Efficiency enhancing solutions for packaging

Headlines announcing “Packaging printing is growing; printers are investing in machinery and manpower; Packaging shows the way” are encouraging good signs that serve to balance the negative effects and perceptions from dropping numbers of print runs, rising prices of paper, closing mills etc.
However, the need of the hour is additional investment and more stringent regulations for increasing efficiency and accuracy of packaging, since the segment is closely linked to health and safety of users.  A casual approach to these factors could bring in undesirable repercussions.
The approaching summer and the Holy Month of Ramadan brings with it a seasonal slowdown in order bookings.  At the same time, the spare hours can be productively used to

Gulf Print 2013 witnesses renewed activity

Though Gulf Print and Pack 2013 witnessed a lot of deals and announcements,  and received its due share of publicity and brand visibility,  however, organisers will need to walk an extra mile to ensure enhanced benefits from regional shows, especially viewed in the backdrop of global events. Non-participants and fence sitters need to be wooed back to the negotiating table to ensure a more inclusive and widespread representation.
Feedback from exhibitors also included comments that the show

Technology, innovations-all eyes on Drupa 2012

The whole industry-manufacturers, resellers, printers and consumers are preparing for the most awaited event this year - Drupa. This edition promises advances in inkjet and digital, with both moving up to the next level.

Traditional offset printers too are moving onto the realm of digital printing, with most maintaining that the latter technology serving to complement its older competitor.

The must-read interesting articles in this issue of PrintWeek MEA are KBA's launch of new inkjet presses

Using various tools to value add to knowledge

The seminar hosted by Printing and Publishing Group and Bobst in Dubai was well received, with many printers echoing that it was ‘an informative session’.  Kodak, on its part too, hosted a roadshow to  Riyadh and Jeddah.
The benefits of seminars and instructional workshops can never be undervalued, serving to upgrade knowledge and improve technical skill of staff employed in printshops.
This month will mark two important events, Gulf Print and Pack and the Dubai International Print Awards.

Manroland now back in business with 2 owners

Manroland has been quickly set back on course with new backers for the German manufacturer. British owned private company, Langley Holdings are the investors behind a 100% takeover of the sheet fed printing equipment division and its properties portfolio in Offenbach, together with Manroland's international marketing operations in 40 countries, while the web-fed business goes to German group Possibly with a significant job cut. Both rescuers are hopeful of a turnaround by the end of the year.

An eventful first quarter brings fresh perspective

The first quarter of 2013 had a diary full of events, starting with Sign and Graphics Imaging show, to WAN-Ifra Middle East and most recently Paper World .
WAN-Ifra saw attendance of senior people from the publishing industry, while exhibitors and visitors at Paper World gave a ‘satisfactory’ verdict. 
Among the insight gained from WAN-Ifra, publishers cautioned against blindly emulating others while using social media.  Rather companies should work towards generating income from these

SGI successful as always, exhibitors satisfied

The recently concluded, 15th Sign and Graphics Imaging exhibition, was termed as a successful show, with most exhibitors expressing satisfaction with visitor turnout, serious inquiries received and confirmed sales in a lot of cases.

There were notable absentees at this year's edition, like EFI, who cited resource constraints as the reason for non-participation, especially since 2012 also hosts 2 major shows, Drupa and Fespa.

The other much talked about news is Heidelberg cutting 2000 jobs

Dubai show lives up to visitors’ expectations


Hosting over 10,000 visitors and 400 exhibitors, and witness to signing of deals worth millions, one can safely say that the Sign and Graphics Imaging (SGI) show 2013 has lived up to expectations.


Innovations in digital technology ruled the roost and the ‘super-fast’ Memjet print heads captivated attention. Many exhibitors have already committed to participating in the next year’s edition.


Dubai and UAE hold a geographical and technological advantage in the region, making them

Most looked forward to event of 2012-drupa

Every New Year brings with it new hopes, new plans and a promise not to repeat old mistakes. So also with 2012. The industry looks forward to this year with fresh hope of breaking the shackles of the slowdown.

The most looked forward-to event of 2012 is Drupa, as was evident from the turnout at its Dubai roadshow. With about 2000 visitors from the UAE at the 2008 show, organisers expect the number to exceed those in the last edition. The growing reach of digital, increasing inkjet presence

Heightened expectations from regional show

Comes January and regional printers look forward to participating in or visiting the most anticipated show of the year - The  Sign and Graphics Imaging (SGI) show. 
According to the organisers, there has been a 20% increase in exhibiting space over 2012.  At the time of going to press, SGI already has 400 confirmed participants from 30 nations.  While there are heightened expectations from the regional show and the wide format signage industry; a global event recently received another

Is it teething troubles or market sentiment?

The recently concluded IPEX Digital ME with its low exhibitor and visitor turnout brought a few questions to the forefront. Could the lukewarm response be attributed to the general market sentiment evident in other places as well or was it merely teething troubles expected of any new launch event? A batch of exhibitors, however, expressed satisfaction with closing deals and sale of machinery.

Every business goes through a cycle of peaks and troughs, sometimes within the same financial year.

Taking stock of 2012, the year of ups and downs

All to soon, its time to write the last editorial for this year. Echoing the oft-used cliche 'the year went by so fast, hard to believe we are in the last month of this year', one is tempted to look back on the year putting the developments in perspective

All to soon, its time to write the last editorial for this year. Echoing the oft-used cliche 'the year went by so fast, hard to believe we are in the last month of this year', one is tempted to look back on the year putting the developments in

Constant value addition to knowledge required

Education and learning are a never ending process. Printers looking at learning new ways of updating and upgrading are able to optimise the use of their resources improve productivity and thereby, profits.

To this extent, manufacturers organising training sessions and programmes are helping the industry in more ways than one.

Post summer, Heidelberg, Canon and Konica Minolta among others, have been in the forefront in hosting seminars, workshops and road shows, reporting a healthy participation

Drupa committee decides against 3-year cycle

The buzz in the industry last month was about the wisdom of Drupa moving from a 4-year cycle to a 3-year cycle, with exhibitors expressing concern about the added cost.

But the committee, bowing to wishes of the industry, has chosen to stick with the four-year cycle, opting, however, to reduce the duration of the show to 11 days.
Also, Drupa 2016 will be hosted under the new chairman, Claus Bolza-Schünemann, the chief executive of KBA, following the expected exit of Manuel Mataré, who voluntarily

Is the paper industry taking a beating?

At the conclusion of the paper expo, Paper Arabia, a question that is oft at the back of people's minds comes to the forefront, 'Is the paper industry suffering?'. When posing this question to manufacturers, they conceded to a drop in demand from one section with the arrival of the iPad, Kindle or ebooks, which contributed to a drop in demand for newsprint or writing paper and is expected to decline further. However, balancing the fall in demand from one section, is the rise in volumes of

Paper Arabia concludes, emphasis on packaging

The fifth edition of the international exhibition for paper, tissue, converting and allied industries in the region, Paper Arabia 2012 concluded to mixed response.  Though there was one exhibitor less this year as compared to the last edition, 12% additional exhibition space was taken up, say the organisers.
The footfall consisted of partly serious visitors and partly spillovers from parallel events.  Some exhibitors did voice a concern of reduced international presence, particularly from Iran

Printers directory-unique initiative by house of ATN

ATN Media-publishers of various B-2-B directories will be launching the region's first exclusive directory for the print industry. Enthusiastically received by the print fraternity, the PrintWeek Directory will be followed by an e-directory and a CD-rom.

Every entrepreneur would like their business advertised to as many people as possible, and listings in niche business directories is the most direct way of reaching the target audience.

Plastic packaging and coatings are almost always singled

Heidelberg follows HP, Agfa-exits IPEX 2014

The show, as they say, must go on.

Closer home, after Ramadan and Eid celebrations, printers are now reporting serious enquiries and bigger share of orders. Many are drawing up expansion plans, investing in larger premises and machines. Manufacturers too are focusing their attention on the Middle East. President of Seiko Epson Corporation, Minoru Usui made his first ever trip to the UAE, to gauge the pulse of the regional markets and expressing that 'this region is an important growth

Novel approach required while hosting exhibitions

When we first heard the news of Ipex Digital Middle East, my first reaction was, "What! one more exhibition?". However meeting with the organisers changed our perception- not only would the expo cover the entire digital industry-from signage to production and commercial printing, but the organisers are using novel concepts like Top 100 Buyers Program, to make the show more inclusive. For exhibitions to stop being passed over as 'one more event', organisers need to think out of the box as well

Metamorphosis of Print, a brand new 'avatar'

Cyclical changes in any business or industry means an economic upswing followed by a plateau and then the eventual downward movement, and thankfully vice versa. Good times commonly alternate with bad times. So also with the printing industry, which is in the throes of change.

Giant manufacturers like Heidelberg and Goss have their CEO's stepping down; an insolvent Manroland broken up into 2 companies; filing of insolvency protection and Chapter 11 by pioneering organisations; trade fairs with

Hybrid marketing: Social media & traditional tools 2011-07-01 882

While social media and social networking tools cannot replace conventional marketing, it is gaining immense importance as a complementary marketing tool. Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter accounts are indispensable, cost effective ways of enhancing the impact of a marketing campaign in this web-connected world.

According to the Arab Social Media Report (ASMR), produced by the Dubai School of Government, the total number of Facebook users in the Arab world stands at over 21 million in December

Using every opportunity to survive and swim

Gulf News changing format (the only one in the Middle East to do so) from broadsheet to Berliner is a bold decision. If considerable savings in paper is generated, it is a welcome decision. Though why is it wrapped in a poly bag every day, is a questionable decision.

Printing business needs to become more 'than merely putting ink on paper', as one printer expressively puts it. Rather than indulging in chest beating about recession and excess capacity, every entrepreneur can look around him and

Proactive pursuit of every green initiative welcom

Every manufacturer, distributor, printer or end user needs to walk that extra mile to contribute in any which way to a green and 'clean' lifestyle. What is required is a pro-active approach towards the three golden R's- reduce, reuse and recycle.

On this note the initiative by distributor Al Shabak Trading to recycle banners needs to be applauded or even the eco-publishing services offered by Dubai based Leading Brands selling soy inks. Kishor Gohil of Al Ghurair printing said in an

Drupa concludes among a mixed bag of reactions

With the curtains drawing to a close on the most anticipated exhibition for the print industry, Drupa 2012, exhibitors and visitors are taking stock of what has been achieved and what could have been.

Yes, visitor numbers were below expectations and yes, it has been attributed to recession, upheavals in the industry and the fluid situation in general. Every one has a take on should have been, from shifting the venue of host-city, to reducing the number of show days, but there can never be a

Accumulating brands may lead to problems of plenty

While on one hand new distributor appointments show the returning confidence in the region, too many brands in its basket could have a flip side for distributors.

Trying to service different brands could stretch the distributor on all sides, conflict of interests could leave the manufacturer dissatisfied and too many options of similar machines could lead to unhealthy competition with parties taking action that hurt themselves in order to hurt the other party. Distribution channels should not

Crossing boundaries into competitors' zone

The dynamics of current businesses has become such that expanding frontiers, or venturing into rival terrain is seen as necessary to survive. Traditional offset giants are making forays into digital, like KBA's latest announcement, the RotaJET 76 or Bobst's plans of entering the digital market within 2 years. Offset press manufacturers Miyakoshi and Ryobi have joined forces to develop an 8,000sph B2 digital press, while HP, Xeikon, EFI and Heidelberg have their own multi-use inventions