Agfa Graphics and Shenzhen Brothers announced today that they have signed an agreement under which they will combine their Greater China and ASEAN activities to create a joint venture.
Shenzhen Brothers started finishing and distribution activities of Agfa Graphics master roll graphic films in 2000. Over the years, Shenzhen Brothers has built up through this partnership, a leading and successful distribution network in the Chinese printing industry.
In recent years, Agfa Graphics has made important investments in both digital prepress and new industrial inkjet printing technology. Today, it disposes over a broad, innovative and competitive product portfolio. Agfa Graphics has its own subsidiaries in the Greater China and ASEAN region and a state-of-the-art printing plate factory in Wuxi, China. Agfa Graphics has also built up important market positions throughout the ASEAN region.
The joint venture, named Agfa Graphics Asia, will be able to fully draw on the infrastructure, technology, manufacturing and distribution strength of its founding companies. It will also continue to have full access to the Agfa Graphics world class technology.
In its first full year of operations, the new company is expected to achieve sales of 200 million Euro. Agfa Graphics will be the majority shareholder with a stake of 51%. Shenzhen Brothers will own 49% of the company. Chairman of the Board will be Mr. Stefaan Vanhooren, President of Agfa Graphics, while Mr. Huang, CEO of Shenzhen Brothers, will become the CEO of the new company.
"Agfa Graphics and Shenzhen Brothers have been loyal partners in the past ten years, successfully serving the graphics industry in China," says Stefaan Vanhooren. "This joint venture is an important vehicle in achieving our ambitious growth plans in Asia for digital prepress and industrial inkjet. Shenzhen Brothers' high reputation and strong relationship with local customers, suppliers and government are a major asset to build out a strong and profitable market position."
"Technological innovation and cost leadership will be key drivers for future growth and success," said Mr. Huang. "Agfa Graphics' strong technological position and know-how will allow us to increase our business in both Greater China and ASEAN markets. Its excellent manufacturing capabilities and infrastructure in China will be of great importance in realizing our efficiency targets."
The new company with operational headquarters in Shenzhen (Guangdong) is expected to go life no later than Q3 2010 subject to regulatory approval.
Colortrac, the leading innovator in large format scanners and scanning solutions, has become the first wide format scanner manufacturer to achieve a BERTL (Business Equipment Research Testing Labs) "BEST IN CLASS" rating for both a CCD (charge coupled device) and CIS (contact image sensor) scanner.
The CCD-based Colortrac SmartLF Gx+42 professional colour graphics and the CIS-based SmartLF Ci 40 technical document large format scanners had both previously won BERTL's prestigious "OUTSTANDING" ratings which were accompanied by 4.5 Star Awards, the highest rating given by BERTL to any large format scanner.
Recognising that Colortrac SmartLF wide format scanners combine state-of-the-art technical innovation with exceptional value for money, BERTL upgraded its "OUTSTANDING" rating on these two Colortrac SmartLF devices to "BEST IN CLASS" for its 14th Annual Award presentation of BERTL'S BEST products (December 2009).
The Colortrac SmartLF Gx+ 42 is a new generation professional graphics scanner providing unrivalled color capture in a system bristling with productivity-enhancing, energy saving technical innovations unavailable in CCD devices from well-known industry brands. The Colortrac SmartLF Ci 40 is a low-cost, high productivity device whose uniquely practical front-exit media path distinguishes it from all CIS technical document scanners. Common to both is powerful ScanWorks and CopySmart software which provides professional, flexible and easy-to-use tools ideal for standalone or Gigabit network scanning.
In presenting the Colortrac SmartLF Gx+ 42 with the "BEST IN CLASS" 42" Wide Format CCD Scanner Award Certificate, BERTL summarized its benefits as follows:
Combination of high resolution and CCD imaging technology creates a flexible, multi-purpose scanning system capable of capturing both very fine line and image details while reproducing color graphics in vivid, high fidelity colors.
Award winning features such as instant-on, long-life 2D LED illumination, full 1200dpi optical CCD resolution, power-saving ENERGY STAR compliance and fast scan speed is unavailable in any other product.
"Scan Once" software works in real time reducing the need to rescan, saving businesses time and money by making users more productive.
In presenting the Colortrac SmartLF Ci 40 with the "BEST IN CLASS" 40" Wide Format CIS Scanner Award Certificate, BERTL summarized its benefits as follows:
Its ease of use makes it ideally suited for AEC, CAD and GIS technical documents.
The unique paper path makes this device an attractive buy as it can be placed against a wall and saves precious office space.
Colortrac's optional ScanWorks scanning software offers users a multitude of options for manipulating scanned images that rivals the features and functions of those found in Photoshop and other similar software.
Exceptional value for money-combination of software, pricing and fast black and white and color scanning speed make it an excellent choice.
Peter de Winter-Brown, Colortrac's Sales and Marketing Director, said "With a 27% growth in sales, 2009 was Colortrac's best year ever. Receiving BERTL's "BEST IN CLASS" award for our SmartLF Gx+ 42, (which also won Wide-Format Imaging's "Top Product" 2009 award), as well as the SmartLF Ci 40, was the icing on 2009's cake. BERTL's awards are a tribute to Colortrac's relentless technical innovation and its commitment to providing SmartLF large format scanners with an unbeatable value for money price tag. Colortrac looks forward to 2010 and earning an even bigger slice of the cake through the growing recognition of its superior large format scanning technology at prices more buyers can afford!"
Roland DG will use Packaging Innovations 2010 to showcase its 30” UV-curable VersaUV LEC-330 and its unique prototyping capabilities to the packaging market. With its versatility to print onto almost any substrate and the white ink capability, all at a highly competitive price point, the integrated inkjet printer/cutter is set to revolutionise proofing in the packaging design sector.
The VersaUV LEC-330 offers a cost-effective proofing mechanism for specialist packaging mock-ups. Not only is it able to print CMYK, cut and crease onto a wide variety of materials, but it also uses both gloss and matte spot UV varnish to produce doming and embossing for use in creating effects like faux animal skin and Braille.
Says Mat Drake, Print Product Manager, Roland DG (UK): “We’re very excited about showcasing the LEC-330 to the market at Packaging Innovations, where we’ll be speaking to those associated with packaging production for highly prestigious and demanding brands. We believe that the LEC-330 can give packaging companies a distinct advantage over their competitors by adding real value. The LEC-330 prints white ink, allowing for full colour proofing of packaging designs or prototypes on clear and plastic stocks. It can also profile cut intricate shapes and patterns, removing the need to manually cut the package or prototype following the printing process. In addition, as it’s UV-curable, it will print on almost anything, making the scope for packaging creativity almost limitless. With this functionality, proofing times and therefore costs can be significantly reduced.”
Roland DG will be demonstrating the extensive potential of the LEC-330 and its integration with standard workflow solutions such as EskoArtwork Visualiser software and GMG’s ColorServer, ensuring that design and pre-press processes flow seamlessly with the LEC-330.
New Océ ColorWave 300 multifunctional printer cuts space requirements and cost of wide format printing
Océ today announced the launch of the world’s first single footprint multifunctional printer that can print, copy and scan wide format documents in both colour and black & white.
Saves space and additional investments
Companies no longer need to invest in separate printers for large format colour and B&W documents. The new Océ ColorWave® 300 is a true single footprint system for printing, copying and scanning. It is perfect for businesses with limited space, as only one system is needed instead of two to print in both colour and B&W. This saves Océ customers 50% in floor space. The system offers architects, engineering, construction and commercial printing companies an ideal alternative for conventional wide format toner systems.
One system for all printing, copying and scanning – in colour and B&W
The Océ ColorWave 300 is the first multifunctional wide format printer with a truly integrated scanner. All the functions can be controlled from one simple user panel. Therefore, customers only need to maintain one IP address. Unique Océ technologies, like Océ Image Logic and Océ Dynamic Switching ensure perfect results every time. The powerful controller swiftly handles all file formats – HP-Gl/2, PDF, DWF, JPEG – without sacrificing speed. Users can also print and scan documents via a USB flash drive.
One for tomorrow that helps businesses grow sustainably
This system offers an economical way to add color to enhance technical documents, such as construction drawings and designs for new cars, and improve colour promotional materials. It delivers the ease of use and workflow efficiency of an Océ B&W system and the versatility of a colour printer. Because the Océ ColorWave 300 is based on thermal inkjet technology, the system does not produce any ozone, dust or odors.
Launch of innovative products to continue
Océ expects that markets will remain challenging throughout 2010. In order to further strengthen the company’s competitive position and drive sales under difficult market conditions, Océ will continue to introduce innovative products such as the Océ ColorWave 300 printing system. This is particularly relevant at the moment as customers are more likely to invest in systems and services that directly add value to their business. Market analysis shows that the majority of Océ customers select products launched within the last 12 months.
USA TODAY needed to update its fleet of printers used for production proofing. The printers needed to reproduce accurate colours for the proofing process, be compatible with custom newspaper stock and provide a reliable, cost-competitive printing solution for the long term.
The HP Designjet T1120 Printer is a reliable printing solution designed for low total cost of ownership, high productivity and reproducing accurate colours.
HP Vivera inks, including a three-black ink set, produce a wide range of colours and fine detail for professional prints.
USA TODAY is experiencing a 10 percent increase in printing speeds using the HP Designjet T1120 Printer. This increase enables the production team to speed up their production workflow, catch errors faster and stay on schedule.
Outstanding quality from the HP Designjet T1120 Printer enables USA TODAY to produce additional applications such as high-quality special-edition commemorative prints for display purposes.
How to get ahead in the newspaper business
The newspaper business is notoriously fast paced and competitive, especially now that it must contend with online - and largely free - news sources. USA TODAY has stayed ahead of the game in terms of costs and productivity, thanks to a tech-savvy production department dedicated to adopting the latest digital inkjet technology for its proofing process.
Ron Cobbs, operations manager, has been a key player in the adoption of digital technology from the start. "We stepped into the fray early in terms of bringing digital technology into the newspaper industry. Starting ten years ago, we transitioned to doing inkjet proofs using HP Designjet printers. Before that, all proofing was done on a web press, which was much more costly."
Along with Cobbs, Mike Grinder, production technician, helped jump-start USA TODAY's companywide digital transition at its 40 domestic and international print sites. Today the two colleagues are retooling the newspaper's proofing capabilities once again, upgrading the workhorse fleet of HP printers with the HP Designjet T1120 Printer.
Cobbs took a fresh look at available products before deciding on tried-and-true HP technology and the accurate colour reproduction and media compatibility offered by the HP Designjet T1120 Printer. The new HP technology builds on many of the digital benefits USA TODAY had been experiencing - enabling the print reproduction quality advertisers expect, while lowering production costs and improving workflow even further.
Accurate colour reproduction
As a major source of revenue, advertising is the lifeblood of newspapers. Any change in the technology or workflow must not detract from the newspaper's ability to serve advertisers. Accurate colour reproduction is essential to the proofing process, as staff check the colour of digital inkjet proofs against specifications to ensure advertisers are satisfied.
"We're finding some print houses and agencies we work with now have the same HP device and third-party software we use for colour management, so they can accurately reproduce the ad proofs there," says Cobbs. The colour consistency of the HP Designjet T1120 Printer and the rich gamut of HP Vivera inks allow USA TODAY's third-party vendor for colour management to accurately recreate the ad no matter where the proofs are printed.
Precise colour reproduction is also important for the newspaper's editorial content. USA TODAY uses a relatively high percentage of colour photos and graphics in its publications. Checking proofs against the originals allows the newspaper's production team to ensure matching skin tones or colours in graphs and charts. Thanks to the printer's resolution and wide range of colours, USA TODAY can achieve the exact colour it needs, every time.
Media compatibility enables time savings
The type of media USA TODAY uses is also essential to accurate colour reproduction. In fact, media compatibility was an overriding factor in USA TODAY's decision to go with the HP Designjet T1120 Printer. When proofing, the production department needs to see colours exactly as they will appear on newsprint.
The HP Designjet T1120 Printer has extensive media versatility, including compatibility with more than 35 types of Original HP media. To enable printing on USA TODAY media, the team puts its newsprint on rolls that feed into the HP Designjet T1120 Printer. "We also use HP high-gloss media to produce high-quality special-edition commemorative prints for display purposes," Cobbs adds.
Versatile media handling and reliability also help the production department save time. "Even using our custom media stock," Cobbs says, "we have no problem at all with feeding and handling." Printers in the newspaper's Virginia headquarters run nearly constantly-18 hours a day, six days a week, he adds. "A simple paper jam could throw us off schedule, but we haven't had any downtime."
The media versatility of the HP Designjet T1120 Printer isn't the only feature helping to boost productivity. Grinder has also noticed a 10 percent increase in printing speed with the upgraded technology, in addition to the Original HP inks' ability to dry fast, allowing proofs to be handled almost immediately.
Digital technology helps newspapers thrive
As the newspaper and publishing industries grow increasingly competitive, HP is designing a broad portfolio of inkjet technology to enable them to operate efficiently. When the installation of HP Designjet T1120 Printers across USA TODAY's print sites is complete, the company's production will be able to benefit from increased productivity and lower costs.
Cobbs sums up their success transitioning to the new HP technology: "We're extremely pleased to have set up a digital proofing system that meets the needs of USA TODAY's production team, our advertising customers and internal customers in the editorial department. The HP Designjet T1120 Printer provides a dependable, reliable product at a great price point, backed by the service and support we need."
Mimaki announce the launch of the UJF-3042, a desktop size UV LED inkjet printer that combines Mimaki’s award winning UV LED technology with a strong heritage in UV inkjet printing. The new machine is aimed at companies wishing to produce high quality output on materials up to A3 in size (300 x 420mm) with precise and vivid images onto uncoated substrates.
The UJF-3042 incorporates a newly developed inkjet print head that perfectly suits the requirements of this compact printer and enables an exceptionally good value for money proposition. Its cost-effective features include very low energy consumption through the implementation of LED UV curing as well as its ability to print to a vast choice of uncoated media. For screen printers, there are now no start-up costs and short run production is perfectly suited to the machine. Therefore not only can badges, cards, packaging, labels, stickers and display products be created but also the personalised imprinting of novelties, nameplates, electronics cases and other industrial products.
Capable of outputting process and white ink at up to 1,440 x 1,200dpi and printing with a variable dot, the Mimaki UJF-3042 accommodates uncoated materials up to 50mm thick. Glass, metal, wood, plastic and acrylic can all be printed to, and with high speed printing of around 4 minutes for an A3 imprint, including white, it’s an impressively quick solution. The inherent nature of a UV print forms a raised finish, so Braille and textured effects can also be produced on small signs and packaging mockups.
The LED UV Curing technology has multiple advantages over competing technologies – the aforementioned low power consumption not only benefits running costs, but also – because of the small amount of heat generated – materials that are heat sensitive can be printed to without fear of the media deforming. The inclusion of white ink means coloured, transparent and metallic substrates can be printed to with the white as an over or under printed feature, either as a pad or in perfect registration.
John de la Roche; National Sales Manager for Mimaki’s exclusive UK & Ireland distributor, Hybrid Services Ltd, remarks, “The launch of the UJF-3042 adds a really exciting model to Mimaki’s ever-growing UV curing printer range. We can cater for any requirement from desktop to super-wide and the trickle down of technology is now benefiting smaller users and new entrants.”
Mimaki include their powerful 16 bit Postscript RIP software as part of the package and with its relatively compact size, the printer is designed to fit through a standard door to facilitate ease of installation. The Mimaki UJF-3042 is available in the Spring through Hybrid’s network of authorised resellers and is anticipated to be very competitively priced for such a high end solution.
Large Format Review provides daily breaking news on digital printer technology as used for commercial production of print for wide-format sign and display, dye-sublimation textile and fabric printing, packaging and industrial applications. We also cover 3D print and additive manufacturing.