Konica Minolta comment on trends and predictions in commercial print for 2019
There has been a renewed sense of optimism among print service providers, as reported in the 2018 drupa Global Trends Report, which found that only 9% of printers in 2017 considered their economic state to be poor, with the rest describing it as good or satisfactory. This positive outlook reflects the slow but steady recovery of the global economy since the 2008 recession, the report suggests.
Also, there is a sense in the industry that print will endure as a communications medium, despite the perceived threats from digital, mobile and virtual channels, which many people thought had signalled the death-knell for our medium. In fact, print is thriving and finding new ways to deliver impact and value, often alongside those other media channels. The future is exciting for print, if less predictable than once it seemed.
Amidst this glow of positivity, there remain pressures for commercial printers: they must seek to operate sleek and streamlined businesses, able to respond rapidly to customers’ demands for high quality, cost effective and creative solutions; they must embrace technology and harness a spirit of innovation, and increasingly they look for suppliers that share that mindset and can help them pursue it vigorously.
A great many commercial printers are in the business of diversifying into and mastering new markets – the drupa Global Trends Report mentioned before identifies that printers are operating in an average of 1.8 additional specialist markets.
At Konica Minolta, we have one of the widest product portfolios in the commercial printing marketplace and are justifiably proud of our long heritage in inkjet as well as toner systems. We are proud of our massive growth in commercial printing, a market we first entered only 15 years ago, and are leaders in mid- and low volume production markets. All come under the AccurioPress branding.
In 2017, we were proud to announce the formation of the Professional Print Division in Europe that is based out of our European headquarters in Langenhagen, Germany, where we also have a dedicated showroom. And in the same year we also opened an industrial print office and R&D centre in Paris, France, close to the headquarters of MGI.
Other huge strides include the AccurioJet KM-1 B2 inkjet print production system formally launched at drupa 2016 that is used at several clients in Europe for its variety of applications: from book printing to cost-efficient variable data printing applications, printing on a huge variety of substrates is made easy with its one-of-a-kind dot freeze technology™. Also, our AccurioLabel 190 has been widely accepted in the market: In only one year 150 label presses have been sold. Since the introduction of its predecessor, the bizhub press C71cf, at Labelexpo Brussels, in 2015, overall 250 installations have been made. Other Konica Minolta recent developments have included launching new textile machines – the NASSENGER range, which includes a state-of-the-art single-pass NASSENGER SP1 – and investing in a €5 million training and demonstration centre near Milan in Italy.
Printers today require ideas and business tools to help them capture these new market opportunities and grow their profitability. At Konica Minolta we have made a commitment to supporting these critical demands, anticipating customer needs in advance, and turning them into innovative solutions through a collaborative, partnership approach, which we believe sets our customers off on an ideal strategic and technological footing for success.