July 2005
Volume 10, Number 7
July 2005
Volume 10, Number 7
Quotes of Note

Now THAT was a printing show. The
smell of money was in the air.

—From a recent “Blog On Demand”
reflecting on past Gutenberg Festivals and
reporting with nostalgia that the magic of
money was gone at the recent Gutenberg
Festival, that the premier West Coast event for
the printing industry was only a shell of the
festivals in years past.

Patent policy is too important to be left to
patent lawyers.

—Josh Lerner and Adam Jaffe in their
recent book, Innovation and Its Discontents:
How Our Broken Patent System Is Endangering
Innovation and Progress and What to Do
about It. The book describes patent and
litigation frenzy and patent overload, with
annual U.S. Patent Office applications
exploding from around 100,000 in the 1960s to
over 350,000 in recent years. One of their
examples of spurious patents is Smucker’s
1999 patent for a sealed, crustless peanut
butter-and-jelly sandwich.

[It’s a] Jack Welch kind of thing. If you
can’t be number 1 or 2, why do it?

—An anonymous HP print division
manager quoted in Business Week (May 9,
2005) on why HP is “pruning the printers,”
reportedly cutting back the division’s head
count by 10% or more.

This will be the year that the couch
potatoes beat the geeks, as the control centers
of our home networks move to the comfortable
confines of our home entertainment centers—
which quite likely will be made in China.

—From a release by marketing and web
design consultancy E-agency of Oakland, CA
on its predictions for 2005, including among
other things that this is the year that worldwide
Internet users will top one billion, with
more users in China than any other country.

In This Issue

Industrial Inkjet Heads.................................pg. 1

NPES, GASC and PRINT ‘05.....................pg. 7

The Big Picture

a monthly feature based on interviews with I.T. Strategies Consultants


The Seeds are Sown;
Gateway To a New Industry?

“What business are we in?” This rhetorical question is often tossed out
by inspirational speakers at business seminars. Today, as we explore the
potential for inkjet heads with Marco Boer and Mark Hanley, the question
actually seems relevant.

A number of companies around the world currently produce inkjet
heads to market to printer companies or use in their own systems. For most,
it continues to be a good business. But going forward, within the confines of
current markets, growth is limited. The long term future looks bright,
however, if industrial print heads are seen as key to new applications that
have the potential to spawn a whole new industry.

Key to a whole new industry? How did we get there!? Read on.

First, the present.

Marco notes things right now are not bad for the head vendors. “Unlike
the consumer side where companies like HP produce heads for their own
inkjet printers, on the industrial side, printer companies generally rely on
heads from outside vendors such as Xaar, Spectra, Ricoh, and Konica.
These companies make heads and sell them as components to other
products. That’s worked pretty well, but compared with the industry as a
whole, it’s never become a really big business. Because it’s just compo-

Figure 1: Materials Deposition Markets, an industrial inkjet application



• Flat Panel Displays
• Material Development
• Substrate Development
• Color Filters
• Coatings
• Display Backplanes
• Flexible Displays
. 2005 Dimatix,Inc. . 2005 Dimatix,Inc.


3D Mechanical

• Flex Circuits
• 3D AssemblySystems
• Sensing
• PCB Photomasks
• Wearable Electronics
• Solar
• Fuel Cells
• Batteries
. 2005 Dimatix,Inc. . 2005 Dimatix,Inc.

Life Science


• Optical Lenses
• Proteomics
• Light Pipes
• Antibodies
• Food Science
• Pathogen Detection
• Medical Devices
. 2005 Dimatix,Inc. . 2005 Dimatix,Inc.
Source: Dimatix, Inc.

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Japan - Tokyo - Phone: +81 3 3433 0691 Fax: +81 3 3437 5503

Spectrum is a proprietary monthly briefing published exclusively for the clients of I.T. Strategies, Inc. © 2005
Reproduction within client organizations is encouraged; other reproduction prohibited. Editor and Lead Writer: Edward Webster.

nents. At maybe around $200M worldwide, it’s not large, but
extraordinarily important because it has gated much larger
businesses, such as the whole wide format market.”

But now the problem we are facing is that what you can
charge for the heads is basically tied to what can be charged
for the printer. Typically the heads account for about ten
percent of the retail price of the product, Marco says. As the
price of wide format printers comes down, this has created
downward price pressure on the heads, even as they need to
be continually upgraded in terms of speed, quality of output
on a broader range of substrates and other performance

So far, the demand for heads has grown so fast that
volume compensates for head price declines. Head prices go
down, but volume grows. So everybody is in good shape. This
past year, 2004, has been a good year for most of the head
companies. Unfortunately—or fortunately, depending on your
perspective—it’s attracting new vendors who want to get into

Some see it as a component business. The motivation of
others is strategic. They feel it’s important, so they invest in
developing their own heads. A company like Samsung, for
example, one of the world’s largest corporations, is likely to
feel that it is too big not to dabble in this. Samsung’s strategic
goals may remain unclear, but it feels that it has to be there,
has to get into inkjet. And Samsung is big enough to make the
investment without the promise of quick returns.

We look around and see there are not a lot of large
accounts left, only hundreds of little ones. There’s no low
hanging fruit.

Now there is perhaps too much competition and current
markets are limited. “We look around and see there are not a lot
of large accounts left, only hundreds of little ones.” Marco
says. “There’s no low hanging fruit. Only a few accounts on
the order of Scitex Vision are good for ten thousand heads or
so. And there are not many new markets left for today’s
applications. The China market, mostly for wide format, is
strong, but now it’s already established. Elsewhere in the
world, perhaps? Maybe India?

On the fringes, yes, there are a lot of potential small
accounts, and they are not necessarily small companies. It
could be a company like Nestlé or Proctor and Gamble that
might be looking at inkjet for in-house packaging systems.
There may be a lot of these kids of prospects, but they need
help. To capture them, the technology has to be easier to
integrate, which is the argument for developing inkjet modules,
a product that can be used out of the box.

In short, looking ahead, say for the next five years, the

consultants see a slowing down of the market as it is currently

There may be some wild cards out there, perhaps textiles,
perhaps new geographic markets such as India. But in order to
access them, too many pieces are needed in the infrastructure
chain, and this is not expected to happen by natural evolution.

Three Paths to Growth

In response to these realities—more competition and
downward price pressures—what are the options for the head
companies? We see three general directions.

One is to move up the value chain. One way, as Marco
mentioned, is to integrate heads into more self-contained
modules so they are easier to integrate, a way to expand
existing markets. This would open up lots of potential
customers. Some might be big companies, but even a big
company can have only so many packaging lines. To get into
big numbers, head vendors need a lot of these kinds of
customers, and in time they could add up to worthwhile
volume. “If you can get, say, fifty Proctor and Gambles, then it
becomes interesting,” Marco posits. “But you have to offer
usable out-of-the-box technology in order to allow users to
get into those accounts.”

Offering head integration consulting could help as well,
but the talent pool in our industry is small and could limit the
ability to scale up. Most of the industrial inkjet engineer
expertise is in Japan and there would geographic hurdles in
the way of consulting and servicing customers scattered
around the globe.

Path Number Two is to engineer complete systems and
figure out how to brand and market them. This path would be
tough for companies like Xaar. They would be competing with
their current customers, and would have to develop channels
and a new level of customer support from scratch. That’s why
companies like Spectra, Xaar and Ricoh are moving toward
modules instead.

Third, and the most interesting Mark and Marco believe,
is to develop new applications, applications that are not
printing related. Rather than printing, we find ourselves talking
about various micro-pump applications. More on this later.

Betting Game

Moving ahead with one or more of these three growth
strategies becomes something of a betting game, Marco
believes. “A lot of the head vendors are getting into
modules…Spectra was probably among the first …Xaar is
getting into it with Omnidot. Everybody is looking at ways to
supply more than just the head, but also the fluids, the
electronics, the mounting brackets so it becomes more
turnkey, so it becomes easier and these little users who didn’t
have the resources to do this can now do it.”

Some of the larger companies in Japan have gone quite a


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July 2005
Page 3
way on this integration path. A number have shown concepts.
Ricoh recently showed its module concept. Konica has
dropped hints at conferences about a module concept. Others
include Olympus with TTEC and Canon’s subsidiary FineTech.
One or more Chinese vendors may give it a try at some point.
Path Number Two looks best for the large printing system
vendors based in Japan that also have developed heads. They
may have developed the heads for internal purposes, and also
have the resources to develop branded products. A huge
conglomerate such as Samsung or Panasonic might best make
the branded product bet, in addition to using its heads for
internal purposes. Panasonic may have originally developed
its heads to print DVDs. Epson has been working on ways to
jet polymers and conductive fluids to make flat screen displays
and printed circuit boards.
Companies like Canon and Ricoh have taken physical
integration of inkjet heads way down the road. A lot of
people don’t appreciate the significance of this.
“We don’t know how well developed their product and
distribution programs are at this point,” Mark cautions, “but
it’s important to know that companies like Canon and Ricoh
have taken physical integration of inkjet heads way down the
road, and that part they must know how to do. A lot of people
don’t appreciate the significance of this. This path for these
companies is realistic because they are so large they can
invest lots in head development without having to commercialize
Some inkjet technology vendors are already looking ahead
to Path Number Three, new applications, among them Impika,
Cabot, and Xennia (see box page 4). Manufacturers in Japan
and Korea have a lot of sunk costs invested in inkjet heads.
They are fortunate in that the firms are large enough to make
the investment without the promise of short term payback.
They stand ready to work this new market as it develops with
minimal additional R&D investment.
“Time and money solves everything,” Marco muses.
“And these companies have both. It’s just a continuum on
where you bet, which button you choose to hit. ”
What about ink as a path to growth? Ink plays a critical
role in the business model of the printer vendors. And ink
formulations are closely tied to head design. Most of the head
vendors’ business models include a plan to profit with ink
sales, but according to Marco, this has never happened. Mark
points out that the ink business tends toward cartridges and a
system of selling rather than the ink itself. The trigger for ink
volume is fixed arrays, and that’s only just beginning.
Now, Path Three: find incremental markets rather than—or
in addition to—working existing markets. That’s where
microdeposition comes in. We see it just beginning to emerge.
Jetting edible decoration onto food products has been around
for a long time and might be seen as a primitive precursor of
materials jetting.
Now we see Spectra, for example, launching a new
“Materials Deposition Division.” Mark explains. “A way to
speak of it, or better understand it, is to envision fluid manufacturing
or what we’ve begun to term ‘liquid engineering.’
This means making things, making functional components
using fluids as the raw material and inkjet as a means of
depositing the fluid. When you speak of printed electronics,
you are speaking of manufactured products, whether an
antenna or transistor, as discussed in these pages a while back
(December, 2004).
“Further ahead is a new frontier, proteomics. Proteomics is
an emerging application which allows you to take a skeleton of
something and jet living cells onto it to grow, say a body part,
in the correct shape. And there’s 3D modeling, which everyone
knows about. These are manufacturing techniques that used
to be looked upon as a bit weird. But there’s a suggestion in
Digitally printing mobile phone antennas directly on
the casing is one of many inkjet microdeposition applications
being commercialized by Conductive Inkjet Technology
(CIT) of Royston, U.K. The process is said to be
suitable for printing in line with assembly or moulding,
and for rapid prototyping. CIT is a partnership between
inkjet technology developer Xennia and Carclo plc, a large
(2,000 employees) high-tech precision engineering
group. The CIT partnership was formed specifically to
develop and commercialize technology for direct write of
conductive metals onto non-porous materials. Their
technology is said to embrace a range of metals including
copper, silver, gold, nickel and cobalt. Both piezo and
thermal inkjet can be used as appropriate for specific
applications. Image courtesy of CIT.
Cell Phone with Digitally Printed Antenna

the air now that manufacturing using fluids is becoming an
accepted avenue in its own right, and inkjet is becoming the
preferred mode. Why? Because it is the mode where you can
address each individual drop element, totally integratable with
information flow. So from a manufacturing perspective, for very
fine, low volume manufacturing, it’s incredibly interesting.”

Marco makes it graphic. “Maybe this isn’t the best
analogy, but it’s a very simple one. Imagine a slurry wall, where
people are pouring cement into a form. That’s how things are
done today in a lot of manufacturing, right? Now, with
microdeposition, you have bricks that you can use to build
any shape or form. The downside of the technology is that,
because it is ‘artisan,’ it probably lends itself initially to very
small scale stuff rather than high volume manufacturing. Today
it’s not going to be used to create a million flat screen display
panels a year—that’s probably a way off. But, if you want to
make ten prototypes, that’s here now.

[Microdeposition] is not about representing some
thing graphically. It’s about creating the thing itself.

 “The point is to expand inkjet away from just graphics
printing and into physical manufacturing. This is the concept
behind microdeposition. It’s not about representing some
thing graphically. It’s about creating the thing itself. It’s
moving the head business away from graphics, which has
become somewhat static, to something that’s much more
interesting, more alive, more dynamic.”

 “The idea has gone abroad. The concept is spreading
rapidly. Now the work has to be done,” Mark adds.

So where do you make your bets here? Do you bet on
microdeposition as the wave of the future? Or on modules? Do
you bet on branded products? A lot of these things we’ve
been talking about depend on channels. Someone like Xaar
doesn’t have distribution channels to sell branded products.
Someone like Panasonic or Samsung does, but now it’s too late
for the consumer market. So they push on offset replacement.
Panasonic has demonstrated a direct mail printing press with
Miyakoshi, and so forth.

But this will be a tough road for them, since the established
vendors like Xerox and HP are already there. So it
becomes a distribution access problem for even a big company
like Panasonic, no matter how slick its technology, without the
established access channel. Presumably, it seems, building an
access channel once established competitors are there is
extremely difficult.

Leveraging the Technology

Ultimately, Mark and Marco agree, vendors will have to
find something completely different. This brings us to “the
new industry” model. But not directly. They circle around more
or less as follows:

Path Three Pioneers

Impika. CEO Paul Morgavi at a recent IMI seminar
overviewed the near to long term markets for inkjet
heads. He sees printing continuing to be near term
applications including card printing, coding, overprinting,
and decorating. Next, beginning around 2005, “material
jet” applications open up for microelectronics including
micropackaging, connections, LCD display, OLEDs.
Further out—he predicts beyond 2007 material jetting will
include bio jet, biotechnology applications such as DNA
test arrays and in situ testing, and Impika apparently
intends to be part of it.

Cabot is another example. This leading chemical
company has been supplying inkjet inks almost since the
beginning. Cabot has now diversified with the acquisition
of SMP, described as a leader in nano/micro particle
materials research and manufacturing. SMP opens up for
Cabot not just pigment particles for inks, but also
conductive nanoparticles for printable electronics and
displays and electro-chemical products for resistors, fuel
cells and other power products.

Xennia Technology Ltd. has introduced several
systems for materials deposition. Their Enjet 5000 is
described as a coating and decorating print engine for a
variety of applications, among them printed electronics
and anti-scratch/optical coatings. Xennia’s Enjet 3000 is
a system for inert dispensing of biological fluids for
applications that include clinical trial products, medical
diagnostics, forensics, and other high purity materials
dispensing. The Enjet 4100 is a generalized materials
deposition system said to handle a range of specialist
materials, lab/pilot scale functional materials development
and 3D rapid prototyping.

Conductive Inkjet Technology(CIT), a new venture set
up by Xennia and Carclo plc, has developed metallization
processes said to be suitable for digital printing of RFID
tags, mobile phone antennas, PCB components, and
even solar panels. Xennia has announced their Enjet
5000 coating and decorating print engine for a variety of
materials deposition applications, among them, printed
electronics and anti-scratch/optical coatings.

MB: Things will have to change. Looking at distribution,
going indirect will happen because as average selling price
goes down, you can’t afford to go direct anymore.

MH: Everyone is in trouble if things are premised on this
same fragmented market.

MB: You say that, but you may not have a choice. As the
industry is now structured, that looks like the way most of it’s
going to be.

MH: By leveraging this technology, you make a difference
to the users of infinitely greater value.


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www.it-strategies.com Page 4

MB: Yes, but you may not be able to harvest that value.

MH: I’m just raising the issue. As things stand, what
we’re talking about is that when it’s all over, the total value of
the industrial Inkjet print systems market may only ever
amount to $10B to $20B, which is no substitute for the office
revenues of digital print vendors at $100B.

MB: But even as the head business is structured today,
it’s easy to overlook the fact that as prices decline a lot, you
have people buying stuff that gets used less intensively. On
the consumer level it’s like cars and TVs today.

MH: I think you’re a bit printer-centric there. If you’re just
supplying printers, or print heads for that matter, it’s not going
to be that huge. But what you’re doing really is altering a
bigger process. In the industrial market you’re printing things
that used to be manufactured, whether it’s a package or a
transistor. Printing is part of a larger manufacturing process. I
think this kind of technology will enable small-scale, localized,
more flexible manufacturing. This will give rise to an industry, a
new industry which in itself will be larger and more localized.

MB: Hmm, yes, it would be like Acrobat for Adobe.
Acrobat itself generates only around $400M in revenues. But
the value that Acrobat creates is in the billions of dollars!! It’s
changed how people communicate, saving people billions of

MH: That’s right. Acrobat and the PDF created an
industry within an industry that didn’t exist before. It has
transformed parts of the print industry.

MB: Absolutely! And that’s the same thing that will
probably happen here.

MH: You’re enabling the transformation of various parts
of manufacturing, and that’s where the bigger dollars will be.

MB: Ultimately, you’re going to see things we cannot
even dream of because we’re just not wild enough. Cosmetic
surgery–using inkjet to grow new body parts, things like that.
But we will enable it because the price of entry will be so low.

MH: What it means is that the print industry transforms
itself to become part of manufacturing industries in both its
print and manufacturing functions. Both the graphic and
deposition function, part of integrated manufacturing techniques.
They are building the box of a different industry that is
part channel, part machine, part user-accessible technology.

Profiting from an Enabling Technology

But how do the participants get revenue from all that, we

Acquisition on good terms may be one model. Business
history is filled with industrial evolution as one industry
merges into another. When this happens supplier companies
often get acquired. That’s one option as this technology
vector unfolds.

We look for role models, and return to Adobe.

Adobe may get only $400M in revenue from Acrobat, but

enues have skyrocketed. By giving an injection of new life, an
elixir, into PDF, it has sustained a huge base of customers for
other things it does.

Mark runs with it. “It’s an organic whole. And that will
also be the case as we merge into this new industry. Whether
printing graphics or doing programmed material deposition,
you are actually enabling a manufacturing industry to come
into existence and have a long life. You are creating an
ecosystem in this new industry you serve that provides a
customer base for you later on. The biggest single vector of
change here is technology—print technology or deposition
technology—however you want to see it. That’s the vector of
change. Just as PDF was the most important vector of change
that enabled the graphics industry and Adobe to thrive.”

But a note of caution. As Marco remembers it, when
Acrobat was introduced no one understood it very well, and it
took maybe ten years to grow into the product it is today. So it
will be with microdeposition. It will take time for it to grow.

What’s happening is a universal, long term trend that
sees a technology first defining an industry and then in
time merging into the industry it serves.

There are, however, major pull factors. One is a desire in
the electronics industry—not a small business—to extend the
functionality of electronics into large areas. This means
flexibility, throwaway cost, and the path to liquid engineering.
What’s happening, as we noted back in our 2004 article on
printed electronics, is a universal, long term historic trend
which sees a technology first defining an industry and then in
time merging into the industry it serves.

Unlike some industrial applications such as textiles, Mark
feels we don’t need to try to educate potential users about the
advantages of microdeposition as a manufacturing technique.
They are keenly aware of the technology and its possibilities.
They are not going to apply it right away, but they know it will
play a growing role in coming years. It’s no longer ‘printing,’
but rather a precision deposition technology that is part of the
industry it serves. It’s a kind of archipelago of industries that
do new forms of manufacturing, a market base that is much
bigger than just inkjet products.

It’s a vector of change, an enabling product. It can’t
happen right now. But there are a lot of people out there who
know about it and that’s something new.

Value Creation

Consider today’s office printer market, where we have
gotten to maybe around $100B and can’t seem to get beyond
it. The expectation, or hope, has been that it can grow to a
second $100B. This appears increasingly unlikely. But now, as
reframed by Mark and Marco, that doesn’t matter! The market
for industrial inkjet systems may become only single billions of

based at least partly on this product, as a company its rev-dollars. But like Adobe, it represents a key technology vector


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July 2005


Page 5

on which to build a future business base. It’s not the revenue.
It’s the value creation. Our industry is ceasing to be one, and
is becoming, say, five industries!

Marco sees a parallel in the film industry, noting it’s
essentially done, no matter how you look at it. “So Kodak says
they are no longer in the photo business. Photos are just one
element of publishing, or rather one part of a broader
“infotainment” business. So it’s no longer just $30B, rather
perhaps $250B.

Mark agrees, noting that the photo business has diffused
into a lot of peripheral industries that are all connected by the
image. So now Kodak has a choice, the potential to put their
mark on a variety of industries rather than being fixated on this
one thing that got them to where they are today. “Its fragmentation
driven by technology vectors created out of a group of
key developments. Digital photography, CCDs created the
destruction of the film business and the creation of all the
image-driven industries we see springing up today, just as PDF
has done for publishing and inkjet will do for manufacturing.’’

It looks like the consultants are acknowledging a “limits to
growth” challenge. Once that is accepted, they see new life
being created. Not problems, but opportunities—much more
productive than just trying to squeeze continued growth out
of today’s maturing markets.

Mark’s final pronouncement? “This has been much more
interesting than I thought it would be!”


Consultants Mark Hanley and Marco Boer meet with us
this month to explore how over the coming decades inkjet print
head vendors can access a market base that extends far
beyond inkjet printing.

Today, as a component business, growth prospects are
limited. There are only a few large customers plus lots of small,
scattered users that are tough to access through current
distribution channels. The small customers may be large
companies looking to develop in-house packaging systems,
but to access them the inkjet modules have to be easier to
integrate. China as an inkjet head market for wide format is
strong, but now well established so future growth there
appears limited.

They see three general strategies to respond to the reality
of ever more competition and downward pricing pressures:

-Move up the value chain by developing and marketing
modules that will broaden the market by making print heads
easier to integrate.

-Engineer complete systems to brand and market, or
supply OEMs.

-Develop new applications that are not printer-related,
namely new microdeposition technologies.

A number of head vendors have begun to engineer or at
least talk about modules including Spectra and Xaar. Also,

there are several large Japanese vendors including Ricoh,
Konica, Olympus/TTEC and Canon/FineTech. Engineering and
marketing looks appropriate for large companies and some
have already invested in head technology for internal purposes.
This gives them the potential to launch their own

What Hanley terms “liquid engineering” shows great
promise as an incredibly interesting frontier for our technology.
This means making functional components using fluids as
the raw material and inkjet as the means of depositing the fluid.
A major application is expected to be printed electronics, such
as antennae or transistors as discussed in our December 2004
issue. A number of head companies and at least one ink
company are exploring this direction. Spectra has established a
new “Materials Deposition Division.” In the biomedical area
microdeposition technologies are being used to jet living cells.

This technology vector is expected to grow into an
important industry in its own right, or a cluster of industries.
But no matter how huge the industry becomes, it would seem
direct revenues for print heads will not be spectacular. But that
doesn’t matter. The vendors will have triggered something
much larger than themselves and will become part of it. Adobe
Systems with its Acrobat/PDF technology is seen as an
analogous model. Adobe’s direct revenues from Acrobat are
not large, but through this product it has acquired a huge base
of customers for other products. Looking at business history, a
historical trend has been a technology defining an industry
and in time merging into the industry it serves.

The office printer market seems more or less plateaued at
around $100B, and future growth is likely to be ever more
difficult. But this doesn’t matter if we reframe our business
models to support this new path. Future profit generated by
value creation will far exceed what we can expect as our
industry is currently structured.


I.T. Strategies, Inc.
A leading market consulting and research firm serving the

digital printing industry, specializing in

· Worldwide Market Research

· Worldwide Market Consulting

· Business Strategy Formulation

· Partnership Introductions and Facilitation—

 Technology, Marketing, and Distribution

· Acquisition Analysis

I.T. Strategies has offices in North America and Japan:
Boston Ph: +1 781 826 0200, Fax: +1 781 826 0151
Tokyo Ph: +81 3 3433 0691, Fax: +81 3 3437 5503

SPECTRUM Editors: Marco Boer, Barbara Budak, Hiroshi
Hakozaki, Mark Hanley, Mary Robins, Jessica Stone, Ted Webster,
Patti Williams, Liz Ziepniewski


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July 2005


Page 6

Associations as Windows to the World wide assortment of programs typical of many associations.

This year we profile a selection of associations that we feel
have strategic planning relevance to our industry. Association
shows, seminars, publications and perhaps membership can
serve as helpful windows to the user world in given markets,
and to our own industry. But the view is limited. Only by knowing
the background of each, its agenda and its biases can one
evaluate the association’s services and determine whether its
programs are worth investment in time and money.


Print Association Complex Hosts
the Year’s Biggest Industry Bash

It comes up only once every four years. So if you want to
mix with a sea of users…visit with a huge assortment of analog
and digital vendors …check out what’s billed as the year’s
largest collection of hardware in action all in one place, then
Chicago from September 9-15, 2005 is the place to be.

This event, Print 05, is hosted by three major printing
industry associations, PIA/GATF, NAPL and NPES and
managed by GASC, the Graphic Arts Show Company. Since
NPES via GASC appears to be the mother of this major
industry event, and because the show comes up soon, this
month looks like a good time to overview this association and
the show itself.

Even more than some other associations we’ve profiled
this year, NPES might be seen as a role model in the way it has
adapted to changing realities. In terms of the big picture, NPES,
like our industry, is committed to print, and the breadth of its
programs reflect this.

There is a lot of outreach in terms of networking with
affiliated organizations and setting up programs overseas. To
nourish the health of the industry, NPES has established
domestic and overseas educational programs. NPES launched
GASC in 1982 to serve the industry directly, but also indirectly
by channeling revenues into a variety of institutions dedicated
to the long term strength of the industry. Over the years this
program has raised $4.5M used to fund over 125 projects at 45
institutions via the Graphic Arts Education and Research
Foundation. In the face of an industry that by some standards
is shrinking, NPES appears to be sustaining its programs and
continuing to evolve.

NPES stands for National Printing Equipment Supply. Its
formal name is now NPES, The Association for Suppliers of
Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies. First set up
in New York City, it moved to the Washington, DC area in 1972.
Membership swelled from 300 in 1990 to over 400 by 1990.
Current membership is still said to be “over 400.”

Programs and Publications

NPES lists a staff of over 20 in its DC-area office and a

These include conferences, government affairs, international
trade, market research, standards, professional development
and safety.

Less typical are the education programs and overseas
outreach programs. It’s a no-brainer in a way: to increase the
market for print, increase the number of readers around the
world. So NPES through ProLiteracy Worldwide helps adults
function at a higher level and increase the audience for print.
Member companies, including Xerox, have joined ProLiteracy
Worldwide. The association supports Skills USA Championships
and has set up a scholarship foundation for the families
of member companies. There’s a Print Partner program and
member companies are encouraged to support literacy programs
at their local levels through the NPES publication “Literacy
Changes Lives—New Readers Are Print Consumers.”

Internationally, they have reached out to China and in 1983
were admitted as the only non-European member of
EUMAPRINT, the European Committee of Printing and Paper
Converting Machinery Manufacturers. This is an association of
associations with one member from each country. NPES is
currently listed as the secretariat. As early as 1988 NPES
reached out to the Soviet Union and opened an office in
Moscow in 1990. A bit later the NPES U.S. – China training
center opened in Shanghai. With Trade and Development
Agency funding NPES launched the American Technology
Print Center in Moscow. And just this year, NPES became what
it believes to be the first U.S. trade association to open a full
time office in India.

On the NPES web site (www.npes.org) a wide variety of
publications are listed, some members-only, but many offered to
non-members at a premium. Topics include government affairs,
education and foundation news, international trade, market
research, product safety and U.S. and international standards.

Print Outlook

Most of the NPES conference activity is through GASC.
Two specific NPES events are the Annual Conference, scheduled
this year for October 8-10 in Florida, and Print Outlook
2006, this December 1-2, in Arlington, VA. The latter looks like a
good opportunity to get a sense of the print industry’s view of
the future. Resources include a wide variety of economists,
public policy wonks, academics and market experts from fields
such as advertising, direct mail and newspapers.

Membership is open to all companies that market directly
to industry users at rates scaled to the dollar volume of graphic
arts industry sales. Members receive special rates to exhibit at
Print 05 and annual GraphExpos, plus priority space selection.
A lot of members from the digital printing industry are taking
advantage of this at September’s Print 05, among them Xerox,
HP, HP Indigo, Océ, Kodak Versamark, Konica-Minolta and the
Jetrion Division of Flint Ink.


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Japan: Tokyo Phone: +81 3 3433 0691 Fax: +81 3 3437 5503 July 2005www.it-strategies.com Page 7

Regis Delmontagne

Another unique aspect to the NPES story is how its
growth has been guided in large part by one man, Regis J.
Delmontagne, the CEO who joined the association in 1976
when it was known as the National Printing Equipment
Association. He also heads GASC and the Graphic Arts
Education and Research Foundation.

He’s been in the news lately having announced his
retirement from these positions effective at the end of this year.
According to Kathy Marx, VP of key member company Flint
Ink, “Many events and programs that are now fixtures of the
industry were either created or achieved their greatest growth
under his guidance, including GASC, GAERF, and the NPES.
[He played] a leadership role in the development of…standards
and a worldwide network of cooperative relationships.”

His replacement has yet to be named, but his retirement
looks like a watershed event for the association and its future

Print 05

When: September 9 – 15, 2005

Where: McCormick Place Complex, Chicago

Sponsor: GASC, owned jointly by NPES, NAPL, and PIA/


This is billed by GASC as the largest and most comprehensive
event for the printing/converting industries in the
world, with “more running machinery under one roof than any
event anywhere.”

According to GASC, at this year’s expo there will be

-almost 800 exhibitors

-80,000 attendees from over 75 countries

-90 seminar sessions

-750,000 square feet of exhibit space booked

So, this year, it really does look like the “world’s largest.”
DRUPA is quite a bit larger, the 2004 edition tallying 394,000
attendees and 1,862 exhibitors. But there’s no DRUPA this
year, and the European event is not “under one roof.”

Besides hardware exhibits featuring both analog and
digital technologies, there is a program of seminars covering
digital markets and technologies, market outlook, and management.
For the flavor, among the titles that look inviting to this

-Printed Electronics and RFID Are Coming

-VDP Mailing Issues

-The Marriage of Offset and Digital Printing

-On Demand Printing: Show Me the Money

-Globalizing Your Business

-Digital and Wide Format Printing Things Your Mother

Never Told You

-Mud Wrestling for Managers

Co-located with Print 05 is the Seybold Chicago Digital
Publishing Workflow & Asset Management Conference. This

program offers a curriculum covering up-front metadata and
JDF tools and project workflows; variable data publishing
systems; and digital asset management focusing on catalogs,
direct marketing and packaging.

Registration or information on Print 05 is available via the
NPES web site or by contacting Tina Scott, GASC Director of
Sales at 703-264-7200. We understand there is still exhibit space

National Association for Suppliers of
Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies

NPES bills itself as the only U.S. trade association for
companies that manufacture or distribute systems,
software and supplies for all processes used in printing,
publishing and converting, from desktop design and
image generation to all classes of output options.
Membership is open to manufacturers, systems integrators
and importers who distribute to the ultimate customer.

Home base:
1899 Preston White Drive
Reston, VA 20191-4367
fax: 704-620-0994
email: npes@npes.org
URL: www.npes.org

Staff: Over 20 listed, including
Regis J. Delmontagne, President
Steve Prejsner, Manager of Technology
Carol Lee Hawkins, Assistant Director for Membership
Additional staff at the same location for GASC, including
Tina Scott, Director of Sales

Membership: Currently over 400 companies. Open to any
manufacturers, systems integrators and importers who
distribute to the ultimate customer.

Programs and Services: Wide variety of programs
including government affairs, international trade, market
research, standards, professional development and
safety. Large catalog of publications on the web site,
available to non-members as well as members.
Sponsor or co-sponsor of leading industry expos through
GASC, Graphic Arts Show Company, a program that
operates out of the NPES offices. These include Print XX
every four years; GraphExpo/Converting Expo annually in
other years; Gutenberg & Digital Outlook (in Los Angeles);
and VuePoint, an annual vendor/user exchange. The
GASC VuePoint Conference comes up again in April,
2006 with the rather vague but catchy theme “Truth from
the Trenches.”


US: Boston Phone: +1 781 826 0200 Fax: +1 781 826 0151 SPECTRUM
Japan: Tokyo Phone: +81 3 3433 0691 Fax: +81 3 3437 5503
www.it-strategies.com July 2005
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