Keeping an Eye on Emerging Publishing Technologies
Two cutting edge technologies for the printing industry have been in the news of late: Xeikon America’s UCoat, the first in-line UV coating unit for digital color printing, and E-books.
Xeikon America premiered its UCoat offering at the On Demand Digital Printing and Publishing Strategy Conference and Exposition held in New York City. According to the company, UCoat will streamline digital printing by enabling users to print, UV coat, slit and rewind or cut in a single pass at full speed. The UCoat system will be commercially available in the second half of this year, according to Xeikon America.
Recently, E-books have have also created a loud buzz in the publishing industry, as a number of publishers are excited by the prospects of a new product outlet with no printing costs, shipping expenses, warehousing or returns.
A recent TrendWatch survey released by Printing Industries of America (PIA) revealed that over the past year, 36 percent of book publishers didn’t do any design for electronic-only publishing. This doesn’t mean that people aren’t taking advantage of the technology, however, as 26 percent of book publishers said their involvement was increasing either a little or a lot.
PIA Studies What Drives Commercial Print Demand
According to data released by Printing Industries of America (PIA), analysis performed using the Standard & Poors/DRI industry model revealed expenditures by the advertising sector to account for 44.8 percent of demand for commercial printing in the U.S. The same data also revealed that almost every U.S. industry contributed to the demand for commercial printing, with wholesale trade, non-profit organizations, periodical publishers, commercial printing, computer processing and software, miscellaneous business services, insurance carriers, book publishers and social services filling out the top 10 industry purchasers.
Of note is the fact that combined, the rest of the top 10 industry purchasers of commercial printing account for only 36 percent of total demand, nearly a full 10 percentage points lower than advertising alone. Given the close ties between advertising expenditures and the general state of the economy, this is of particular significance due to the current economic volatility in the U.S.