Industry heavyweights say digital is no threat

Some of print’s biggest players including Fuji Xerox, Canon, HP and Ricoh have assured the industry digital growth is not to be feared after speaking last night at the Lithographic Institute of Australia (LIA) drupa revisited dinner.

Some 60 print professionals gathered last night to discuss the key trends of drupa 2016, and keynote speakers from Australia’s biggest digital suppliers shared similar beliefs on the enduring power of print.

Phillip Rennell, sales and marketing director for Currie Group told the crowd of HP’s almighty stall which took up all of hall 17 standing the biggest drupa exhibitor. Customers eyeing off HP kit were ‘falling over themselves’ to get a look at the latest Indigo presses, according to Rennell.

Rennell told the crowd that digital is transforming print, and is offering printers the opportunity to increase margins, develop new market opportunities, and provide increased services to clients.

Roger Labrum from Fuji Xerox also took to the stand inviting printers to keep an eye out for a new suite of Fuji Xerox machines including a digital label press slated for release next year and its cut-sheet inkjet Brenva – which the company has not yet given an official release date for.

[Related: Inkjet domination at drupa]

The general consensus from drupa attendees was that the 2016 show was – albeit not as busy as previous years – the biggest yet in terms of new kit.

Speakers spruiked the latest in digital offerings, but industry commentators Wayne Robinson and Andy McCourt advised that digital growth is not as intimidating as the industry fears.

Less than four per cent of print is currently printed digitally, with non-digital print still taking the biggest slice of the pie, and offset taking most of that.

Canon’s Paul Whitehead and Raj Chandiok from Ricoh also gave stellar reviews of drupa and the success of each company’s respective stands.

During the night’s discussion panel, printers were assured of one thing – the future of print should not be feared, but welcomed.

“There was a time when printers feared the domination of offset over letterpress,” MC Warwick Roden from Rodenprint reminded the crowd.

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