BPIC: As our readers are set to wrap up 2012 and make plans for 2013 -- and we now wrap up our 2012 Industry Roundtable Q&A -- do you have any parting parting observations on the market or advice in general for print providers?
Peter Mayhew, LightWords Ltd:: The wide-format market is well positioned to enjoy some modest growth over the next few years – in spite of whatever the economy throws at it. Stay focused and enjoy.
BPIC: One of the most discussed topics on our social-media sites this year was FedEx Office reporting its deployment of new grand-format inkjet printing devices to its centralized productions centers across the country for producing rigid signs, banners, posters, P-O-P materials, and more. And the company was awarded a 4-year contract from Boeing (FedEx Office now serves as Boeing’s primary print provider).
BPIC: The 2012 edition of Drupa, which took place this spring in Dusseldorf, seemed to really energize the marketplace. What were some of the Drupa highlights? And which of the technology introductions made at the show will have an effect on the wide-format side of things in 2013 (and beyond)?
BPIC: What about profit centers beyond pure print work in the year ahead? Should print providers be pursuing electronic digital displays? Fulfillment? Design? Perhaps something I’m forgetting…?
BPIC: What are you seeing as the “hottest” applications for wide-format print in the coming 12 months?
Peter Mayhew, LightWords Ltd: Packaging, if you can get a piece of the action. Remember, the key drivers are short run lengths, localization, and just-in-time delivery.
John Hall has launched Treck Hall Wide Format, a supplier of wide-format media and inks, including lines from Epson, HP, Ilford, Neschen, and others. The new company has offices in Toronto and Vancouver.
BPIC: What are the top 5 critical industry issues facing print shops these days?
BPIC: One topic seemingly on the tip of everyone’s tongue: packaging, and how print providers can take advantage of that market.
Is packaging something that a shop with wide-format capabilities can wade into?
BPIC: What have been some of the most intriguing technologies and products introduced into the marketplace in the past year?
Marco Boer, I.T. Strategies: The eco-solvent from Epson and latex ink technologies from HP have greatly expanded outdoor, high-print-quality applications like vehicle graphics, smaller-than-billboard outdoor signage, etc. They’ve opened up outdoor print applications to many print-for-pay shops and done so for a low investment risk.
The Sustainable Green Printing Partnership (SGP) has announced the launch of its new outreach campaign, “Take Action.” The campaign is designed to encourage print providers, print buyers, suppliers, and others to take action by getting involved with SGP “and reaping the benefits of certification and sustainability.”