expects some existing users will choose to add additional units. Sales will be restricted to territories where it has installed machines. “For M-Press customers nothing changes and future support is guaranteed,” said Agfa public relations manager Paul

Canon pulls out of Ipex 2014 due to return on investment fears

Canon has joined the likes of HP, Kodak and Xerox and announced it will not be exhibiting at Ipex 2014, with Ipex-owner Informa declaring that it “remains absolutely committed to running Ipex in Excel in March next year”.
In a statement, Patrick Chapuis, head of production printing group at Canon Europe said: “After careful consideration of our position, Canon Europe is announcing its withdrawal from IPEX 2014.”
“This has not been an easy decision to make as we have previously had two successful

KBA announces price hike for sheetfed press

KBA has announced a 2.5% price increase for its sheetfed offset presses, effective from 15 April 2013.
The price rise, which is in response to rising materials, energy and other input costs, is intended to help return the group’s sheetfed division to consistent profit, something it has failed to achieve in consecutive years since 2007.
A look at the group’s results since then paints a revealing picture of the declining fortunes of sheetfed offset press manufacturers, which has resulted in

Xeikon in talks with unnamed bidder

Speculation is rife as to who the identity of the mystery bidder pursuing Xeikon after the Belgian digital press manufacturer announced the possible takeover last week.
In a brief statement, the company said: "Xeikon announces that it has engaged in discussions with a party, who has indicated to Xeikon that it may be interested in entering into a potential transaction regarding Xeikon, by way of making a public takeover bid for all shares in the capital of Xeikon. "Further announcements will be

Kodak pulls out of Ipex, will focus on events

Kodak's decision follows Xerox's withdrawal just before Christmas, which its self came after HP decided not to exhibit in the summer.
Following a review of how it interacts with customers across the globe, Kodak has become the latest vendor to withdraw from next year's Ipex exhibition. Kodak director and vice president of commercial marketing Chris Payne said that the move was not simply a cost cutting exercise for the company, which is focused on emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Kodak finishes $525m patent sale to group


Kodak ended months of speculation by announcing it has completed a series of agreements to sell more than 1,000 digital imaging patents to a consortium for $525m.



The consortium includes 12 intellectual property licensees organized by Intellectual Ventures and Rochester, NY-based RPX Corporation, with each licensee receiving rights with respect to the digital imaging patent portfolio and certain other Kodak patents.


The licensees represents a who’s who of global tech giants

Ipex 2014 hit with 2nd major withdrawal

Next year's Ipex exhibition has suffered the withdrawal of a second major digital press manufacturer.
Following last summer's surprise decision by HP - the largest exhibitor at Ipex 2010 - not to attend the 2014 event, Xerox has followed suit in pulling out of the inaugural Excel-based outing of the four-yearly trade show. According to the Ipex 2014 floorplan published following HP's withdrawal in June last year, Xerox was set to be the third largest digital exhibitor, with a floorspace of