New Year predictions - FM Brooks' Frazer Chesterman
By Jenny Roper Wednesday, 26 December 2012
Frazer Chesterman, director, FM Brooks
I think two things. Obviously the Landa technology was the big noise in the middle of the year but I think that was a result of there actually being frustratingly few other innovations at Drupa this year, and the fact that Benny Landa is very good at generating a buzz. The other big trend was 3D print technology. I think the future for this is predominantly in industrial applications, but I think some printers can capitalise if they’re willing to look at their customer to see if they have a need for this service. Then that printer has the opportunity to be seen as a real innovator.
What do you think will represent the single biggest opportunity for printers in 2013 and why?
For printers I think it’s labelling and packaging. The commercial sector is struggling so they should be looking to other technologies and applications. For manufacturers, I think the biggest opportunity is seeing what sectors inkjet technology could be sold into. That’s the whole idea behind InPrint 2014. We’ll be showcasing the latest advances in industrial inkjet and 3D rapid prototyping to a whole new set of customers, including those in the architectural, automotive and white goods sectors. We’ll be showing them how inkjet can now be used to print on a wide range of plastics, ceramics, natural and synthetic textiles and so personalise products that, because previously flexo or screen processes were used during the manufacturing process, couldn’t be personalised before.
What do you think will represent the single biggest threat for printers in 2013 and why?
The biggest threat to printers is the fact that the graphics arts market, from signs and displays right through to magazines, is not growing but shrinking. People need to counteract this by refusing to let print be seen just as a commodity, and adding extra value through things like efficiency, good delivery times and offering complete solutions.
What’s the one thing that the industry should do more of, or do better, in 2013?
I would like to see printers thinking more about trying to understand their customers. They need to ensure their company’s personality matches their target audience’s personality. If they’re dealing with media and digital-savvy customers they need to be offering these services. And that way they will also be on the same wave length as the customers and able to engage them.
What was your highlight of 2012?
Without a doubt, running Ecoprint 2012. Launching a show that attracted such big name exhibitors and 1,800 visitors in a Drupa year, was no mean feat.
What are your hopes for 2013?
That Ecoprint will be an even stronger event, and that we will start to develop a community around industrial print, ready for InPrint 2014. My job in 2013 is to start to make it easier for print manufacturers to engage with production managers in industrial manufacturing.
What will you do differently in 2013?
I’m considering running the EcoPrint show in the UK. I decided the first show should be held in Germany because German printers and suppliers are so evangelical about environmental issues, and the show may well be held there again. But what I was surprised to hear this year was a lot of exhibitors saying that the UK is actually very strong in terms of sustainable print. People within the paper industry particularly, were saying that the UK is a strong market for eco products. UK printers should be heartened to hear that.
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