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Is there a future for the European publication printing industry?
KTH, Skolan för datavetenskap och kommunikation (CSC), Medieteknik och grafisk produktion, Media.
2007 (engelsk)Inngår i: Proceedings of the Technical Association of the Graphic Arts, TAGA, 2007, s. 1-37Konferansepaper, Publicerat paper (Fagfellevurdert)
Abstract [en]

This paper deals with a survey of the European Publication Printing Industry - and it highlights the potential development of future markets and some of the techno-economical factors which are important to the industry. Previous research has indicated that the cost of producing signatures in either gravure or commercial web-offset have been reduced by 65-70% over the last 20 years. Nevertheless, it is believed that most of the economic benefit of lower costs has not remained within the printing industry, but has been transferred to the customers. It has been a buyers' market during the last decade. The extremely fast progress of digital technology since the middle of the 1990's has had a great impact on the publication printing industry, not only in gravure but in particular in web-offset. New and affordable software packages for editorial and image manipulation were quickly accepted, and within a short time the previous analogue technology was abandoned. These new techniques led to a dramatic change from the way in which the industry had previously worked, and the customer gained complete control of the work flow. Since the autumn of 2006 until January 2007, a series of in-depth interviews were conducted with top managers in the industry, both customers and suppliers to the industry. A scientific methodology has been used to evaluate the responses, and those have been discussed during extensive personal interviews. The investigation includes interviews not only with the leading managers from the customer to the industry, but also some of the most important suppliers - printing press manufacturers, paper and ink manufacturers, plate and cylinder processing equipment suppliers, and other important contributors to the printing process. This approach makes it possible for the author to explain some of the issues in greater detail and to give the reader a deeper understanding of the current and future European market situation. Are there new technologies to be seen in the near future which will have a strong impact on the structure of the industry? The findings indicate that those publication printers working in the segment of catalogue printing may find the market becoming increasingly difficult. Many of the major catalogue producers are changing their marketing focus from catalogue to E-commerce, which means that today's few but very thick products will probably be replaced by thinner but more frequent issues. The total volume of print will also be affected. Those printers working in the magazine market will also see major differences in the near future. Despite the fact that publishers are increasing the number of titles, the total volume is not expected to increase. The print runs will be more fragmented, and split editions aimed at targeted groups of readers will increase. This means a threat to very large gravure printers, because the newly installed superwide presses may not be sufficiently flexible. This paper shows that the changes in market conditions and product requirements have been dramatic in Europe during the last 20 years, and that further changes are about to take place.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
2007. s. 1-37
Emneord [en]
Catalogues; Commercial web-offset printing; CTP-technology; Gravure cylinders; Magazines and periodical products; Market segmentation; Prepress operations; Publication gravure printing; Publishing markets
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-13809Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-52349085322OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-13809DiVA, id: diva2:327420
Konferanse
59th Annual Technical Conference on Technical Association of the Graphic Arts, TAGA; Pittsburgh, PA; 18 March 2007 through 21 March 2007
Merknad
QC 20100629Tilgjengelig fra: 2010-06-29 Laget: 2010-06-29 Sist oppdatert: 2010-06-29bibliografisk kontrollert
Inngår i avhandling
1. Gravure vs. Web-offset!: a changing world in publication printing 1986-2006
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Gravure vs. Web-offset!: a changing world in publication printing 1986-2006
2007 (engelsk)Doktoravhandling, med artikler (Annet vitenskapelig)
Abstract [en]

The European publication printing industry and its markets have undergone profound structural changes between 1986 and 2006. This thesis is an investigation of these changes and of how the publication industry has been affected, as well as of the balance between publication gravure and commercial heat-set web-offset. The publication printing market has grown substantially during 1986-2006, and the increase in volume is about 250%, from 5 million tons to 13 million tons of paper. In 1986, gravure was the dominating publication printing technique. Since 1986, however, web-offset printing has grown substantially, and the process has today a much larger market share of the European publication market. This domination is also reflected in the investments in new printing capacity since 2000, where 70-75% has gone to commercial heat-set web-offset press manufacturers.

This thesis focuses on the reasons why the balance between the two competing publication printing techniques, gravure and web-offset, changed between 1986 and 2006. It also studies the main driving forces determining the developments of these techniques and their related processes as well as their competitive strengths. Is gravure a printing process suitable only for very large runs, for huge volumes and for large markets? The changes in the European media market have affected the two major segments of the publication market; magazine and catalogue printing. In the magazine market, print runs in the segments of medium to large titles have decreased, and catalogues have changed from a single, thick catalogue to thinner; more targeted catalogues.

This thesis is based on two studies. The first, focused on the market requirements and techno-economical comparisons of gravure and web-offset in 1985-1986, was carried out by the author as the Secretary General of the European Rotogravure Association (ERA), and the second, in 2005-2006, has investigated the present situation on the European publication markets. The methodologies used in the investigations have been questionnaires (the originals 1985-86 have also been used in 2005-2006), surveys, literature studies and a substantial number of interviews with representatives of print buyers (publishers and catalogue producers), printers and all the major suppliers to the industry.

Given these changes, how can the competitiveness of publication gravure be improved and what strategies should a publication gravure printer use in order to survive in a very competitive European market? With shorter runs in very fast running gravure presses, the turn-around time in the cylinder-engraving department becomes very critical. A Double Ender gravure press for paginations from 16-64 pages, with an alternative up to 96 pages, where only four cylinders are needed, in combination with high-speed laser engraving of the cylinders, may be the answer.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Stockholm: KTH, 2007. s. viii, 134
Serie
Trita-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2007:4
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4394 (URN)978-91-7178-641-8 (ISBN)
Disputas
2007-06-05, Sal F3, KTH, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Veileder
Merknad
QC 20100629Tilgjengelig fra: 2007-05-28 Laget: 2007-05-28 Sist oppdatert: 2012-03-19bibliografisk kontrollert

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