London diary – Recent industry developments and environment initiatives

Heidelberg in UN Global Compact for sustainable and responsible governance

Heidelberg has invested in a photovoltaic system to provide clean power to its site in Amstetten

Heidelberg is taking part in the UN Global Compact, which is billed as the world’s largest initiative for sustainable and responsible corporate governance. It includes ten sustainability principles on human rights, labour standards, environmental protection, and anti-corruption. More than 21,000 companies and organizations in over 160 countries are already signatories to the UN Global Compact.

Dr Ludwin Monz, CEO of Heidelberg, commented, “We see our participation in the UN Global Compact as a logical step in our efforts to have the smallest ecological footprint along the entire value chain in our industry. The company has already actively promoted environmental protection and social responsibility in the past and will further strengthen these efforts by becoming a part of the UN Global Compact.”

Agfa joins Hydrogen Council

Agfa is to join the Hydrogen Council as a supporting member from the start of 2024. The Hydrogen Council is a global initiative that brings together major companies with a united vision to help foster the hydrogen clean energy transition. Agfa is involved with this through its Zirfon membranes, which are used at the core of alkaline water electrolyzers to produce green hydrogen for industrial processes, energy storage, fuel, heating, or ammonia production.

Technical updates – EFI, Ricoh, Mutoh, Fujifilm, Printware

EFI Fiery has introduced a new 11.1 version of its Digital Factory RIP software, which is used for Direct-to-Film, Direct-to-Garment and dye sublimation textile printers as well as wide format and production presses. The latest version features a more intuitive user interface, redesigned layouts, enhanced workflow automation, and true shape nesting, which should help save wasted materials.

John Henze, vice president of sales and marketing at Fiery, commented, “Collaborating with our extensive customer base, we developed a next-generation interface with the user in mind. With this latest update to Digital Factory, businesses of all sizes can quickly find the right tools and dial in the perfect settings to achieve efficient, high-volume production with the highest possible quality.”

Ricoh has developed this Auto Colour Adjuster
Ricoh has developed this Auto Colour Adjuster

Ricoh has introduced a new Auto Colour Adjuster to help commercial printers cope with color management between different devices by generating ICC profiles.

Eef de Ridder, vice president of Ricoh Europe’s Graphic Communications Group, explained, “Time taken to manually adjust colour to meet print buyers’ demands can quickly impact profitability, while the costs of trial and error, blocking precious press time to troubleshoot and employing a colour expert all mount up. Ricoh Auto Colour Adjuster speeds up the process. It empowers commercial printers to take on new jobs and work that was previously out of reach, and so expand their client base.”

Mutoh has set up a new remote monitoring service, Mutoh Direct, which runs in the cloud and allows its dealers to keep an eye on the status and usage of their customer’s printers in order to offer more pro-active support and cut down on the need for on-site maintenance. It works as an additional service to the existing Mutoh Club that gives users access to data on their printers.

EFI has beefed up its manufacturing facility in Castellon, Spain, where it produced single pass inkjet printers, initially for the ceramic market followed later by the Nozomi packaging presses. Evandro Matteucci, EFI’s vice president and general manager for packaging and building materials, noted, “EFI has placed a particular focus on the packaging market as it has worked to transform the Castellon manufacturing facility as well as the research and development arm located there.” He suggested that in the future EFI would also develop single pass inkjet presses for other applications including metal decoration and folding carton.

Fujifilm has developed this B2 dry toner press, the Revoria GC12500
Fujifilm has developed this B2 dry toner press, the Revoria GC12500

Fujifilm will be bringing its B2 dry toner press, the Revoria GC12500, to the European market. I’ve previously covered this when it was shown as a prototype at last year’s IGAS show in Tokyo. It was recently shown at the Printing United show in October in the US, and will be demonstrated at Fujifilm’s new Print Experience Centre in Ratingen, Germany, in late January 2024.

Printware has introduced a new inkjet envelope printer, the iJetColor 1175, which uses HP’s thermal inkjet heads. It features a new autoloading system with better feeding and can print up to 10,285 enveloped per hour in full colour. Tim Murphy, president of Printware, commented, “Our customers tell us we’ve made traditionally- expensive and problematic envelope printing both easy and profitable. Our iJetColor systems respond directly to our customers’ need for more affordable, profitable, easy to use and reliable solutions.”

In 2024, we are looking at full recovery and growth-led investment in Indian printing

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. It created the category of privately owned B2B print magazines in the country. And by its diversification in packaging, (Packaging South Asia), food processing and packaging (IndiFoodBev) and health and medical supply chain and packaging (HealthTekPak), and its community activities in training, research, and conferences (Ipp Services, Training and Research) the organization continues to create platforms that demonstrate the need for quality information, data, technology insights and events.

India is a large and tough terrain and while its book publishing and commercial printing industry have recovered and are increasingly embracing digital print, the Indian newspaper industry continues to recover its credibility and circulation. The signage industry is also recovering and new technologies and audiences such as digital 3D additive printing, digital textiles, and industrial printing are coming onto our pages. Diversification is a fact of life for our readers and like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in nominal and real terms – in a region poised for the highest change in year to year expenditure in printing equipment and consumables. Our 2024 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock – to emphasize your visibility and relevance to your customers and turn potential markets into conversations.

– Naresh Khanna

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