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Secondhand in big demand

Since the last recession secondhand equipment has become a popular option for many printers. Buying secondhand minimises investment risks and enables printers to buy kit at a price that might otherwise have been outside their financial reach.

Only connect: pulling all the pieces together

It is the nature of a management information system that it has to connect with various other systems within a printing business from all sorts of vendors and across disciplines, from pre-press to accounts and shipping.

Built to last

In the old days, printing machines were made to last. They were cleaved from solid chunks of metal and essentially built like brick outhouses. Despite technological advances making many of these old machines essentially obsolete, many UK printers still use older equipment on a daily basis to complete all manner of different tasks.

Milestones in inkjet

Of all the different print technologies currently in use, inkjet is probably the most interesting for its sheer versatility, working across documents and wide-format, labels and packaging and even 3D printing. The technology has evolved gradually over several decades and in this story we chart some of the major milestones.

Taming colour’s Wild West

Most wide-format printers are capable of producing a very wide colour gamut so that it’s relatively easy to print a pleasing image with vibrant colours that appear to be just what the client ordered. That said, most wide-format users are working with a wide variety of different media, each with their own characteristics, so it’s essential to use ICC profiles to put down the optimum amount of ink to ensure consistent output.

How Charles Babbage invented computer printing

Sitting on an upper floor of the Science Museum in London are hulking metal examples of a Victorian mechanical computer age that never actually happened. These are the invention of Charles Babbage (1791-1871).

Paper tigers

These are changing times for pulp and paper makers. While mill and machinery closures across Europe and the UK have resulted in shrinking capacity, particularly for graphical paper grades, this has been offset by a shift in manufacturing focus.

Printing in another dimension

Augmented reality – or AR, as most of us refer to it – is seeping into the print industry and changing the way we interact with brands and products.

The future is up in the air

Cloud-based systems are changing the way printers work, allowing them to better serve changing customer demands and put resources and capital into more effective channels, as well as providing additional functionality.

Flexo widens its appeal

Back in July we looked at how advances in automation and fast drying are allowing the latest litho presses to increasingly compete what were once the USPs of digital processes: short runs and fast responses. Something similar is happening in flexography too, though it’s not been remarked upon as much as the amazing increases in flexo print quality over the past decade.

Best of British: Rollem plays its cards right

About half of our Best of British subjects and future candidates have surprisingly long histories. They’ve survived by adapting to the huge changes in technologies, social and economic conditions over the years and still manage to present relevant products to the market.

Best of British: Hamillroad’s big screen test

How does a small Cambridge developer produce halftone screening software intended to outperform the big pre-press players? This is the story of Hamillroad, which sells advanced Digitally Modulated Screening (DMS) technology for flexo and litho printing as an aftermarket add-on for any platesetter RIP.

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