14 April 2022

Future proofing with digital print

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By Akanksha Meena
As most commercial and industrial printers are experiencing, the global market shift from offset to digital print production is accelerating year on year. According to Caslon, analog print volumes will decline by more than 2 percent per year until 2030, while digital output is predicted to grow by 4.6 percent. Isolating digital color, Caslon expects a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the period of nearly 10 percent.
In the Middle East region, after a decline in the last 18 months (due to Covid19) Ricoh sees market returning to higher demand.
Paolo Cavenaghi, COO of Ricoh International and Emerging Markets, says: ‘The color mid production segment is driven by digital print enhancement capabilities such as gold and silver toner, while high production is picking up again as businesses have returned to normal operations.’
The pandemic offered print service providers the opportunity to reimagine their operations.
‘Time will tell but I don’t believe we will completely return to pre-pandemic working practices. We expect operations in the Middle East to adopt a more flexible and agile approach that best shapes their business needs. One that might be reassessed on a more frequent basis and tweaked regularly to effectively capitalize on changing trends and emerging opportunities, such as digital print enhancement,’ Cavenaghi adds.
In the industrial printing market for packaging and wide format graphics, there is an increasing demand for smaller lot sizes and shorter delivery times, as well as finer image quality. This has resulted in the rapid digitization of industrial printing to deliver greater flexibility and productivity.
Ricoh is seeing a move towards shorter runs, quicker turnarounds, and a growing use of one-to-one marketing to maximize the ROI of direct mail led campaigns. The use of direct to garment printing is becoming popular among print service providers as they explore new revenue streams, including sign and display.
‘There is a thirst for innovation to help PSPs boost their productivity, versatility, and relevance to their clients, and many are turning to Ricoh as the natural partner for this process,’ Cavenaghi says.
He adds that by diversifying and extending applications from their equipment, commercial printers can better respond to their clients’ evolving needs, drive profits, and create a sustainable business.
New products
Ricoh International has launched Ricoh Pro L5130/L5160 latex roll-to-roll printers in the Middle East region.
Designed for sign and display specialists who need short run production, broader job capabilities and productivity, the Pro L5130/L5160 series offers media versatility. Additional features include automated maintenance, Ricoh’s Greenguard-certified latex inks and industrial-grade Ricoh print heads. Its curing technology ensures jobs produced are output ready for finishing as soon as they are printed while a three-way intelligent heater helps prevent melting or warping of thinner substrates.
Ricoh has added gold and silver toners for value added printed communications.
Ricoh’s new gold and silver toners are now available for the five color sheetfed Pro C7200x Series. ‘The exciting additions significantly enhance digital print enhancement capability as brand owners increasingly look for differentiation and cut through in their printed communications,’ Cavenaghi explains.
The company has also introduced the Ricoh Pro TF6251 hybrid flatbed UV printer.
Building on Ricoh Pro TF6250, the all in one hybrid system supports the versatile production of a range of applications for sign and display, industrial, graphic arts, and interior decor. It is equipped with 12 Ricoh inkjet printheads. On its 2.5m x 1.3m sized table, the print heads enable flatbed print speeds of up to 116sqm an hour in four color draft mode. For roll print, speeds are up to 67sqm an hour in four color draft mode.
‘Print rooms are changing – the demand for digital printing and expanded print applications is putting pressure on organizations and professional printers alike. The need for onsite print and business continuity services with the ability to adapt to changing market conditions has never been greater. At the same time, productivity, efficiency, and quality are high on the agenda as competition to deliver new print and digital services increases,’ Cavenaghi says.
‘In this changing world, organizations are seeing the value that print rooms, or central reprographics departments (CRD), can bring to business-critical processes. To future proof their operation, it has become essential to adopt digital document services, address the needs of remote workers, and effectively handle mail and customer communications.’
Ricoh at GPP 2022
Ricoh will feature applications from a range of its systems during Gulf Print & Pack 2022. It will also promote its end-to-end workflow that will provide real time insight into optimum production possibilities.
During the show, the company will focus on short run packaging, commercial printing and industrial printing. Ricoh International will be presenting application flexibility enhanced by the roll option on the Ricoh Pro TF6251 hybrid flatbed UV printer.
It will promote Ricoh’s Pro C9200 digital press including a matt fuser option that allows users to produce ‘offset-like’ quality on uncoated papers – delivering a premium finish while being more environmentally friendly, the company claims.
Developed for the fifth color station on the Ricoh Pro C7200X digital color sheetfed press, gold and silver toners deliver visual impact for high value-added print. The additional colors enable a range of applications from catalogs, posters, flyers, direct mail, and brochures to business cards, greetings and Christmas cards, tickets, invitations, certificates and packaging.
Cavenaghi comments: ‘Gulf Print and Pack continues to build on our trusted client partnerships and offer a focused platform where new insight and knowledge can be shared. We are also excited to be introducing new solutions while exploring applications that enhance efficiency and productivity to create smoother, more streamlined operations.
‘Gulf Print and Pack 2019 proved to be a perfect platform for Ricoh. The breadth and diversity of our portfolio of innovative solutions, designed to help industrial and commercial printers transform their businesses, enabled us to begin conversations with new and existing clients that we continued well after the show together with our business partners. We are therefore optimistic that this year’s event will be equally productive, for Ricoh, our partners and clients.’


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