For more than a decade, wide-format technology, and the ever-expanding range of applications that can be produced with it, has been the shining star of the printing industry. Nearly 20 years ago, when the early adopters saw the technology’s promise, they — seemingly on our behalf — worked the kinks out of the emerging technology. Today, wide-format inkjet is mature, many companies use it for many purposes, and competition is high.
The printing industry today is all about variety. Whether printing companies are producing marketing collateral or display graphics, decorating apparel or marking/embellishing manufactured products, the goal is the same: To do so profitably, in a way that promotes company growth and ensures a productive future.
For graphics producers, there will be much to see (and process) at the upcoming PRINTING United event in Dallas (October 23 - 25): New technologies, game-changing new products and applications, and the inherent possibilities of industry convergence. With more than 625 exhibiting companies, there will be much to do and consider. And for any graphics producer looking for a “sure thing” during PRINTING United, SGIA’s Graphics Producers Luncheon is a not-to-be-missed event.
Quick: What are three things all printers claim to offer their customers? A quick look at the website of the perfectly average but totally fictitious company, “No-Name Graphics,” will tell you. To quote: “We pride ourselves on excellent customer service, quality printing and on-time delivery.”
Perhaps your company’s website says something similar. While all of these things may be true, it is first important to understand that such a claim is like saying, “We are committed to meeting your expectations by providing exactly what you expect, and nothing more.”
Let’s face it: The functional/industrial printing sector is diverse. Printing everything from circuit boards to skateboards and everything in between, the sector is joined, mostly, by a handful of common imaging technologies. What makes them different is the extensive variety of materials and processes these companies use to mark or manufacture products. For this year’s Functional and Industrial Printing Luncheon at PRINTING United, we’ve chosen to address what all of these companies have in common: The quest for profitability.