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Print Business Editor Gareth Ward comments on the printing industry around 8.30am GMT every Monday morning. Have it delivered to your inbox along with the latest news: Subscribe. Even better, subscribe to My Print Business and file your favourites in bespoke folders.

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28 June 2018

The unsurprising death of Ipex

The long drawn out demise of Ipex had strong similarities with an iconic television comedy of the 1970s.

Ipex, once the largest English language exhibition in the printing industry, is no more. The final obsequies have been performed over this trade show, bringing to an end the longest running version of a Monty Python sketch in history. It arguably began with John Cleese in 2010 demanding a refund because this Ipex is dead. Somehow Informa managed to keep the Norwegian Blue show breathing in 2014, reviving it again in 2017. But everyone new it was only upright because it had been nailed to its perch.

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14 May 2018

When print helped win at Waterloo

The Eurovision Song Contest is always a highlight of the television calendar. It used also to be a landmark event for some printers.

The printing industry has a long and noble traditional as a fast turnaround, print on demand operation. Newspapers have always needed to be produced and distributed within very tight schedules and have single purpose plants for precisely this reason. City and financial printers also have a long traditional of overnight production and delivery. Commercial printing can now be as fast, exploiting digital presses for short runs. But when timeliness really matters printers have always stepped forward. The Wimbledon programme, for example, has needed that day's results and the next day's schedule printed and inserted into the centre of a pre-printed souvenir publication. This was, and remains, a challenge, but there is only one point of delivery, easing the complexity.

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08 May 2018

Xerox and the Now you see it, now you can't press

Fuji Xerox is selling a press in Asia and Australasia where it is going gangbusters according to a local observer, but for the rest of the work, it does not exist.

The Xerox saga last week took more twists and turns, loops and plunges than a roller coaster on a Bank Holiday Monday. Jeff Jacobson as CEO came in for much stick in court from the aggressors without being able to answer back. Then he resigned and returned as CEO by the end of the week. What is clear is that whatever the rights or wrongs in these allegations, Xerox has definitely got itself into a mess. In production print there have been too many Xerox technologies that have failed, flash fusion and solid inkjet being only the most recent. If Xerox were a film studio it would be in definite need of a blockbuster hit.

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12 February 2018

Heidelberg displays engineering skills

Will Heidelberg's Subscription concept prove a game changer or an idea hedged with too many caveats to make a real impact?

Litho press manufacturers have long been envious of their digital counterparts. Thanks to an unnamed genius in Xerox's early days, digital press users have adopted the click charge business model, first developed to make it easier to sell copiers to a market unsure of their value. Ever since printer, consumables and service have been locked together to the revenue benefit of the supplier. Even now Xerox service and consumables revenues outweigh the revenue from equipment sales.

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