* In April, on the eve of drupa, a thousand printers gathered under one roof to explore new developments in graphic reproduction, and to celebrate the successes that these technological advances have brought to them. The place was the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, and the event was EFI Connect. 2012, an annual congregation of printers of every stripe who use products manufactured by EFI.
EF1 - Electronics for Imaging--manufactures software used by printers and repro houses to control devices, manage workflow facilitate enterprise-wide controls, and connect with clients. Its hardware portfolio includes the narrow web Jetrion, a UV inkjet five-color digital press, and the wide format range of. Vutek inkjet printers. The company also is the world's largest manufacturer of UV curable inkjet inks. Attendees at this year's Connect ranged from label converters to large and small commercial printers, from copy and print-on-demand businesses to sign companies.
Taking the stage to kick off the event was EFI CEO Guy Gecht, who challenged the perception that print is a dying industry. "There are certainly signs that print is dying," he said, citing Encyclopedia Brittanica's move from print to digital, the growth of business transactions online and the explosion of interest in iPads and similar technologies. "In the next 10 years, total printed pages are expected to drop 11 percent.
"But there are signs of strength in print," he declared. "US print industry profits were up every quarter in 2010 and 2011. Outdoor advertising is second only to online advertising. Internet use is driving an increase in magazine readership, and too many applications are generations away from being replaced." EFI's own growth is testimony to the strength that can be tapped in the print industry: The public company (NASDAQ: EFII) just, announced its ninth consecutive quarter of double-digit revenue growth. Perhaps most noteworthy in Q1 2012 is the 41 percent growth in UV inkjet sales and 47 percent growth in the Industrial Inkjet business unit (Jetrion, Vutek and ink manufacturing).
Gecht entertained the audience with a pointed look at his "Window of Opportunity Principle," demonstrating how that window-moves constantly One example is in the music industry: The window moved from the phonograph to the Sony Walkman, then to the Discman and eventually to the iPod and other mp3 players. With that: and a few other timely examples, he opened...