Friday, January 21, 2011

Offset Press Manufacturers; the lines are being drawn...

As you know the offset world has been growing at a pace just slightly under inflation which shows that this technology although needed is dying. As we watch the big iron manufacturers like Heidelberg, Kamori, , KBA, MAN Rolland, Mitsubishi, Ryobi, Sakuri, Akiyama, Presstek (AB Dick) and others what we see is large layoffs and very cautious maneuvering to stay alive. (keep these names close to mind these represent all the most common presses you will find)

Shinohara just filed for bankruptcy (January 2011), and many others are not far behind. Hamada pulled out of North America last year and many others are very shy about spending money.

Just like the copier industry everyone is closing aligning themselves to survive and digital press manufacturers are "WHERE ITS AT" As you may remember OCE and MAN ROLAND just annouced their partnership leading the way for other "big Iron" makers down the path of survival.

And what you may not know is that the most prestigious press manufacturer has been partnering with a well know digital press manufacturer for sometime now.

You should also know that Heidelberg announced that it will later this year 2011 announce who their "full time" digital press partner will be globally. I think you will agree that it makes sense for them to remain partners with us. Our relationship with Kodak keeps them arms length to "their own" technology that they abandoned 10 years ago and allows them to leverage both the "entry" level and "high end" digital press lines.

What we will see from this is a stronger commitment to automation (JDF and CIP4) and faster advancements in feeding and registration (mechanical feat advancements) which might take us years to accomplish on our own. The battle is tough but we are making progress! Don't let any small setbacks or individual battle losses get in the way of the big picture! Stay the course!

Big Iron Mike,

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