The trends and viewpoints of new technology in digital printing at drupa 2016 are explained, which gave one the feeling that the wave of digitization is finally going into full swing. The fusing of digital printing with the offset press manufacturer is now becoming apparent. The evolution of digital post processing with 3D computer aided programming is remarkable. A novel design combined with a high quality development process, which was impossible before, can now be realized in the digital world. This increases the hope that it will be possible to provide more value in the future. Moreover, digital printing is being extensively applied in the fields of commercial and label printing, and in corrugated cardboard printing and flexible packaging as well. Once SCREEN and BHS integrate an inkjet head into the corrugator machine, mass production and small lot multi-type design production of corrugated boards on the same machine will become possible. This shows the shift from mass production to mass customization. Thus, the evolution of print still continues.
The technology trends of the recent year's digital printing press that were observed at drupa 2016 are explained in this article. A digital printing machine initially used at the beginning of the 1990's was a model of A3 size. The B2 size, sheet-fed digital presses were presented by Fuji Film, SCREEN, and HP for the first time at drupa in 2008. And several model expanded it to B1 size at last in this year's drupa. Digital printing technology, which rivals an offset printing machine in its productivity as well as size, surprisingly became popular much earlier than expected. The trend in recent years is that the most recent digital presses now specialize in a target market and a diversification of technological has led to the development of a hybrid printing system.
Landa Nanography debuted at drupa 2012, and Landa once again took center stage at drupa 2016 with their updated technologies. An estimated 200,000 visitors thronged to the Landa stand t to catch a glimpse of their multiple daily live press demos. Landa's remarkable theater presentations, "Nano. The Power of Small.", were fully booked days in advance and seen by 40,000 attendees. Landa brought four Nanography presses as live demos to drupa 2016 and provided print samples to potential customers. This means that their presses were very close to being market-ready. Komori also introduced and demonstrated the Impremia NS40 at their stand, which is powered by Landa Nanography. Landa also introduced the Nano-Metallography module, which is a zero-waste metallization solution, in live demonstrations on a label-printing machine.
Digital presses and materials accounted for 90% of the exhibitions at drupa 2016, whereas the conventional analog print presses and materials occupied less than 10% of the exhibition space. However, there is significant separation between the exhibition and the actual analog print market demand, with analog print having a market share of 97%. The newly announced digital presses are still under development and will not be shipped to the market for several more years. The ideal digital world seen at drupa 2016 will take several more years before penetrating into the Japanese market. What the small-to-medium sized printers should tackle now is not a rush to digital investment, but marketing developments regarding connections to information communication technology. Considering the past 16 consecutive drupa visits since drupa 1962, it is time for more energy to be invested in print and communication marketing.
Package printing was one of the highlights at drupa 2016 with many venders focusing attention on the package manufacturing field. However, there are significant differences between the packaging field and other fields (ex. commercial printing). For example, in the packaging field, once the print process is complete, the work is not considered finished. The reason for this is there are many functions required in the packaging field, and those functions have to be maintained until a consumer determines that the other functions are necessary. It is important to recognize that the packaging field has risks that are distinctly different from the commercial printing field. I describe personal impressions of several issues that were observed at drupa 2016. In particular, it was observed that new technology where the plates and cutting dies are removed from the enhancement process are threatening former analog technology through digitization. Additionally, questions regarding the reproducibility of characteristic colors, the concern of the cost effectiveness of the investment in the expansion of equipment, as well as the fear of digitization from a package manufacturer's standpoint still remain.
Using vegetable origin materials, the synthesis of a new polysilane modified alkyd resin was carried out to produce functional biodegradable polymer materials. Polysilane was added during the transesterification step or the condensation polymerization step. We observed that the rheological properties of the resulting alkyd resins were markedly changed.